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Meet the 11 Cambridge researchers elected to the Royal Society in May 2024

Eleven Cambridge researchers have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society

The UK’s national academy of sciences is a self-governing fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists. Joining the likes of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Lise Meitner, more than 90 people have been elected this year, including 10 from the University of Cambridge and one from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).

Three of the Cambridge scientists elected to the Royal Society in May 2024: Prof George Malliaras, left, Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald and Prof Patrick Chinnery
Three of the Cambridge scientists elected to the Royal Society in May 2024: Prof George Malliaras, left, Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald and Prof Patrick Chinnery

They are:

Prof Sir John Aston - the Harding professor of statistics in public life at the Statistical Laboratory, Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, who develops techniques for public policy and improves the use of quantitative methods in public policy debates. A Churchill fellow, he was involved in the UK’s response to the Covid pandemic.

Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore - professor of psychology and cognitive neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group, who focuses on the development of social cognition and decision making in the human adolescent brain, and adolescent mental health.

Dr Andrew Carter - a group leader in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division, focuses on

understanding the structure and mechanism of dyneins; a family of large motor proteins whose functions range from driving the beating of cilia that clear mucus from our lungs to moving and organising the contents of our cells.

Prof Patrick Chinnery - the professor of Neurology and head of the university’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences, was appointed executive chair of the Medical Research Council last year. A fellow of Gonville & Caius, his principal research is the role of mitochondria in human disease and developing new treatments for mitochondrial disorders.

Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald - a professor of cancer prevention in the Department of Oncology, inaugural director of the university’s new Early Cancer Institute and fellow of Trinity, she has devised a first-in-class, non-endoscopic capsule sponge test for identifying individuals at high risk for oesophageal cancer, now being rolled out in the NHS and beyond by her spin-out Cyted.

Prof David Hodell - the Woodwardian professor of geology and director of the Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research in the Department of Earth Sciences is a fellow of Clare College, a marine geologist and paleoclimatologist, whose research focuses on high-resolution paleoclimate records from marine and lake sediments, as well as mineral deposits, to better understand past climate dynamics.

Prof Eric Lauga - the professor of applied mathematics in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics works on fluid mechanics, biophysics and soft matter and is the author, or co-author, of more than 180 publications.

Prof George Malliaras - the Prince Philip professor of technology in the Department of Engineering leads a group that works on the development and translation of implantable and wearable devices that interface with electrically active tissues, with applications in neurological disorders and brain cancer.

Prof Lloyd Peck - a marine biologist at the British Antarctic Survey and a fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, he identified oxygen as a factor in polar gigantism and identified problems with protein synthesis as the cause of slow development and growth in polar marine species.

Prof Oscar Randal-Williams - the Sadleirian professor of pure mathematics in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics has received the Whitehead Prize from the London Mathematical Society, a Philip Leverhulme Prize and the Oberwolfach Prize among others.

Prof Mihaela van der Schaar - the John Humphrey Plummer professor of machine learning, artificial intelligence and medicine in the Departments of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Engineering and Medicine is the founder and director of the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine, and a fellow at The Alan Turing Institute, who is credited as inventor on 35 US patents.

Sir Adrian Smith, president of the Royal Society said: “I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the fellowship of the Royal Society.

“This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry.

“From visualising the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges. It is an honour to have them join the fellowship.”

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