Our successes

Awards and recognition

The MRC is proud to celebrate the awards and prizes given to our researchers. These, along with other forms of acknowledgement such as being appointed to the editorial board of a journal, are a valuable recognition of the quality of research undertaken by MRC scientists.

Below is a selection of MRC researchers who have been recognised in various ways. Further details are included in the awards and recognition chapter (PDF, 4.01MB) of the MRC outputs report 2013/14.

Nobel Prize Winners

Since the MRC was set up in 1913, 23 Nobel prizes have been awarded to MRC-supported scientists, shared among 32 individuals. Our prize winners have been spread across the Nobel categories of Physiology or Medicine and Chemistry. The links on the right hand side of the page give more information about each of our Nobel Prize winners.

Millennium Medal

The Millennium Medal was inaugurated in 2000. It is awarded by the MRC’s Council and celebrates MRC-funded scientists for outstanding research that has made a major contribution to our mission to improve health, quality of life and wealth creation.

The MRC recognised the achievements of Professor Sir Brian Greenwood at the Millennium Medal Award Ceremony at Somerset House, London on 9 December 2015. MRC Chief Executive, Professor Sir John Savill, hosted the event and MRC Chairman, Donald Brydon, presented the medal to Sir Brian. The event was attended by leading figures from the field of medical research, friends and family of Sir Brian and MRC Council and Strategy Board members.

Professor Sir Brian Greenwood, Manson Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has spent 50 years carrying out research in Africa. Through his simple but high-quality methods for clinical studies and field trials of drugs and vaccines he reinvented field research in tropical medicine. His work led the way in seeking holistic solutions based on cutting-edge science as well as a genuine understanding of the complex challenges unique to Africa. For 15 years Brian directed the UK MRC Laboratories in The Gambia (now known as MRC Unit The Gambia). There he established a multidisciplinary research programme focused on some of the most important infectious diseases prevalent in the region, including malaria, pneumonia, measles, meningitis, hepatitis and HIV2.


  • Professor Sir Brian Greenwood, for his work in reinventing field research in tropical medicine.
  • To mark the MRC’s Centenary in 2013, two medals were awarded — to Professor Sir Philip Cohen and Professor Sir Gregory Winter. Professor Sir Philip Cohen and Professor Sir Gregory Winter, for Sir Philip’s outstanding collaborative work with the pharmaceutical industry and Sir Greg’s development of humanised monoclonal antibodies.
  • Professor Sir Edwin Southern, for the invention of the Southern blotting technique and DNA microarray technology.
  • Sir Peter Mansfield, for his role in the development of MRI
  • Tom Meade, for his contribution to UK health, particularly in cardiovascular disease
  • César Milstein, for his pioneering work on monoclonal antibodies