Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Academy of medical sciencesThree King's College London academics have been elected as Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

They will join a group of 58 newly elected scientists whose expertise spans a wide range of disciplines, from midwifery to cancer stem cell biology. They join an esteemed Fellowship of over 1,400 researchers who are at the heart of the Academy's work as an independent, expert body. Its mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society.

This year's cohort marks a significant milestone in the Academy's efforts to promote equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within its Fellowship election. Among the new Fellows, 41% are women, the highest percentage ever elected. Additionally, Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation is 29%, an 11% increase from the previous year.

Vice President for Research and Innovation, Prof Bashir Al-Hashimi said: "I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Professors Maddy Parsons, Ammar Al-Chalabi and Jane Sandall on their election to the Academy for their exceptional contributions to medical science and translational research."

Prof Ammar Al-Chalabi - Professor of Neurology and Complex Disease Genetics in the School of Neuroscience

Prof Al-Chalabi trained in Leicester and London, and subsequently became a neurologist, leading the Motor Nerve Clinic and motor neuron disease (MND) research team at King’s College London.

His work focuses on the causes of and treatments for motor neuron disease and he is also co-director of the UK MND Research Institute, a partnership of patients, charities, universities, hospitals and industry partners whose singular aim is to accelerate the search for a motor neuron disease cure.

Prof Al-Chalabi said: “I have always been fascinated by genetics and neuroscience, and at the crossover of those fields MND stands out as a condition which desperately needs effective treatment.

“I am very pleased to have been elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences and indebted to the support of colleagues and collaborators in the UK and internationally, reflected in this award.”

Prof Mark Richardson, Head of School of Neuroscience and joint director of KHP Neurosciences, said: "Congratulations to Prof Al-Chalabi on this highly prestigious achievement. It is a fitting testament to his accolades as a world-class researcher and a respected clinician. We are extremely fortunate to have him in our school."

Prof Maddy Parsons - Professor of Cell Biology and Director of the Nikon Imaging Centre

Initially a biochemist, Prof Parsons’ research operates at the interface between fundamental cell biology, biophysics and advanced imaging. Her discoveries have accelerated understanding of how cells sense their environment and how this leads to diseases such as cancer and inflammatory disorders in both skin and lung.

She is internationally recognised for her leadership in multidisciplinary approaches to research, working with physicists, engineers, clinicians, computational scientists and industry to co-develop new ways to image, model, understand and treat complex human disease.

Prof Parsons is also known for her leadership of the BioImagingUK community and UK EuroBioImaging node, extensive work with the Royal Microscopical Society and broader strategic roles within UKRI.

Prof Parsons said: “I am deeply honoured by this recognition from the Academy, which I extend to all the wonderful and talented collaborators I have had the privilege of working with during my career. I’m very grateful to the contributions from team members and colleagues who have been instrumental in inspiring and delivering our research.”

Prof Jane Sandall CBE - Professor of Social Science and Women’s Health in the School of Life Course and Population Sciences

A midwife by background, Jane worked in Africa initially and wished to develop a research career. After training as a social scientist, her work now focuses on health systems and service delivery, looking at the implementation of innovative care models and technologies to improve quality and safety of care.

Prof Sandall’s current research projects include looking at the implementation of duty of candour in maternity care, and a programme of work focused on mitigating inequalities.

Prof Sandall said: “I am very proud that as a midwife and applied health researcher I have been elected, and am glad to have the opportunity to contribute to the Academy of Medical Sciences.”