Elected: 2015
Discipline: Cell and Molecular Biology
Professor Sir David Baulcombe
Regius Professor of Botany Emeritus, University of Cambridge
Professor Sir David Baulcombe is a plant molecular biologist whose research focuses on how plants protect themselves against viral disease. His research led to the discovery and characterisation of the “RNA silencing” system which is present in plants and animals and has diverse roles beyond protection against disease. This research has stimulated research in biotechnology of plants and animals, including new approaches in plant breeding that exploit epigenetics – forms of heritability that do not require changes to the DNA sequence. In 2009, David was awarded a knighthood for contributions to plant science and genetics.