News

MRC announces Millennium Medal winners and Impact Prize finalists

Mrc Banner

The MRC Prize Committee have today named two winners for the 2022 MRC Millennium Medal and shortlist nine teams and individuals for the inaugural MRC Impact Prize.

British-Iranian neuroscientist and neurologist Prof Sarah Tabrizi (UK DRI at UCL) and biotechnologist Prof Lisa Hall will both receive the MRC Millennium Medal at an award ceremony in 2023.

The medal, specially created by the Royal Mint, is MRC’s most prestigious personal prize. It is usually presented each year to an outstanding researcher who has made a major contribution to MRC’s mission to improve human health through world-class medical research.

The ceremony in the spring will also see the announcement of the winners of the inaugural MRC Impact Prize. The MRC Prize Committee have today announced a shortlist of 9 outstanding teams and individuals across the three prize categories.

I am incredibly honoured to receive the MRC Millennium Medal for 2022 as a joint winner; it is a recognition of all the patients and families with Huntington's disease whom I have worked with over the last 25 years. Prof Sarah Tabrizi, Group Leader at the UK DRI at UCL

Research opens new treatments for Huntington’s disease

Prof Tabrizi has been recognised for making outstanding achievements in medical research; these include her pioneering work to advance the understanding and translation of therapies for neurodegeneration. Sarah is a true clinician-scientist with a bench-to-bedside research programme which spans understanding of cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration to first-in-human clinical trials testing novel disease-modifying therapies.

Her pioneering “gene-silencing” therapeutics have opened new avenues for the development of treatments for Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Prof Tabrizi has truly advanced our understanding of Huntington’s disease (HD) in patients at every level, an incurable genetic dementia that affects young people. Her research has laid the foundations for all current clinical trials in this disease; and has identified new drug targets in DNA repair which have opened up an entire new field of therapeutics for HD and other repeat expansion diseases.


To find out more about Prof Sarah Tabrizi's work, visit her UK DRI profile or read our new feature “I'm not going to give up”: in conversation with 2022 MRC Millennium Medal winner Prof Sarah Tabrizi

Sarah Tabrizi Web

The MRC Prize Committee also recognised Prof Tabrizi’s ‘dedication to promoting a positive, open and fair research culture and actively championing equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)’, for decades at UCL, including being chosen as a UCL academic role model in 2013, and by being an active champion and mentor of women in science.

Prof Tabrizi is Director of the UCL Huntington’s Disease (HD) Centre, Professor of Clinical Neurology and joint head of Department of Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and a Group Leader at the UK DRI.

Prof Sarah Tabrizi said:

"I am incredibly honoured to receive the MRC Millennium Medal for 2022 as a joint winner; it is a recognition of all the patients and families with Huntington's disease whom I have worked with over the last 25 years.

I am also grateful to all my PhD students, postdocs, clinical fellows, past and present, and colleagues in the UCL HD centre, without their partnership I wouldn't be where I am today, and to my colleagues at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the UK Dementia Research Institute for their immense support over the years - my success is also dependent on all of them."

Prof Bart De Strooper, Director of the UK DRI, said:

“I am thrilled that the MRC has awarded Prof Tabrizi the Millennium Medal. She is an outstanding scientist, producing world class research. Her focus and drive to find a cure for Huntington’s disease, together with her enthusiasm and leadership, is truly inspiring. We are extremely fortunate to have her as part of the UK DRI, and this achievement is richly deserved.”

Recognising outstanding science

Prof John Iredale, MRC Executive Chair said:

“These MRC prizes pay tribute to some of the extraordinary impacts that science carried out by our research community in the UK and abroad have delivered for us all.

“It is especially pleasing that the MRC has been able to recognise the world class work of the two outstanding scientists receiving our MRC Millennium Medal. The impact of their work is not only via the world-class science they have undertaken but also in their championing of open and inclusive research environments that can only make UK science and research more successful.

“The breadth of impact achieved by the finalists in our first MRC Impact Prize competition is also hugely impressive and humbling. We are proud to be recognising scientific teams and individuals making a global difference to advance medical research.”

Read the full story on the MRC website. To find out more about Prof Sarah Tabrizi's work, visit her UK DRI profile or read our new feature “I'm not going to give up”: in conversation with 2022 MRC Millennium Medal winner Prof Sarah Tabrizi


Article published: 8 December 2022
Banner image: Shutterstock/Kateryna Kon

Founding funders

Latest tweets from @UKDRI

RT @suvankarpal: Congratulations to the formidable @drarpan100 for winning the ECR platform presentation prize at the #CUREND clinical work…
03 Feb 2023 17:11

RT @DrArpan100: Absolutely super, comprehensive talk by @DrNatalieRyan @drcionucl @UKDRI on her research into familial Alzheimer's dementia…
03 Feb 2023 12:09