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MRC scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

9 May 2017

[Picture: Professor Wendy Bickmore]

MRC scientists have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society in recognition of their contribution to science. As the UK’s independent academy for science, the Royal Society seeks to promote excellence in science through its Fellowships and Foreign memberships. Each year, the Royal Society elects up to 52 new Fellows and up to 10 new Foreign Members, recognising those scientists who have made substantial contributions to the improvement of knowledge in the sciences.

Professor Wendy Bickmore, Director, MRC Human Genetics Unit, has been recognised for her contributions to understanding how the expression of genes is controlled. Her current research focuses on how spatial genome organisation influences the regulation of genes in development and disease.

Professor Anne Ferguson-Smith, Arthur Balfour Professor of Genetics and Head of the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge, and Chair of the MRC Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board, has been elected for her contributions to uncovering epigenetically regulated processes in development and over the life course. Her research has implications for health, disease and inheritance.

Dr Andrew McKenzie, Group Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), has been recognised for his breakthroughs in understanding the innate regulatory pathways that control asthma and allergy through the characterisation of novel immune-regulatory type-2 innate lymphoid cells.

Professor Alison Noble, Technikos Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Oxford University, has been recognised for her contributions to biomedical image analysis. Her research has advanced knowledge of how to automatically extract clinically useful information from medical ultrasound scans.

Professor Anne Ridley, Professor of Cell Biology, King’s College London, has been elected for her contributions to understanding cancer progression and inflammation through her work on cell migration.

Professor David Rubinstein, Deputy Director, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (and newly appointed Programme Leader in the UK Dementia Research Institute), has been recognised for his contributions in the field of autophagy, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr Jonathan Stoye, Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute (and formerly of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research), has been elected in recognition of his work on genetic interactions between retroviruses and their hosts.

Professor John Sutherland, Group Leader, LMB, has been elected for his pioneering studies in understanding the chemical origins of life. His proposed scenario is the first unifying theory which has been experimentally proven to demonstrate that all of the necessary subcellular precursors to life can be assembled simultaneously in a prebiotic world.

Professor Hugh Watkins, Head of the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, has been recognised for his contributions to revealing the genetic basis of inherited heart diseases. His work has led to new approaches to diagnosis and therapy with substantial benefit to patients.

Dr Roger Williams, Group Leader, LMB, has been recognised for his contributions to understanding the form and flexibility of protein complexes that associate with and modify lipid membranes.

For a full list of the fellows elected in 2017, please visit: 


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