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Leading biomedical and health scientists in the East Midlands recognised with Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship

Three leading researchers from the University of Nottingham and the University of Leicester have been elected to join the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professor Ian Hall from Nottingham and Professors Melanie Davies CBE and Martin Tobin from Leicester are among 48 of the UK’s world leading researchers to receive the distinction.

Professors Hall and Tobin have collaborated successfully for many years resulting in breakthroughs in genetics of lung health and disease - including new industry partnerships in 2018. Professors Hall and Davies also work closely together as leads of their respective NIHR Biomedical Research Centres.

The new Fellows have been elected for their outstanding contributions to biomedical and health science, leading research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and the wider society.

Professor Hall, Director of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, said: “I am delighted to have been elected to the Academy, which is a real honour for me.  The Academy has played an important role in supporting academic medicine in the UK and beyond, and I look forward to contributing to its work.  It is also particularly pleasing to be elected at the same time as colleagues in Leicester with whom I have been collaborating on both specific research projects and more generally on trying to make the East Midlands a great place to undertake clinical research.”

Martin TobinProfessor of Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Leicester, said: “I am honoured to have been elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. This honour recognises the outstanding team science we undertake together in the East Midlands and the success of our collaborations throughout Europe. I look forward to contributing to the Academy’s work, including its vision for future partnerships in European Research and Innovation that address such important UK and global health challenges.”

Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and diabetes consultant at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “I am honoured to have been recognised by the Academy is this way. I’m delighted that Ian Hall and Martin Tobin , key academics in the East Midlands have also been awarded these prestigious fellowships . This is great news at a time we are wanting to raise awareness of the high quality research and scientific endeavour in our hospitals across the East Midlands and as we bring together our work under the banner of the Midlands Health Alliance which we hope to launch soon.”

This year's elected Fellows have expertise that spans sleep research, infectious and tropical diseases, diabetes medicine, parasite biology and ultrasound research and technology among many other fields. 

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said: “The Academy simply could not tackle major health and policy challenges without our dynamic and diligent brain trust of Fellows. I extend my warmest congratulations to all who are joining us this year, each of whom has earnt this prestige by advancing their own field of biomedical science.

“Later this year the Academy will celebrate 20 years of supporting the translation of biomedical and health research into benefits for society. As we celebrate this special anniversary we stand at a crossroads of both enormous health challenges and great opportunity for medical sciences. So I am delighted to see the remarkable breadth and depth of the expertise within our 48 new Fellows. We look forward to these experts joining us in addressing the health challenges we face head on and exploiting opportunities to improve health in the UK and internationally.”

Professor Philippa Saunders FMedSci, Registrar of the Academy of Medical Sciences said: "The Academy is working hard to make sure that we represent the true diversity of UK medical science in our Fellowship. We are pleased to have a retained a high proportion of women Fellows in this year’s intake, but will continue our work to increase diversity in all its forms within our Fellowship in coming years.”

16 of the new Fellows are women, representing 33% of the total elected in 2018. The total women in the pool of candidates was 28%, a 2% increase from last year.

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on 27 June 2018.


More information is available from Professor Ian Hall, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham email ian.hall@nottingham.ac.uk or Emma Rayner in the Press Office on +44 (0)115 951 5793, emma.rayner@nottingham.ac.uk



Professor Ian Hall is Director of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. He completed his clinical studies at the University of Oxford before moving to Nottingham for specialist training and research post. Subsequently he was an MRC travelling fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and National Asthma Campaign Senior Research Fellow back in Nottingham. From 2009-2015 he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Nottingham where he is Professor of Molecular Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. He holds the Boots Chair in Therapeutics and was appointed Director of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre in April 2017. Ian’s areas of expertise include molecular genetics of airway disease, pharmacogenetics, asthma, COPD, cell signalling, MR imaging in respiratory disease. His main clinical research interest is in respiratory medicine, especially asthma. He runs a research group which works on the genetics and cell biology of airway disease.

Martin Tobin is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Leicester. He was the founding Director (and is now Chair) of Leicester Precision Medicine Institute. His research has defined genetic variants associated with lung function and COPD, showing their relevance in drug repositioning and disease prediction. He established the first genetic study in UK Biobank; the resulting genetic data have since led to many novel discoveries. Among his contributions to genomics of many other common, complex diseases and traits are the development of methods and breakthroughs in blood pressure genetics. He has established and led cohorts and international consortia and promoted the public understanding of genetic science, smoking and lung disease. He leads one of the major clinical partnerships for Genomics England and contributes to panels and advisory committees in the UK for the Medical Research Council, Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE is an Honorary Consultant Diabetologist at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, UK. Her research work focuses on the cause of type 2 diabetes, its screening and prevention, and self-management, structured education and lifestyle including physical activity and sedentary behaviour and new therapies, including incretin-based therapies. Professor Davies is one of only a handful of NIHR Senior Investigator Emeritus in diabetes in the UK. She is a Director of the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Centre. She is also Principal Investigator on a number of large global studies in the field of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, including DESMOND, 4T, AT.LANTUS and ORIGIN. Professor Davies has also been an expert for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on a number of their guidelines groups. She has published over 450 original articles, including in high-impact journals such as the Lancet, BMJ and New England Journal of Medicine, and over 500 published abstracts and 10 book chapters, including as co-editor of the diabetes section in the Oxford Textbook of Endocrinology and Diabetes (2011) and has been awarded over £60M of external reviewed grant funding. Professor Davies is based in the Diabetes Research Centre which is affiliated with the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester. She is also the Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, which has over160 research staff, at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world’s top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students — Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia — part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner — locally and globally.

About the Academy of Medical Sciences:

  1. 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.


  1. This year Fellows were chosen from 410 candidates. The eight Sectional Committees met in March to consider potential Fellows for 2018 entry to the Academy. Three nominators from within the Fellowship must back each candidate. The Academy Registrar, Professor Philippa Saunders FMedSci, Director of Postgraduate Research, University of Edinburgh, oversees the election. 98 candidates were shortlisted for peer review. The election brings the number of Fellows to 1262. 

In 2013, the Academy released the report “Representation of women within the Academy’s Fellowship”, which scrutinised the nomination and election process for gender balance and equality.

May 2018