Highest percentage of women elected to Academy, as top scientists recognised with Fellowship

46 world leading UK researchers have been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. This new intake to the Fellowship includes the highest female cohort to date (37%).

 The Fellows have been elected for their contribution to biomedical and health research, the generation of new knowledge in medical sciences and its translation into benefits to society.

 This year's elected Fellows have expertise that spans women’s health, immunology, public health and infectious disease among many other fields. The Academy welcomes 54% of the new Fellows from a clinical research background and 46% from basic sciences.

 Three new Fellows bring in valuable insight and expertise from an industrial background.

 Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said:

 “As we elect new Fellows each year, the Academy continues to grow as a unique and productive hub of the best minds in UK medical science. Our expanding and evolving Fellowship allows the Academy to play a vital role in tackling the major health challenges facing society today and in the future.

 The election of these 46 exceptional biomedical and health researchers is a well-deserved honour. Each newly elected Fellow has made an outstanding impact in the community, contributing to the development of better healthcare - from fundamental scientific understanding to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. I am delighted to welcome them to the Academy and greatly look forward to working with them all in the future.”

The newly elected Fellows include Professor Francesca Happé, whose research focusses on understanding the social cognitive processes on autism spectrum conditions, Professor Thomas Williams who directs a programme of human genetic research in Kilifi, Kenya, focussing on red blood cell disorders such as sickle cell anaemia, Professor Andrew Biankin, a surgeon-scientist whose work on pancreatic cancer has ensured it is one of the best genetically characterised cancers and neuroscience expert Professor Giovanna Mallucci, whose research is pioneering new treatments for dementia.

 Professor Giovanna Mallucci FMedSci, van Geest Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, said:

 “Election to the Fellowship is a great honour and distinction, internationally recognised, and I am delighted and proud to be awarded it. This is a tremendous achievement in any medical research career: a milestone in a scientific and personal journey. It is a real privilege to join this this community of distinguished, inspirational and luminary leaders in the medical sciences.”

 Professor Philippa Saunders FMedSci, Registrar of the Academy of Medical Sciences said:

 "The Academy has worked hard to ensure our Fellowship represents the true diversity of biomedical science. We are delighted this cohort of Fellows sees us welcome the highest proportion of women ever elected - a testament to the very many brilliant women at the forefront of world leading medical science. In the coming year we will maintain our focus on increasing diversity, and hope that the proportion of women Fellows elected - and the diversity of our Fellowship more broadly - continues to grow in future."

 17 of the new Fellows are women, representing 37% of the total elected in 2017. The total women in the pool of candidates was 26%.

 The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on 28 June 2017.


- ENDS -


For further information, please contact:

Naomi Clarke, Temporary Communications Officer, Academy of Medical Sciences

020 3141 3208 [email protected]  


Notes for Editors

  1. The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Our elected Fellows are the UK’s leading medical scientists from hospitals, academia, industry and the public service. Our mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. We are working to secure a future in which: 
  • UK and global health is improved by the best research.
  • The UK leads the world in biomedical and health research, and is renowned for the quality of its research outputs, talent and collaborations. 
  • Independent, high quality medical science advice informs the decisions that affect society.
  • More people have a say in the future of health and research.

Our work focusses on four key objectives, promoting excellence, developing talented researchers, influencing research and policy and engaging patients, the public and professionals.



  1. This year Fellows were chosen from 381 candidates. The seven Sectional Committees met in March to consider potential Fellows for 2017 entry to the Academy. Three nominators from within the Fellowship must back each candidate. The Academy Registrar, Professor Philippa Saunders FMedSci, Director of Postgraduate Research, University of Edinburgh, oversees the election.  109 candidates were shortlisted for peer review. The election brings the number of Fellows to 1236.

In 2013, the Academy released the report “Representation of women within the Academy’s Fellowship”, which scrutinised the nomination and election process for gender balance and equality.

  1. Full list of Fellows elected in 2017

Professor Jane Apperley, Chair, Centre for Haematology, Imperial College London

Professor Dorothy Bennett, Director, Molecular & Clinical Sciences Research Institute, St. George's, University of London

Professor Phillip Bennett, Director of the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College

Professor James Berkley, Head of Clinical Research, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford  

Dr Anne Bertolotti, Programme Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Professor Andrew Biankin, Regius Professor of Surgery, Director Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow

Professor Sheila Bird OBE FRSE, Visiting Senior Fellow, MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine and Institute of Public Health and Visiting Professor at Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Strathclyde University

Professor John Brazier, Dean and Professor of Health Economics, University of Sheffield

Professor David Burn, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Medical Sciences and Professor of Movement Disorders Neurology, Newcastle University

Dr Jason Carroll, Senior Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge

Professor Charles ffrench-Constant, Professorial Fellow, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh

Professor David Fitzpatrick, Joint Head of Disease Mechanisms, MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh

Professor Azra Ghani, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London

Professor Richard Gilbertson, Li Ka Shing Chair of Oncology, Head of Department of Oncology, Director, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, University of Cambridge

Professor Linda Greensmith, Head of Department, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, University College London

Professor Steve Halligan, Head, UCL Centre for Medical Imaging, University College London

Professor Gregory Hannon, Royal Society Wolfson Research Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology, University of Cambridge

Professor Francesca Happé, Director, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London

Professor Alison Holmes, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London

Professor Matthew Hotopf, Professor of General Hospital Psychiatry, King’s College London

Dr Roman Hovorka, Director of Research, WT-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge

Dr Matthew Hurles, Senior Group Leader, Human Genetics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Professor Tracy Hussell, Director, Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Manchester

Professor Arthur Kaser, University Chair of Gastroenterology, Honorary Consultant Physician, University of Cambridge

Professor Jonathan Knowles, Chairman of the Board, Immunocore Ltd

Professor Susan Lea, Director of the Central Oxford Structural Microscopy and Imaging Centre & Professor of Microbiology, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford

Professor Philip K. Maini FRS, Professor of Mathematical Biology, Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology, University of Oxford

Professor Giovanna Mallucci, van Geest Professor of Clinical Neurosciences, Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge; Associate Director UK Dementia Research Institute at University of Cambridge; Programme Leader and Head of Neurobiology, MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester

Professor Derek Mann, Professor of Hepatology, Dean of Research and Innovation, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University

Professor Hugh Markus, Professor of Stroke Medicine, Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge

Professor Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change, University College London

Professor Jill Pell CBE, Director of Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow

Dr Rab Prinjha, Vice President Head Epinova Epigenetics DPU, ImmunoInflammation, Research & Development, GlaxoSmithKline

Dr David Roblin, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Scientific Translation, Francis Crick Institute

Professor Jamie Rossjohn FLSW, Australian Research Council Australian Laureate Fellow, Monash University; Professor of Structural Immunology, Cardiff University

Professor Owen Sansom, Deputy Director, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Glasgow

Professor Stephen Scott CBE, Director, National Academy for Parenting Research, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, King’s College London

Professor Michael Seckl, Professor of Molecular Cancer Medicine Medical Oncology, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London

Professor Robin Shattock, Professor of Mucosal Infection & Immunity, Imperial College London

Professor Kate Storey, Head of Division, Chair of Neural Development, University of Dundee

Professor Rhian Touyz, British Heart Foundation Professor and Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine; Director, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow

Professor Brian Walker, Professor of Endocrinology, Head of the British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science, & Dean of Research for the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh

Professor Christine J. Watson, Professor of Cell and Cancer Biology, University of Cambridge

Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead, W.H. Duncan Professor of Public Health and Head, World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on Social Determinants of Health Equity, University of Liverpool

Professor Robert Wilkinson, Wellcome Senior Fellow and Professor in Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London; Senior Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute London; Honorary Professor and Director, Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa, University of Cape Town

Professor Thomas Williams, Chair in Haemoglobinopathy Research, Imperial College London




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