Prof Matthew Holden elected to the RSE

Tuesday 22 March 2022
Professor Matthew Holden


Professor Matthew Holden elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE)

The University of St Andrews’ Matthew Holden, Professor of Pathogen Genomics at the School of Medicine, has been elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy. The Society’s 2022 intakes comprise 80 individuals from various walks of life across Scotland and beyond, with the University of St Andrews producing four Fellows this year.

Professor Holden worked at the Wellcome Sanger Institute for 13 years on a broad range of bacterial genomes, before joining the School of Medicine and establishing a pathogenomics group. His research is directed at two main areas: and experimental genomics, using whole genome sequencing (WSG) data to investigate the evolution and success of bacterial pathogens; and translational genomics, applying WGS in clinical microbiology to identify and investigate outbreaks. Recently this has led to him being seconded to Public Health Scotland from the beginning of the pandemic, helping establish a SARS-CoV-2 sequencing service in the NHS and integrate genome data into the public health response.

He has contributed to hundreds of publications while training some of the brightest minds. Matthew highlighted his time at the Sanger Institute as a period that opened a new level of discovery for him and moving to the University of St. Andrews as a pivotal point in his career that set him up for the growth and success he has achieved over the years.

Speaking about his election, Professor Holden expressed feeling humbled and delighted. “I always think I am really lucky to do what I do and that gives me enough reward and enjoyment, but to have recognition from others on the work you do is always special”, Matthew added.

Matthew will be joining the RSE’s current Fellowship of around 1,700 Fellows, who are recognised as being some of the greatest thinkers, researchers and practitioners working in or with Scotland today.

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