Fellowship success for first Academy awardees

We are delighted to announce that this year two researchers supported in their early careers by the Academy’s flagship programme for clinical academics have been elected to our Fellowship. This is the first time that Academy Clinician Scientist Fellowship awardees have been elected to the Academy’s prestigious Fellowship.

Professor Peter Hutchinson FMedSci and Professor Robert MacLaren FMedSci were two of the first recipients of Clinician Scientist Fellowships. This year, they were both among the 48 world-leading UK researchers elected to join our Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship, chosen for their outstanding contributions to biomedical and health science.

Professors Hutchinson and MacLaren’s successes demonstrate how the scheme has supported talented researchers to build strong careers, working to help patients at the same time as conducting innovative, life-saving research.

Professor Peter Hutchinson FMedSci said:

Being awarded the Clinician Scientist Fellowship was a critical pivot point in my career. It allowed me to transition from a junior academic trainee to an independent clinical scientist and surgeon.

“My Clinician Scientist Fellowship provided me with the vital time and resources which led me to help improve treatment for patients suffering from dramatic brain trauma.

“It is 15 years since I joined the first cohort of Clinician Scientist Fellowships and I am now Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Cambridge. I am very proud to have been appointed as an Academy of Medical Sciences Fellow and to begin the next chapter of my relationship with the Academy.”

Professor Robert MacLaren FMedSci said:

 “My Clinician Scientist Fellowship introduced me to research areas outside my own work where I got to see other aspects of leadership, as well as learn about the importance of clinical trials.

“Having a clinical career to maintain as well as producing good science can be a challenge. The support I received through the Academy’s grant scheme helped me combine these, so they became synergistic rather than antagonistic.

“I am honoured to become a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and look forward to working at a more strategic level while continuing to help junior scientists with their careers.”

Since the Academy was formed in 1998, we have championed the importance of career pathways for clinical and basic researchers. The Clinician Scientist Fellowship scheme was developed from the recommendations of the Academy’s first ever policy report, chaired by Sir John Savill FRS FRSE FMedSci.

The Clinician Scientist Fellowship scheme was launched in 2001 in partnership with The Health Foundation and has now supported 26 outstanding clinicians over 4 rounds of funding. The scheme and report together catalysed other funders to establish similar schemes, helping to foster a new generation of clinical academics.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive, Health Foundation, said:

“We are thrilled that Robert MacLaren and Peter Hutchinson have been selected as Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences this year. Both have made singular contributions to their respective fields to benefit patients. The Health Foundation is honoured to have been able to support such talented individuals.”

"We are delighted that through his CSF Robert led the first retinal gene therapy trial for choroideremia in 2009, which has grown into the largest gene therapy trial globally involving 11 countries.

 “It has been a pleasure to watch Peter’s career develop, with his ground-breaking research into neurosurgery helping to save the lives of patients suffering traumatic brain injury.”

The need to provide holistic support to these first awardees also led to the development of the Academy’s renowned mentoring programme, which recently celebrated its 15th year. Professor Hutchinson and Professor MacLaren were some of the first mentees on this programme and have now made the transition to being mentors themselves.

 Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, Academy President said:

“With the Academy turning 20 this year it is timely to see some of our first grant awardees become recognised as world-leading researchers through election to our prestigious brain trust of Fellows. We are thrilled to see how our work can make such positive impacts on the careers of exceptional researchers.”

Fine out more about the Academy's Clinician Scientist Fellowships visit this link

To see the full list of the Fellows elected in 2018 go here




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