Melanie Blokesch elected member of Leopoldina

© 2021 EPFL

© 2021 EPFL

Professor Melanie Blokesch at EPFL has been elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors for scientists in German-speaking countries.

The Leopoldina was a classical scholarly society founded in 1652 and following its growth, was appointed as the German National Academy of Sciences. Leopoldina currently numbers 1,600 members from more than thirty countries and almost all fields of science “representing the German scientific community internationally, and providing policymakers and the public with science-based advice.” Election to membership is considered to be one of the highest honors awarded to scientists in German-speaking countries.

This year, Leopoldina has elected, among others, Professor Melanie Blokesch at EPFL’s School of Life Sciences. Professor Blokesch directs the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology in the School’s Global Health Institute, and her research focuses on the environmental lifestyle and evolvability of pathogenic bacteria, as well as the horizontal gene transfer-mediated spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Blokesch’s research has a particular focus on the cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae, seeking to decipher its regulatory networks and molecular mechanisms involved in its pathoecology. To achieve this, Blokesch’s group uses experimental approaches that bridge the fields of bacterial genetics, live-cell imaging, infection biology, and microbial ecology.

Blokesch isn’t new to the Leopoldina, as she was awarded their Prize for Junior Scientists sixteen years ago. Concerning her election as member, Blokesch says: “I am deeply honored by this recognition and would like to thank everybody who contributed to the success of our research, and who supported me and my group over the years. I am very much looking forward to engaging in the academy’s activities in years to come”.