Professor Regine Kahmann elected as foreign member of the Royal Society

April 29, 2020

Regine Kahmann, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology until 2019, was elected as Foreign Member of the Royal Society in April 2020. The election constitutes recognition of her outstanding scientific achievements.

There are approximately 1,600 Fellows and Foreign Members in the Royal Society, including around 80 Nobel Laureates. Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 700 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship.

Regine Kahmann was director of the department "Organismic Interactions" at the Max Planck Institute in Marburg between 2000 and 2019. Her research focuses on the fungus Ustilago maydis.This fungal pathogen is the causative agent of corn smut, a plant disease that destroys up to 20% of the world's corn harvest every year. Over decades of research, the Max Planck researcher elucidated the molecular details of this disease and thus created an important basis for combating this - and related - plant diseases.

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said: “While election to the Fellowship is a recognition of exceptional individual contributions to the sciences, it is also a network of expertise that can be drawn on to address issues of societal and global significance. This year’s Fellows and Foreign Members have helped shape the 21st century through their work at the cutting-edge of fields from human genomics, to climate science and machine learning. It gives me great pleasure to celebrate these achievements, and those yet to come, and welcome them into the ranks of the Royal Society.”

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