Seven Oxford scientists are amongst 48 of the UK's world-leading researchers elected to join the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences this year.
The new Fellows have been elected for their outstanding contributions to biomedical and health science, leading research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and the wider society.
The new Fellows are:
Professor Susan Jebb OBE, Professor of Diet and Population Health, University of Oxford. Professor Jebb is a nutrition scientist whose work focuses on how what we eat affects the risk of gaining weight or becoming obese, and the interventions that might be effective to help people lose weight or reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases.
Commenting on the Fellowship, Professor Jebb said: ‘I feel very honoured and absolutely delighted to have been elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. It is a huge privilege to join this group of people who individually have made such important scientific advances.
‘As a combined force the Fellows shape the way scientific research is conducted in the UK and develop ways to tackle the big health challenges now and in the future. I am really looking forward to contributing to this important work, especially activities linked to improving the health of the public which is the focus of my own research.’
Professor Eleanor Barnes, Professor of Hepatology and Experimental Medicine, University of Oxford.
Professor David Beeson, Professor in Molecular Neuroscience, University of Oxford. Professor Beeson has made an exceptional contribution to the study of neuromuscular disorders where the communication between nerve cells and muscle is impaired. His most recent research has focused on translating molecular knowledge of neuromuscular synapse biology into treatment for inherited (congenital) myasthenic syndromes (CMS). Recent work with patients has led to prospective clinical studies showing the dramatic beneficial effects of β2-adrenergic receptor in treating many forms of CMS.
Professor Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford. Professor MacLaren pioneers new treatments for blindness, particularly in patients with incurable retinal diseases, using stem cell-based approaches, gene therapy or electronic retinas. His laboratory is also developing new techniques for cataract and retinal surgery. Together with the University of Oxford in 2014 he co-founded Nightstar, a biotechnology company based at the Wellcome Trust in London, to develop gene therapy treatments for patients with retinal diseases.
Professor Jordan Raff, César Milstein Professor of Cancer Cell Biology, University of Oxford. Professor Raff is a cell biologist who studies the fundamental question of how cells are organised and how they divide, primarily using the tiny fruitful Drosophila as a model system.
'It is a great honour for our work to be recognised by the Academy in this way,' said Professor Raff. 'I have been amazed at how many friends and colleagues have been in touch about it, and I’m trying to enjoy the warm-fuzzy feeling for as long as possible.'
Professor Guy Thwaites, Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Oxford and Director, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Research Program in Vietnam.
Professor Mark Woodward, Professor of Epidemiology and Statistics, University of Oxford. Professor Woodward is a world expert in meta-analysis and in cardiovascular disease risk scoring, and has been consistently named one of the world’s most highly cited researchers in the fields of the sciences and social sciences. He leads a programme of research into sex differences in the effects of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and has demonstrated that diabetes and smoking confer greater additional risk of heart disease and stroke in women than in men.
Commenting on the Fellowship, Professor Woodward said: ‘I am delighted to have been elected to join this influential group, and am very much looking forward to supporting the Academy to address the biggest health challenges we face today, both in the UK and globally.
‘In particular, I am hoping we can help to ensure that in future all aspects of scientific research are conducted in a gender equitable manner, and take into account differences in the way women and men experience and are treated for medical conditions, leading to better health outcomes for all.’