Rothamsted is the oldest agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for nearly 170 years. Its mission is to deliver the knowledge and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production. The Insecticide Resistance Group at ROTHAMSTED RESEARCH is internationally renowned for its pioneering work on understanding how insect pests evolve resistance to insecticides and how this process can be overcome, prevented or managed. The group’s research ranges from fundamental study of the biochemical and molecular changes that underlie resistance traits to the phenotypic characterization of resistance including the analysis of cross-resistance, inheritance patterns, pleiotropic effects of resistance on other biological traits and the development of resistance management strategies. The insecticide resistance research at Rothamsted was assessed as ‘International’ (for BBSRC-supported work) and ‘Outstanding’ (for work funded by external organizations) in the last Institute Assessment Exercise. Through this multidisciplinary approach, the research team at Rothamsted have been at the forefront of defining the major mechanisms by which insecticide resistance arises and characterizing the factors influencing the selection and spread of resistance. Knowledge of the underlying mechanisms and mutations leading to resistance has been translated, with great success, into high-throughput mechanism-specific tools for diagnosing multiple resistance traits in individual insects. The use of synergists to overcome resistance was pioneered by Graham Moores, then the principal biochemist at Rothamsted who in several studies clearly demonstrated the application of synergistic compounds to combat resistance. The Rothamsted Group’s research has been used to inform UK and European farmers and growers, advisers, Regulatory Authorities and the agrochemical industry of the resistance status in several global pest species and we have co-authored guidelines and management strategies that aim to slow or prevent the development of resistance. The effective translation of the team’s research was recently acknowledged by a nomination for BBSRC’s 2012 Innovator of the year competition (social innovator category).