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Fellows Directory

Sophien Kamoun

Sophien Kamoun

Professor Sophien Kamoun FRS


Elected: 2018






Sophien Kamoun grew up in Tunisia where he developed a passion and curiosity about nature. He studied genetics in Paris and Davis, California, before working in Wageningen, Ohio and Norwich, where he is currently a Senior Scientist at The Sainsbury Laboratory and Professor of Biology at The University of East Anglia. He is known for his seminal contributions to our understanding of plant diseases and plant immunity.

Professor Kamoun pioneered genomics and molecular biology methods to reveal fundamental insights into the biology and evolution of eukaryotic plant pathogens. He discovered virulence effector families from pathogenic oomycetes and fungi, and showed how they can modulate plant immunity. He demonstrated how antagonistic coevolution with host plants has impacted the architecture of pathogen genomes, accelerated the evolution of effector genes, and drove the emergence of immune receptors networks. His inventive work in plant pathology has resulted in new approaches to mitigate some of the world’s most serious crop diseases.

Professor Kamoun has received many awards and recognitions, notably the Kuwait Prize and The Linnean Medal.

Professional positions

Senior Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Molecular microbiology
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Cellular and humoral immunology, General microbiology (incl bacteriology and virology), Genetics (excluding population genetics)
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Evolution, Agricultural and forest science, Mycology, Plant sciences / botany


Plant immunology, plant microbiology

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