University of Dundee

RSE Honour for four Dundee professors

17 Mar 2009

Four scientists from the University of Dundee are among the latest new Fellows to be elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The new Fellows to be elected from the University are:

* Professor Irene Leigh, Vice Principal and Head of the College of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
* Professor Tom Owen-Hughes, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Chromatin Structure and Function.
* Professor Tracy Palmer, Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Medical Research Council Senior Non-Clinical Research Fellow; Deputy Head, Division of Molecular and Environmental Microbiology.
* Professor Tomoyuki Tanaka, Cancer Research UK Senior Fellow and Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology.

Professors Owen-Hughes, Palmer and Tanaka are all based within the College of Life Sciences at the University.

Each new Fellow of the RSE is recognised within his or her peer group as having achieved excellence within their discipline or profession.

'This is a great honour for all of those elected and adds to a distinguished list of RSE Fellows from Dundee,' said Sir Alan Langlands, Principal of the University. 'For all of them the honour is thoroughly deserved and a further sign of Dundee’s reputation for excellence in science and research.'

The four from Dundee join the RSE’s almost 1500-strong Fellowship of experts in the Sciences, Arts, Humanities, the Professions, Industry and Commerce. The new Fellows were elected after a rigorous four-stage selection process culminating in a ballot of the entire Fellowship.

Once admitted to the RSE Fellows are encouraged to contribute to the aims and objectives of the Society, including the provision of expert policy advice to Government and Parliament, outreach education programmes for young people, and public engagement events including conferences and discussion forums. The central aim of the Society is the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.

In welcoming the new Fellows, the RSE President, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, said, 'I know that the new intake of Fellows will enhance the already considerable knowledge base of the RSE Fellowship. We will continue to put this expertise at the service of education and policy development in Scotland, the UK, and where appropriate internationally.'


The RSE was founded in 1783 by Royal Charter for the 'Advancement of Learning and Useful Knowledge'. It is Scotland’s National Academy of Science and Letters. Today it has around 1500 Fellows whose expertise encompasses the full spectrum of the sciences, medicine, engineering and technology, education, law, the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, industry, the professions and public service. This multi-disciplinary perspective makes the RSE unique amongst the United Kingdom’s learned societies. It is funded by a range of carefully selected charitable, public and private bodies. Its mission today is providing public benefit through the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.

For media enquiries contact:
Roddy Isles
Head, Press Office
University of Dundee
Nethergate Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384910