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The Academy of Medical Sciences has elected eight University of Oxford biomedical and health scientists to its fellowship.

Oxford skyline including the Radcliffe Camera

The new Fellows have been elected to the Academy in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the advancement of biomedical and health science, cutting edge research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society.

The new Fellows are:

Zhanfeng Cui FMedSci, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Oxford since the Chair was established in 2000. He is the Founding Director of the Oxford Centre for Tissue Engineering and Bioprocessing, and Founding Director of the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR).

Colin Espie FMedSci, Professor of Sleep Medicine at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences. Professor Espie is the Founding Director/ Clinical Director Experimental & Clinical Sleep Medicine Programme, Sleep & Circadian Neurosciences Institute, University of Oxford, and the Founding Director/ Clinical Director of The Oxford Online Programme in Sleep Medicine.

Sarah Harper FMedSci, Clore Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford, a Fellow at University College, and Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. Professor Harper currently directs the Oxford Programme on Fertility, Education and Environment (OxFEE) and is Co-PI on the DAI@Oxford Programme.

Julia Hippisley-Cox FMedSci, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. She pioneered the development, validation and implementation of open source clinical risk prediction tools, to identify people at high risk of major health conditions for intervention, which has had a major impact on improving patient outcomes.

Professor Hippisley-Cox said: 'I am thrilled to be elected as a Fellow which reflects not only my work but that of many colleagues across various sectors with whom I am working. It’s a huge privilege to have developed tools such as QRISK which is widely used every day across the NHS to quantify risk of heart disease and stroke, helping prioritise interventions to reduce their risk.'

Cecilia Lindgren FMedSci, Professor of Genomic Endocrinology and Metabolism and Director of the Big Data Institute, at Oxford Population Health and the Nuffield Department of Medicine.Her research seeks to advance understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in various facets of obesity, one of the biggest and fastest growing healthcare challenges worldwide.

Professor Lindgren said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to be elected a Fellow. It is an important recognition of not just my work but that of the many others with whom I have had the privilege of working alongside. This award further demonstrates the important roles the large scale biomedical data and cutting edge data science have to play in advancing human health.’

Irene Roberts FMedSci, Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Haematology at Oxford’s Department of Paediatrics, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. Professor Roberts has a particular interest in developmental haematology and haematological problems of the newborn and early childhood.  She has made major contributions to the pathogenesis of a range of haematological disorders in early life, including the mechanisms by which trisomy 21 perturbs blood stem and progenitor cell function and how this confers susceptibility to leukaemia in children with Down Syndrome.

Professor Yang Shi FMedSci, a Member of the Oxford Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the Nuffield Department of Medicine. Professor Shi has made landmark contributions to epigenetics, which explores the chemical modifications made to DNA and its histone protein packaging in the cell’s nucleus. These modifications help regulate the expression of the genome and are broadly disordered in cancer. Most notably, Professor Shi’s discovery in 2004 of an enzyme, LSD1, that erases methyl marks from histones upended a 40-year-old dogma that considered histone methylation irreversible, challenging longstanding models of genomic regulation.

‘I am thrilled that our research on cancer epigenetics has proved to be of promise to cancer medicine," Professor Shi said. "I am also honoured to find myself in the company of such distinguished scientists as those I join in the Fellowship of the Academy.’

Paresh Vyas FMedSci, Professor of Haematology, MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Radcliffe Department of Medicine.

Professor Vyas said: 'I am delighted and honoured to be elected a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences that does so much good work for medicine and science. I have had the privilege of working with immensely talented and wonderful colleagues in the WIMM, in Oxford and elsewhere; and this recognition would not have been possible without them. I also want to acknowledge the vibrant and rewarding environment of the WIMM and Oxford, which makes all of this possible.'

Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said: ‘These new Fellows are pioneering biomedical research and driving life-saving improvements in healthcare, from understanding the spread of infectious diseases to developing mental health interventions. It’s a pleasure to recognise and celebrate their exceptional talent by welcoming them to the Fellowship.’