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Buchanan Medal

Mitochondrial network in fibroblasts. Image courtesy of the Wellcome Centre

The award

The Buchanan Medal is awarded for distinguished contributions to the biomedical sciences. The award was created from a fund to the memory of the physician George Buchanan FRS (PDF), former Chief Medical Officer of the UK, and was first awarded in 1897. The medal is of silver gilt, is awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000.


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations will open in November 2021.

Past winners

Sir Doug Turnbull FMedSci FRS was awarded the Buchanan Medal 2020 for outstanding contributions to biomedicine particularly in relation to mitochondrial disease, including the development of a method to prevent their transmission.

Professor Gillian Griffiths FMedSci FRS was awarded the Buchanan Medal 2019 for establishing the fundamental cell biological mechanisms that drive cytotoxic T-cell killing, laying the foundations for informed application of cancer immunotherapy.

Sir Adrian Peter Bird CBE FRS was awarded the Buchanan Medal 2018 for his discovery that 5-methycytosine-binding MeCP2 protein silences transcription of methylated DNA and can reverse established Rett Syndrome in MeCP2 deficiency, the first demonstration that such neurodevelopmental diseases are curable. 

See full list of all past winners of the Buchanan Medal.

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