Each year the oldest known scientific academy in existence, The Royal Society, chooses new Fellows and Foreign Members for ‘substantial contributions to the improvement of natural knowledge’. This year, three AcademiaNet members were granted Fellowship: Prof. Xin Lu of the University of Oxford, Prof. Catherine Price of University College London and Dr. Sarah Teichmann from the University of Cambridge. Additionally, AcademiaNet member Prof. Regine Kahmann of the Max Planck Society was made a Foreign Member. They join the ranks of science greats such as Charles Darwin, Dorothy Hodgkin and Albert Einstein.
Biologist Prof. Lu was chosen for her outstanding work on understanding the cellular pathways that determine cell fate, especially in cancer. Specifically she has made great contributions to the knowledge of protein p53, which prevents cancer and is often referred to as the “guardian of the genome”.
In cognitive neuroscience, Prof. Price has excelled both in the area of neuroimaging and the neuroscience of language and speech. The aim of her current research is to develop a model that explains the neural foundations for language, in order to explain and predict linguistic difficulties associated with brain damage.
Dr. Teichmann, a geneticist, works at the interface between computational and experimental molecular biology. One of her key contributions was the discovery that proteins follow distinct pathways when they assemble that may be predicted. She also co-founded the Human Cell Atlas consortium, which seeks to map all human cells in order to define the cellular bases for disease.
Phytopathologist Prof. Kahmann, who was elected as a Foreign Member due being based outside the UK Commonwealth, studies fungi that cause disease in crop plants like maize. Her work focuses specifically on the molecular role of proteins secreted by the fungi in order to infect their host. Her discoveries have led to promising targets for new agrochemicals in the fight against fungal plant diseases.
Fellows and Foreign Members are chosen based on extensive peer review of the nominees’ work. The four AcademiaNet members were chosen along with Nobel Laureates Ada Yonath, Donna Strickland and Frances Arnold, among others.(© AcademiaNet)