Pioneering Leeds researcher accepted into leading programme

A Grow MedTech supported researcher has been accepted into a prestigious scheme run by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Dr Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso, from the School of Biology, is Associated Professor in Plant Sciences at University of Leeds. Her cross-disciplinary research centres on the biophysical and biomechanical properties of cell walls surrounding plant intercellular channels, named plasmodesmata, and their potential uses in the development of new strategies for crop improvement and biomaterial development.

Dr Benitez-Alfonso is among 101 individuals awarded Future Leader Fellowships today by UKRI. Grow MedTech supported her application through one-to-one coaching and mentoring.

Created in 2018, the government-backed scheme is designed to promote ambitious and challenging research and innovation. 

The £109 million fund supports outstanding researchers across UK business and academia. It enables them to develop their careers while helping to advance the UK’s vibrant research and innovation environment.

And Leeds has been selected as one of seven universities to form the Future Leaders Fellowship Development Network, providing expertise and enabling recipients to collaborate and build key links in their areas of research.

The recipients were announced on 15 October by Science Minister Amanda Solloway, who said: “We are committed to building back better through research and innovation, and supporting our science superstars in every corner of the UK. 

“By backing these inspirational Future Leaders Fellows, we will ensure that their brilliant ideas can be transferred straight from the lab into vital everyday products and services that will help to change all our lives for the better.” 

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said: “Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with freedom and support to drive forward transformative new ideas and the opportunity to learn from peers right across the country.

“The fellows announced today illustrate how the UK continues to support and attract talented researchers and innovators across every discipline to our universities and businesses, with the potential to deliver change that can be felt across society and the economy.”

To read the full article, visit the University of Leeds website.