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New Year's Honours 2017

03 Jan 2017

Congratulations to the following people closely connected with the MRC who have been recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list:

Professor Jim Smith, Director of Science, Wellcome, has been awarded a knighthood for services to medical research and science education.

Until April 2015, Jim was Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) at Mill Hill, providing leadership in UK science across a breadth of disciplines and positioning it at the international leading-edge. Jim also worked tirelessly to help develop the Francis Crick Institute from its early beginnings to its formal establishment in 2015, then taking on the role of Director of Research. Recently, Jim also served as Deputy Chief Executive and Chief of Strategy at the MRC where he helped nurture the next generation of outstanding scientists and continued his promotion of the careers of women in science.

Professor Amanda Fisher, Director, MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS), was awarded a DBE for services to medical research and the public understanding of science.

Mandy was appointed as Director of the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (now known as the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences) at Imperial College London in 2008 and has since reshaped the institute, which is now recognised as one of Europe’s leading biomedical science institutes. As well as contributing to the greater public understanding of science through her engagement work, Mandy has continued her own research; she was the first scientist to produce a fully functional, infectious clone of the HIV-1 virus. She is also a former member of the MRC’s Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board and Strategy Board.

Professor Jill Pell, Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health and Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, was awarded a CBE for services to public health research.

Jill is an internationally renowned scientist acclaimed for demonstrating the beneficial impact of smoke-free legislation on a range of health outcomes in adults and children following the smoking ban in Scotland in 2006. At the MRC, Jill has been pivotal in the strategic development of population health sciences and, as part of her role as Chair of the MRC Population Health Sciences Group, led the first review of large UK population cohort studies.  

Professor Anne Willis, Director, MRC Toxicology Unit, Leicester, was awarded an OBE for services to biomedical science and promoting the careers of women in science.

Since becoming Director of the MRC Toxicology Unit in 2010, Anne has revolutionised research at the unit and led the UK-wide Integrative Toxicology Training Programme to help revitalise national capability. Anne is also committed to advancing the careers of women in science and is a strong advocate for public engagement.        

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, Emeritus Professor, University of Leicester, was made a Companion of Honour for services to medical research and society.

During his career in research, the early part of which included support from the MRC, Sir Alec has delivered outstanding insights into human genetic variability and has translated these findings into genetic profiling technologies that have had profound impact across the criminal justice system and society as a whole. Beyond genetic profiling, Sir Alec has also studied the way DNA is affected by environmental insults such as those experienced during the Chernobyl disaster and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Professor Jim Neil, Associate Director of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, has been awarded an OBE for services to the advancement of biomedical sciences.

Jim has a distinguished record of research in the fields of cancer and virology and has served extensively as an adviser to research councils, cancer charities and government bodies. He led the establishment of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research in 2009, of which he is currently Associate Director, and jointly led the formation of the Institute of Comparative Medicine in 2002. 

Last updated: 10/01/2017

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