Awards and Prizes
Innovation Award for Cancer Researchers
A University of Cambridge research team has won a Tomorrow's World award for their development of a revolutionary new screening test for cancer. Professor Ron Laskey, leading the research, is based at the Wellcome Trust/CRC Institute and the Department of Zoology. His team scooped the Health Innovation category of the awards, which were the first ever run by Tomorrow's World. Together with colleagues Dr Gareth Williams and Dr Nick Coleman, from the Department of Pathology, Professor Laskey has developed a prototype screening test, called the Campaign Test, to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous changes in the bowel, lung, breast, bladder, mouth and cervix. The new test represents a major step forward in analysing samples taken from patients.
Dr Williams said: "The Campaign test has the potential to save thousands of lives. Our challenge now is to develop it further so that we can realise that potential."
Dr David Secher, Director of Research Services, added, "This is a very exciting advance and we are working with the sponsors of the research to ensure that it leads to benefits for patients as early as possible."
Dr Peter Jackson, University Physician at the Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, has been awarded a prize by the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
The R.W. Hall of Barry, Glamorgan Prize is awarded every two years for the advancement of clinical work. It was given by the late Mr Hall, a practising veterinary surgeon, who expressed the wish that the prize should be given to someone who has made "an outstanding contribution in the field of clinical observation and practice among farm animals."
Dr Jackson has been a veterinary surgeon for 40 years and was a practising vet in Cambridgeshire for 16 years before joining academia. He held the post of University Physician since 1980 and took early retirement last summer. He currently works part time at the Vet School.
Sir Alan Battersby, Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry, has been nominated joint recipient of the annual Welch Award, presented by the Welch Foundation, based in Houston, USA. The award, worth $300,000, is made in recognition of lifetime achievements in biosynthesis and bio-organic chemistry. This year it was split between Sir Alan and Ian Scott, Davidson Professor of Science and Director of the Centre for Biological NMR, at Texas A&M University.
The two chemists have decoded the blueprints for the manufacture of many of nature's more beneficial products, including vitamin B12, one of its most complex structures.
Norman Hackerman, chairman of the Welch Scientific Advisory Board, said: "Working separately, these two chemists have significantly increased our understanding of how nature makes products essential to human life."
Professor Battersby accepted the Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge in 1969. He retired in 1992 and is currently writing detailed reports of his findings. He has had numerous honours, and holds honorary degrees from six universities. In 1992 he also received a Knighthood for his contributions to science.
Four University academics have won awards from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr John Emsley, current Science Writer in Residence at the Department of Chemistry, has won the prize for Tertiary Education. Dr Emsley has written more than 100 research papers on phorphorous chemistry and hydrogen bonding and he is now best known for promoting and popularising chemistry.
Alan Fersht, Professor of Organic Chemistry, won the Natural Product Chemistry Award. Professor Fersht is distinguished for his seminal studies of the structure, function and folding of proteins, together with their redesign and de novo synthesis.
The Longstaff Medal was awarded to Professor Ray Freeman, who retired as John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Magnetic Resonance in September last year. Professor Freeman was distinguished for his "dominant international role in NMR developments over four decades".
Finally, the Harrison Memorial Prize, normally given for research in physical or theoretical chemistry, was presented to Andrew Wheatley. Dr Wheatley was recognised for his contributions to the organometallic and co-ordination chemistry of main group metals.