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New Fellows: 50 top biomedical and health scientists join the Academy

The Academy of Medical Sciences has elected 50 of the UK’s leading figures within biomedical and health sciences to their esteemed Fellowship, it has been announced today (Wednesday 8 May 2019).

The new Fellows have been selected for their outstanding contributions to advancing medical science, cutting edge research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society. Many of the new Fellows have also made a contribution to medical science through outstanding leadership, public engagement and supporting the career advancement of junior trainees.

This year's elected Fellows have expertise spanning global health, virology, women’s health, medical statistics, health policy, cancer genetics, allergy and emergency care medicine, among many other fields.

Three of the new Fellows bring important knowledge, insight and expertise from working in the commercial sector.

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

“The Academy’s Fellowship is a unique assembly of the finest minds in biomedical and health research, from across the UK and beyond. Our Fellows are at the centre of all that we do, from supporting early career researchers via our hugely popular mentorship programme to incorporating public and patient views into health research. Their collective wisdom is a national asset to guide research and policy aimed at tackling pressing health challenges.

“It brings me great pleasure to congratulate the new Fellows, each of whom has pushed the boundaries of their individual research field. I am always delighted to see the Fellowship expand, adding fresh talent to our invaluable pool of high quality guidance, advice and expertise.”

The newly elected Fellows include: Professor Sarah Cleaveland FMedSci, a veterinary surgeon whose research has shaped current international strategies for global elimination of rabies; Professor Nicholas Wareham FMedSci, Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit where he leads trailblazing work into the causes and prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes; Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga FMedSci, a neuroscientist who discovered a type of neuron which plays an essential role in the formation, coding and retrieval of memories, and Professor Mary Herbert FMedSci, who developed “three-person IVF”, a pioneering method to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial diseases. 

Professor Mary Herbert FMedSci, Professor of Reproductive Biology, Newcastle University, said:

“I am thrilled to join the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. It is an honour to be elected to this brain trust of experts, each of whom has changed the landscape of biomedical and health science for the better.

“My area of research is truly global, and in this time of uncertainty with Brexit it is more essential than ever that as a research community we are fully tapped into the network of scientists across the world. I have always admired the Academy’s focus on international and interdisciplinary work and it is a real delight to join the Fellowship and become a firm part of this.”

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

“The Academy continues to ensure that the diversity of medical science is represented in the Fellowship. This year we are particularly pleased to celebrate the highest percentage of women the Academy has ever elected in one year, taking us a step closer to our goal of gender parity.”

19 of the new Fellows are women, representing 38% of all Fellows elected in 2019, the highest percentage of women ever elected in one year. 20% of the new Fellows are non-UK nationals, coming from seven countries and four continents. We are pleased that this year’s election figures take us closer to a more equal Fellowship with regards to the number of men to women Fellows, and have an international spread. The Academy is committed to working towards diversity and equality of opportunity in everything we do.

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on 26 June 2019.

- ENDS -

For more information please contact: Naomi Clarke, Senior Communications Officer, Academy of Medical Sciences, 020 3141 3208, 07903 158979,  

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 413 candidates. The eight Sectional Committees met in March to consider potential Fellows for 2019 entry to the Academy. Three nominators from within the Fellowship must back each candidate. The Academy Registrar, Professor Philippa Saunders FRSE FMedSci, Director of Postgraduate Research, University of Edinburgh, oversees the election. 95 candidates were shortlisted for peer review. The election brings the number of Fellows to 1301.

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 2019

Professor Colin Baigent, Director, MRC Population Health Research Unit, University of Oxford

Professor Wendy Barclay, Action Medical Research Chair in Virology, Imperial College London

Professor Philip Bejon, Director, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme, and Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford

Professor Maria Belvisi, Professor of Respiratory Pharmacology, Imperial College London, and Vice President and Head of Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity, AstraZeneca

Professor Judith Breuer, Professor of Virology, University College London

Professor Chris Brightling, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, University of Leicester

Dr James Briscoe FRS, Senior Group Leader, Francis Crick Institute

Professor Robert Bristow, Director, Manchester Cancer Research Centre and Chief Academic Officer, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor of Cancer Studies, University of Manchester

Professor Robert Brownstone, Professor and Head of Neurosurgery, University College London

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice Chancellor and President, Brunel University

Professor Edward Byrne, President and Principal, King’s College London

Dr Peter Campbell, Head of Cancer, Ageing, and Somatic Mutations Programme, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Professor Sarah Cleaveland OBE FRS FRSE, Professor of Comparative Epidemiology, University of Glasgow

Professor Arri Coomarasamy, Director, Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, University of Birmingham

Professor Tim Dalgleish, Programme Lead, Cognition, Emotion & Mental Health Group, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge

Professor Sarah C Darby FRS, Professor of Medical Statistics, University of Oxford

Professor Benjamin Davis, Professor of Chemical Biology, University of Oxford

Dr Jennifer Dixon CBE, Chief Executive, The Health Foundation

Professor Timothy Eisen, Vice-president and Head of Oncology Early Clinical Development, AstraZeneca, & Professor of Medical Oncology, University of Cambridge

Professor Michael Hanna, Director, UCL Institute of Neurology; Director, UCL MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases; Professor in Clinical Neurology, University College London

Professor Harry Hemingway, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University College London

Professor Mary Herbert, Professor of Reproductive Biology, Newcastle University

Dr Caroline Hill, Senior Group Leader, Francis Crick Institute

Professor Dame Susan Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for England, NHS England

Professor Judy Hirst FRS, Professor of Biological Chemistry, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge

Professor Gideon Lack, Professor of Paediatric Allergy, King’s College London

Professor Matthew Lambon Ralph, Director, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge

Professor Jonathan Ledermann, Clinical Director, UCL Cancer Institute & Director, CRUK-UCL Clinical Trials Centre, University College London

Professor Richard Lilford CBE, Pro-Dean (Research), University of Warwick

Professor Clare Lloyd, Professor of Respiratory Immunology, Wellcome Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Sciences, Imperial College London

Dr Ruth March, Senior Vice President of Precision Medicine, AstraZeneca

Professor Christopher Mason, Chief Scientific Officer, AvroBio Inc. and Professor of Cell and Gene Therapy, University College London

Professor Helen McShane, Professor of Vaccinology and Deputy Departmental Head, University of Oxford

Professor Andreas Melzer, Professor of Medical Technology and Foundation Director, University of Dundee

Professor Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Professor of Genetics and Physiology, Imperial College London

Professor Ashley Moffett, Professor of Reproductive Immunology, University of Cambridge

Professor Michael Murphy, Professor of Mitochondrial Redox Biology, MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge

Professor Gavin Perkins, Professor in Critical Care Medicine, University of Warwick

Professor Richard Price , Professor of Global Health and Senior Principal Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research, and Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford

Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Director of the Centre for Systems Neuroscience, University of Leicester

Professor John Radford, Professor of Medical Oncology, University of Manchester

Professor Anne Marie Rafferty CBE, Professor of Nursing Policy, King’s College London

Dr Felix Randow, Group Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge

Professor Daniel Rueckert FREng, Professor of Visual Information Processing, Imperial College London

Professor Alison Simmons, Professor of Gastroenterology, MRC Human Immunology Unit, University of Oxford

Professor Lord Alexander Trees, Emeritus Professor, University of Liverpool and Working Peer, House of Lords

Professor Andrew Tutt, Director of the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre & Head of the Division of Breast Cancer Research, Institute of Cancer Research

Professor Ann (Sarah) Walker, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Oxford and University College London

Professor Nicholas Wareham, Director, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge

Professor Graham Williams, Professor of Endocrinology, Imperial College London

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