Six Oxford professors honoured by the Academy of Medical Sciences | University of Oxford
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Six Oxford professors honoured by the Academy of Medical Sciences

The Academy of Medical Sciences, the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science, has today announced the election of fifty new Fellows, including six academics from the University of Oxford.

The six new Oxford Fellows are:

Professor David Bennett FMedSci, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Dave Bennett studies the response of the nervous system to injury in order to develop strategies to promote nerve repair and to both prevent and treat neuropathic pain. He uses a multi-disciplinary approach ranging from the molecular understanding of ion channel function to psychophysical and genetic studies in patients. His research programme is improving understanding of the signalling events which lead to neuropathic pain, enhancing means of patient stratification, and identifying new analgesic drug targets which are undergoing clinical trials.

Professor Peter Brown FMedSci, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Peter Brown’s work concerns brain activity in people with Parkinson’s disease. Over the last two decades he has established that synchronised oscillations amongst nerve cells in the basal ganglia of the brains of patients with Parkinson’s are linked to symptoms of stiffness and slowness, and has successfully pioneered therapeutic interventions that leverage this phenomenon.

Professor Ervin Fodor FMedSci, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology

Ervin Fodor focuses on the fundamental molecular mechanisms of influenza virus replication, aiming to understand the molecular determinants of host range and virulence of influenza viruses. By gaining further insights into the molecular details of influenza virus replication he aims to facilitate the development of novel strategies to combat influenza.

Professor Peter Friend FMedSci, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences

Peter Friend works on the application of isolated perfusion of abdominal organs in a number of therapeutic areas. In particular, perfusion of the liver with oxygenated blood at normal body temperature allows recovery from damage and extended preservation for transplantation - technology which has now entered clinical practice. In addition, his clinical research portfolio includes novel immunosuppressive strategies, with both early-stage studies and larger-scale multi-centre trials.

Professor Cornelia van Duijn FMedSci, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Cornelia van Duijn focuses on large-scale studies of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Creutzfeldt–Jakob diseases and ophthalmological disorders including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and myopia. She further studies systemic vascular, endocrine and gastrointestinal pathology that is relevant for brain and ocular function. Her current research portfolio includes cross-omics research integrating (epi)genetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic and microbiome data of epidemiological cohorts with state of the art brain imaging and cellular model systems.

Professor Matthew Wood FMedSci, Department of Paediatrics

Matthew Wood’s research is in the field of RNA-based precision medicines for rare, inherited neurological diseases. A major focus is oligonucleotide therapeutics and development of peptide-based oligonucleotide compounds for modification of mRNA splicing in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and related disorders. In addition, seminal studies of extracellular vesicles have resulted in development of extracellular vesicle-based nanotechnologies for delivery of RNA medicines to the brain and other tissues. Collectively this work aims to realise the potential of genomic medicines to impact currently untreatable neurological disorders.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is working to secure a future in which UK and global health is improved by the best research. It aims to ensure that independent, high quality medical science advice informs the decisions that affect society, and more people have a say in the future of health and research.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said, ‘I am delighted to welcome these 50 new Fellows into the Academy’s Fellowship. Each one has made their own outstanding contribution to biomedical science, and together they are advancing the health of our society in the UK and internationally. Their work affects us all, from the way we keep healthy through our lifestyle, to how we are treated if we become ill, to the way we receive information about health.

‘Never has there been a more important time to recognise and celebrate the people behind ground-breaking biomedical and health research, working harder than ever to further knowledge and protect patients and the public.

‘It brings me great pleasure to congratulate the new Fellows, and see our Fellowship grow to even greater heights of evidence-based advice, leadership and expertise.’

For more information about the Academy of Medical Sciences and this year’s elected Fellows, please see the Academy of Medical Sciences website.