University of Dundee

Former Head of CLS elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences

06 May 2010

Previous Head of College of Life Sciences, Principal Professor Pete Downes Elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Professor Pete Downes, erstwhile Head of the College of Life Sciences and present Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, is among 40 of the United Kingdom’s leading medical researchers who have been recognised for excellence in medical science with their election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Academy Fellows are elected for outstanding contributions to the advancement of medical science, for innovative application of scientific knowledge or for their conspicuous service to healthcare.

Professor Downes is, of course, a distinguished biochemist who has played a key role in developing life sciences at Dundee to its current status as an internationally renowned centre of excellence.

As a biochemist Professor Downes has made an important contribution over many years, including identifying the mechanism of action of the drug Lithium used to treat manic depression and the discovery of cell signalling mechanisms that are defective in many human tumours.

“I am delighted to have been honoured by the Academy of Medical Sciences and wish to take this opportunity to thank the many staff and collaborators in both industry and the academic sector with whom I have worked over the years,” said Professor Downes.

Professor Sir John Bell FRS HonFREng PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said, ‘Our new Fellows illustrate the wealth of experience and diversity of talent amongst the UK’s research community. I look forward to working with these skilled scientists to ensure their strengths across academia and industry are used to promote basic science discoveries, innovative healthcare and the rapid translation of research into patient benefits.’

The expertise of the new Fellows spans reproductive medicine, orthopaedic surgery, immunology, health economics, psychiatry, complementary and alternative medicine and mental health.

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Tuesday 22 June 2010.