Three Sanger scientists recieve prestigious fellowships for their work

Congratulations to Professor Nicholas Thomson and Dr John Marioni who have been recognised by the Academy of Medical Sciences, and Professor Jason Chin who has been elected to fellowship of the Royal Society

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Wellcome Sanger Institute Group Leader Professor Nicholas Thomson and Associate Faculty Dr John Marioni are two of 60 world-leading scientists being honoured by the Academy of Medical Sciences for their outstanding contribution to biomedical science. Nicholas and John were chosen from 366 candidates to join the 1354 existing Fellows whose innovative research is advancing understanding of health and disease to benefit society.

Professor Thomson is the Head of the Parasites and Microbes programme at the Sanger Institute and leads work to understand the genetic roots of infectious disease and its transmission. From tracking the spread of the COVID-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 virus and bacterial evolution to studying the rise of antibiotic and antimalarial resistance, the programme uses cutting-edge genomic techniques at scale to tackle global health issues. The teams’ findings are being used to inform future therapies and public health interventions.

“I am absolutely over the moon to have been elected as a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. I have many people to thank for putting me in this position, including those who have mentored me, my network of collaborators and now friends and those that are currently in or have been in my group. You have all contributed hugely to my love of science, my work and career. To you I am truly grateful.”

Professor Nicholas Thomson, Head of Parasites and Microbes programme, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Dr Marioni is an Associate Faculty member of the Institute’s Cellular Genetics programme. The programme seeks to understand the development and interactions of every cell in the human body. Its team are creating, refining and deploying large-scale high-throughput DNA analysis of hundreds of thousands of cells – from conception to adulthood, and in health and disease – to build a ‘Google Map’ of the human body that will power the next wave of personalised, effective healthcare.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome these 60 experts to the Fellowship to help to address the major health challenges facing society.

“Each of the new Fellows has made important contributions to the health of our society, with a breadth of expertise ranging from the physical and mental health of young people to parasitic diseases and computational biology.

“The diversity of biomedical and health expertise within our Fellowship is a formidable asset that in the past year has informed our work on critical issues such as tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the health impacts of climate change, addressing health inequalities, and making the case for funding science. The new Fellows of 2022 will be critical to helping us deliver our ambitious 10-year strategy that we will launch later this year.”

Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Professor Jason Chin has been elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society, the UK’s most prestigious scientific organisation, in recognition of his pioneering work in synthetic genomics. He joins more than 60 other UK-based and international scientists who are being honoured for their excellence in research and outstanding contributions in industry, policy and higher education. In his position as an Associate Faulty member at the Sanger Institute, Professor Chin is working with Professors Tom Ellis and Patrick Cai to develop new techniques in, and applications of, genome engineering to build better cellular models to study genetic diseases.

“It is an honour to welcome so many outstanding researchers from around the world into the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

“Through their careers so far, these researchers have helped further our understanding of human disease, biodiversity loss and the origins of the universe. I am also pleased to see so many new Fellows working in areas likely to have a transformative impact on our society over this century, from new materials and energy technologies to synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. I look forward to seeing what great things they will achieve in the years ahead.”

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society


More information

The Royal Society

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. The Society’s purpose is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Academy of Medical Sciences

The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Our elected Fellows are the UK’s leading medical scientists from hospitals, academia, industry and the public service. Our mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. We are working to secure a future in which:

  • UK and global health is improved by the best research.
  • The UK leads the world in biomedical and health research, and is renowned for the quality of its research outputs, talent and collaborations.
  • Independent, high quality medical science advice informs the decisions that affect society.
  • More people have a say in the future of health and research.

Our work focusses on four key objectives: promoting excellence, developing talented researchers, influencing research and policy and engaging patients, the public and professionals.