Three scientists from the University of Southampton have been elected to join the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in recognition for their contribution to the advancement of medical science.
Professors Tim Elliott, Peter Johnson and Donna Davies have all been given the distinguished fellowship, which is selected for excellence in medical research, innovative application of scientific knowledge or their conspicuous service to healthcare.
Professor Tim Elliott is Professor of Experimental Sciences at the University. He conducts research in antigen processing and is currently involved in an investigation into the molecular detail of this process. He has discovered the function of cofactor molecules that are involved in selecting exactly which parts of a virus or a cancer cell are presented to our immune system.
Professor Elliott says: “It is a great honour to be recognised by the Academy of Medical Sciences, especially as a basic scientist. I have spent my life in pursuit of new knowledge and it is immensely satisfying to see how it has laid the foundation for new vaccines and for new cancer immunotherapies: some of which I hope to help develop before my time is done. As a Fellow of the Academy, I will certainly be championing the importance of discovery science and interdisciplinary in advancing medical science for public benefit.”
Professor Peter Johnson is Chief Clinician at Cancer Research UK and a specialist in the treatment of lymphoma, and is also at the forefront of research into precision medicine.
He says: “It is marvellous to see our cancer research being recognised in this way, and I am particularly pleased that my colleague Tim Elliott has also been elected, highlighting the exciting progress we are making in the field of cancer immunology in Southampton.”
Professor of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology Donna Davies’ research has made a major contribution to the understanding of asthma pathogenesis. Notable discoveries from her work include demonstration of defective epithelial barrier function in asthma and identification of a lesion in innate immune response of asthmatic epithelial cells that may explain why the common cold virus causes exacerbations of asthma.
Professor Davies says: “I am delighted to be given this fellowship. While it is a great honour for me individually, it reflects a substantial group effort and is a testament to the collaborative work being done in Southampton to help people who have respiratory problems.”
Professor Elliott, Johnson and Davies are three of 44 researchers from across the UK to be elected and will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Wednesday 2 July 2014.