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Four AcademiaNet members elected as Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society

3.6.2022 | Sandra Knapp, Susan Lea, Maria Leptin and Irene Miguel-Aliaga have all made “outstanding contributions” to their respective scientific fields or science as a whole
The Royal Society of London has awarded Fellowship or Foreign Membership to four AcademiaNet members, specifically Sandra Knapp, Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Susan Lea and Maria Leptin. Each has been chosen for their “outstanding contributions to science.”

Dr Sandra Knapp, along with Prof Susan Lea and Prof Irene Miguel-Aliaga, were elected new Fellows as part of an intake of 51. Prof Maria Leptin was given Foreign Membership, along with nine others.

Sandra Knapp
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Sandra Knapp
In a statement, the Royal Society said they elected Dr Knapp due to her “major contributions to our understanding of plant evolution and biodiversity”, praising her commitment to conservation advocacy. Dr Knapp currently holds a position as a research botanist at the Natural History Museum in London.



Irene Miguel-Aliaga
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Irene Miguel-Aliaga
Of Prof Miguel-Aliaga, they said she has “transformed” our knowledge of the gut-brain axis and communication between organs, with implications for treating e.g. diabetes and understanding why some diseases are more prevalent in women. She is based at Imperial College London and the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences.




Susan Lea
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Susan Lea
Prof Lea, who since 2021 has been Chief of the Center for Structural Biology at the National Cancer Institute in the United States, has made major contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in human disease. Her lab has a particular focus on how biological membranes are crossed.



Maria Leptin
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Maria Leptin
Finally, the Royal Society highlighted Prof Leptin’s leadership within European science as the current President of the European Research Council (ERC). Until last year when she joined the ERC, she was the Director of EMBO and led a research group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory investigating cell shapes and their role in immune signalling.


The four AcademiaNet members join a society that counts among its ranks scientific greats such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Dorothy Hodgkin.
  (© Emilie Steinmark / AcademiaNet / Spektrum.de)

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