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Outstanding lipid biochemistry contribution recognised

08 April 2011

Professor John HarwoodProfessor John Harwood

Professor John Harwood has won a leading American scientific prize for his work on the biochemistry of lipids. The Supelco/Nicholas Pelick Research Award is the most prestigious in its field, with several Nobel Laureates among its past winners. Award-winners have to have made outstanding contributions through influential research discoveries and high-quality technical papers.

The American Oil Chemistry Society (AOCS) presents the annual award recognising outstanding original research in fats, oils and lipid chemistry or biochemistry. Professor Harwood is the 2011 recipient. He is particularly well known for his work in plant lipid biochemistry and is at the forefront of applied plant lipid science.

Professor Harwood (also Deputy Director of the School of Biosciences) has covered several different aspects of plant lipid research. In particular, he has improved understanding of how plants control lipid metabolism. A number of herbicides work through their effect on lipids, and Professor Harwood’s research has also helped understanding of these processes. More recently, Professor Harwood has been involved in improving yields from oil crops. A recent successful trial of oilseed rape has confirmed predictions made by his research team.

The Award is sponsored by the biochemistry firm Supelco and AOCS Past President Nicholas Pelick. The winner gives a lecture at the AOCS annual meeting (in Cincinnati in May) as well as receiving a plaque and award.

Professor Harwood said: "I’m delighted to have my work recognised with such a significant award. I see it as a tribute to the work put in by my research teams here in Cardiff over the years and also to our many international partners."

Professor Ole Petersen, Director of the School of Biosciences, said: "I am absolutely delighted that John Harwood's important research on plant lipid research has been recognized by this very significant international award. This award, as well as John's recent election as an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, highlights the internationally acknowledged quality of the School of Biosciences' work on plant biochemistry."

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School of Biosciences