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Musgrave Award for Excellence in Food Microbiology 2022

29 Mar 2023
Photo L – R: Ms Ruth Dalton, Professor Jennifer Mahony, Professor Colin Hill and Ms Clarissa Somers Image: Diane Cusack

The Musgrave Award for Excellence in Food Microbiology was presented by Ruth Dalton & Gillian O’Connell, Musgrave Food Safety and Quality Team, in UCC recently.

Launched in 2015, the award is presented to the highest performing student in the Masters in Food Microbiology Programme which is delivered through the School of Microbiology UCC.  The programme has students from all over the world, including the US, China and India, who come to Ireland every year to participate in this programme. Safe and nutritious food is of vital importance to all consumers and research on microorganisms and their relationship with foods and the human host is essential in providing the platform for the developing the knowledge required to provide foods that are safe, healthy and nutritious. UCC has a long tradition in this field which was the principle reason for the original partnership between Musgrave and UCC.

Ruth Dalton commented: “The leading edge research conducted by the team at UCC is recognised globally and we are delighted to honour this endeavour. The Musgrave Excellence in Food Microbiology Award is now in its eighth year and reflects the continuing positive association between UCC, Musgrave Food Safety Team. The Masters research project undertaken by Clarissa Somers focused on human and plant-derived glycan metabolism of Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum, otherwise known as probiotics, which help to promote a healthy gut. Clarissa found that the strains were particularly efficient at digesting Xylan Sugars which is rare and also identified the genes associated with this activity. We wish Clarissa every success in her future career”.

 “We are delighted to acknowledge the ongoing support of Musgrave for this important postgraduate programme. Musgrave has a sterling reputation for excellence in food safety and quality and we are proud to partner with them”, added Professor Jennifer Mahony, “Training the next generation of food microbiologists to ensure that we have a nutritious and safe food supply is a globally important issue and we appreciate the support of Musgrave in the form of this prize. Congratulations to Clarissa who is a really deserving winner”.

School of Microbiology

Scoil na Micribhitheolaíochta

Microbiology Office, Room FSB452, 4th Floor Food Science & Technology Building, University College Cork, Cork T12 Y337