Six researchers elected to Academy of Medical Sciences | University of Oxford

Six researchers elected to Academy of Medical Sciences

Six medical researchers at Oxford University have been elected as Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professors Tipu Aziz, Rury Holman, Stephen MacMahon, Gero Miesenböck, Anant Parekh and Chris Ponting are among the 46 new Fellows announced today by the Academy.

The honour recognises outstanding contributions to the advancement of medical science, innovative application of scientific knowledge, or conspicuous service to healthcare.

Professor Sir John Tooke, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: 'These new Fellows represent the wealth of talent within the UK biomedical community. Excellent medical science and medical scientists are key to breakthroughs in preventing and treating ill health. I am delighted that the Academy can recognise these new Fellows for the work they have done in the generation of cutting edge science and its translation into health benefits for society.'

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Wednesday 27 June 2012.

Tipu Aziz is a professor of neurosurgery in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, focussing on the alleviation of movement disorders and pain. His group carries out investigations into the neural signatures of pain and movement disorders, including deep brain stimulation, brain imaging and clinical neurophysiology. Professor Aziz has a long standing interest in primate models of movement disorders and was central to establishing surgical targets to alleviate Parkinson's Disease. He has also helped establish functional neurosurgery in many centres abroad and holds professorships in Porto and Aarhus.

Professor Rury Holman is director of the University of Oxford Diabetes Trials Unit. He divides his time between clinical care of patients, teaching and his many research interests. He has designed and run many multicentre studies that focus primarily on prevention, appropriate treatment and cardiovascular risk reduction in type 2 diabetes, and is one of the most cited authors in diabetes.

Professor Stephen MacMahon is principal director for the George Institute for Global Health worldwide and executive director of the new George Centre for Healthcare Innovation at the University of Oxford. He also holds professorial appointments in medicine at the University of Oxford, where he is a James Martin Professorial Fellow, and the University of Sydney. He is an authority on the causes, prevention and treatment of common cardiovascular diseases, and has a special interest in the management of chronic and complex conditions in resource-poor settings, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Gero Miesenböck is Waynflete Professor of Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. Professor Miesenböck is the principal architect of the emerging field of 'optogenetics', which develops genetic strategies for observing and controlling the function of brain circuits with light. He uses these optical approaches to read and change the minds of fruit flies to understand how the brain controls behaviour. His current research focuses on the structure and dynamics of the brain circuits involved in sensory processing, memory and action selection.

Anant Parekh is a professor of physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. His work has shaped our understanding of the role of calcium ion channels in cell function. Calcium channels play an essential role in the body, controlling processes as diverse as the heart beat, neurotransmission, metabolism and gene expression. Professor Parekh's discoveries are highly relevant to the understanding of and treatment of allergies including asthma.

Professor Chris Ponting is deputy director of the MRC Functional Genomics Unit in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. In a research career spanning 25 years, he has made contributions across protein science, evolutionary biology, genetics and genomics. He discovered many important protein domain families; provided leadership in international genome-sequencing projects, including those for human and mouse; and his studies have helped force the extent and importance of noncoding DNA in the human genome to be reconsidered.