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Biochemistry recognized in New Year’s Honours list

The Biochemical Society is delighted to see that the field of molecular bioscience is so well represented in New Year’s Honours list this year.

Professor Shankar Balasubramanian and Professor Ottoline Leyser, both authors of papers published in Portland Press journals, have been recognized for their contributions to science.

Professor Balasubramanian, Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Cambridge has been awarded with Knighthood, for his services to Science and Medicine and Professor Leyser CBE FRS, DBE, Director of The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, has been made a Dame for her services to Plant Science, Science in Society and Equality and Diversity in Science.

Other notable inclusions from the world of science include Sir Alec Jeffreys, Emeritus Professor, University of Leicester, who discovered genetic fingerprinting. He has been appointed as a Companion of Honour for services to Medical Research and Society.

Dr James Smith FRS, previously Director of Research at the Francis Crick Institute and currently Director of Science at the Wellcome Trust, has been knighted in the Queen's New Year Honours for services to medical research and science education. He has been recognized for his research breakthroughs; his role in creating the Crick and his leadership in UK science across a breadth of disciplines, including his role in nurturing the next generation of scientists and in promoting the careers of women in science.

Moreover, as the Biochemical Society is committed to fostering diversity and equal opportunity for entry and progression in our discipline. We welcome the number of honours given for the promotion of diversity and inclusion. It was great to see that the importance of women in science was recognized through three awards given to:

  • Professor Anne Willis, OBE – Director of MRC Toxicology Unit, Leicester, for services to Biomedical Science and Promoting the Careers of Women in Science;
  • Anne-Marie Imafidon, MBE – Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stemettes, for services to Young Women within STEM Sectors;
  • Dr Janice Peters, MBE – Founder and Director of Katalytik, for services to Women in Engineering and Science

The full New Year Honours lists for 2017 can be found here.



Notes to editors

About the Biochemical Society


The Biochemical Society promotes the future of molecular biosciences; facilitating the sharing of expertise, supporting the advancement of biochemistry and molecular biology, and raising awareness of their importance in addressing societal grand challenges.

We achieve our mission by:

• Supporting the next generation of biochemists; promoting the opportunities offered by biochemistry and molecular biology through education and training from age 15 upwards

• Bringing together molecular bioscientists; fostering connections and providing a platform for collaboration and networking across our membership and the wider community to ensure a strong future for molecular biosciences in both academia and industry

• Promoting and sharing knowledge; enabling the circulation of scientific information through meetings, publications and public engagement to support innovation, inform decision-making and advance biochemistry and molecular biology

• Promoting the importance of our discipline; highlighting the role of molecular biosciences in interdisciplinary and translational research, while supporting the fundamental research that underpins applied studies