A WILTSHIRE scientist who works for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year honours.

Dr Joanne Thwaite, from Warminster, has been awarded the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which recognises her service to the NHS during Covid-19 pandemic.

Dstl said Dr Thwaite had shown "selfless dedication" carrying out repeated and sustained deployments to hospital laboratories where she supported NHS staff dealing with an unprecedented increase of workload. Using her scientific skillset, Joanne worked within diagnostic laboratories, from the very onset of the pandemic.

Dr Thwaite said: "I am humbled and excited to be nominated for this honour which also represents the dedication and professionalism of a team of other Dstl specialist microbiologists.

"I am proud to be a part of that team and that I could help NHS colleagues deliver life-saving care at this time of acute national health response."