Three UK DRI researchers elected to prestigious Royal Society Fellowship


We are delighted to announce that Prof Sarah Tabrizi (UK DRI at UCL), Prof Bill Wisden and Prof Paul Elliott (both UK DRI at Imperial) have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society for their outstanding research.

They are among over 90 exceptional researchers elected as Fellows in recognition of their invaluable contributions to science. Drawn from across academia, industry and wider society, the new intake spans disciplines as varied as pioneering treatments for Huntington’s disease, developing the first algorithm for video streaming, generating new insights into memory formation, and studying the origins and evolution of our universe.

Huge congratulations to Sarah, Bill and Paul for this achievement which is extremely well deserved by all. I am delighted that their contributions to science are being recognised by the Royal Society with this prestigious fellowship, alongside other great leaders in the scientific field. Prof Siddharthan Chandran, UK DRI Director
Royal Society Fellows 24

Prof Bill Wisden’s research has contributed to core knowledge of how brain cells communicate, how sleep and wakefulness is regulated, and the mechanisms behind insomnia. He has made pioneering contributions to the knowledge of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors and their functions and adaptations in the brain. As a result, he is one of the world’s most highly cited neuroscience researchers, and in 2014, Prof Wisden was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Prof Wisden said: “I am absolutely thrilled and delighted with this award. I would like to wholeheartedly thank all my colleagues and collaborators whom I have worked with over the years that have made this award possible”

Prof Sarah Tabrizi has made seminal discoveries in Huntington’s research, recognised by numerous major awards and prizes, including the 2022 MRC Millennium Medal. She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014. Her research has led to the first treatment trials of nucleic acid therapies in Huntington’s, a disease for which effective treatments are desperately needed. Prof Tabrizi’s findings have provided transformational insights into the mechanistic biology of Huntington’s and helped create an entirely new field of novel therapeutic agents.

Prof Tabrizi said: “I am so very honoured by this amazing news. It recognises the selfless contributions of Huntington’s disease patients and families, as well as the incredible work of my researchers and colleagues, past and present, at the Huntington’s Disease Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), all of whom have been utterly essential to driving forward my research.”

Prof Paul Elliott is distinguished for improving public health worldwide through large-scale, in-depth epidemiological studies. His research defined the importance of sodium in raised blood pressure, which affects millions of people around the world. Prof Elliott designed, set up and leads the REACT programme of community prevalence of Covid infection among over 3 million people in England. In 2021 he was awarded the prestigious Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to scientific research in public health.

View the full list of newly elected fellows here.

Article published: 16 May 2024
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