Newcastle University medical scientists recognised

The Newcastle University Medical School.
Image: Tubular World.The Newcastle University Medical School. Image: Tubular World.

Professors David Burn and Derek Mann are among 46 exceptional scientists elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. The eminent researchers are being recognised for their biomedical and health work.

They will be leveraging their talent to assist the Academy in achieving its mission of advancing research for the benefit of society, tackling the health challenges of today and the future.

The diverse talent of the Academy’s Fellows ensures that it can tackle complex issues, whilst their knowledge, influence and resources make them powerful assets.

Prof. Burn, currently Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences and Professor of Movement Disorders Neurology, also performs several roles outside of academia.

One of these is as Clinical Director of Parkinson’s UK. Prof. Burn, who has an international reputation for research in dementia, was chosen for his work in the field of movement disorders.

Reacting in a magnanimous fashion, Prof. Burn said:

“I am very grateful to my collaborators, other staff and trainees … who made these outputs possible”.

Joining Prof. Burn in receiving the honour is Prof. Mann, currently Professor of Hepatology and Dean of Research and Innovation, who is renowned worldwide for discovering therapies that prevent and treat liver disease. In reacting he highlighted the wider significance of this recognition, saying it was “a tremendous honour for me personally, for my research group, my Faculty and Newcastle University”.

This news will certainly be celebrated as a boost to the university’s reputation and it will compliment efforts to attract exceptional students, as well as staff.

Significantly, much of the other new Fellows are based at highly ranked universities including Oxford, Cambridge, King’s College London, Imperial College London and University College London.

Consequently, the glaring geographical imbalance in the spread of Fellows, which is orientated overwhelmingly to the south of England, will continue.

The current President of the Academy, King’s College London’s Professor Sir Robert Lechler, hailed each Fellow as having “made an outstanding impact in the community, contributing to the development of better healthcare”.

Markedly, the latest Fellowship intake includes the highest ever female cohort at 37% of the whole.

Although this will likely be greeted as a welcome development, which will hopefully inspire more women to enter and achieve in this area, it is unlikely to satisfy those concerned by a chronic lack of representation for women.

Notably, women make up only 15% of the current pool of 1094 Fellows.

Although the scientists were elected at a meeting on 20 April 2017, following a process that began in July 2016, formal admittance will take place at a ceremony on 28 June 2017.

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