• OBE honours dedication to advancing Knowledge and Discovery
    Martin Walsh

News & Views

OBE honours dedication to advancing Knowledge and Discovery

Aug 07 2023

Dr Martin Walsh, Life Sciences Deputy Director at Diamond Light Source and Leader of MX Research at Research Complex Harwell has been awarded an OBE for services to life sciences work.

His MX Research Group has been instrumental in propelling structural biology and X-ray crystallography research, with his expertise and leadership recognised for both raising the bar within the scientific community and for ground-breaking discoveries with wide-ranging implications.

Martin expressed his thanks to everyone at Diamond, particularly for the impressive contribution that was made to SARS-COV-2 biology and therapeutics: “I am pleased to receive this award and consider it to be a tribute to the amazing team of researchers whom I have had the privilege to work with. The passion and dedication shown by Diamond staff and users who worked during the pandemic investigating ways to identify new therapies was and continues to be inspiring. To think that in late January 2020 when we started work on SARS-CoV-2 that this effort would grow from a small, dedicated team consisting of Petra Lukacik, Claire Strain-Damerell and David Owen and grow exponentially in a matter of months to a global collaborative network of researchers is humbling. The foresight to invest in Diamond meant that we were able to rapidly exploit Diamond’s structural biology capabilities especially in macromolecular crystallography and CryoEM enabling Diamond to make the largest contribution to the structural understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and this is something everyone at Diamond, our users and the wider scientific community can be proud of.

“I am encouraged to see that basic science is being recognised as the root of discoveries and this award, I hope, will continue to further raise the public awareness of the importance of academic research for understanding the basis of infectious disease and ensuring we are better prepared for tackling emerging pathogens that could lead to future pandemics.  The beauty of being part of a synchrotron light source is that discoveries are not limited to just one field of research but permeate virtually all fields of knowledge: from energy and battery research to engineering and new materials. Our applications are endless, and we are grateful to our 16,000 strong user community who bring some of the most challenging scientific questions of our time.”

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