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Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture

Virus particle (green) being pushed by a red actin tail away from the surface of an infected cell. Credit Professor Smith.

Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture winner 2020

Professor Geoffrey Smith FMedSci FRSProfessor Geoffrey Smith FMedSci FRS

The Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture 2020 is awarded to Professor Geoffrey Smith FMedSci FRS for his studies of poxviruses which has had major impact in wider areas, notably vaccine development, biotechnology, host-pathogen interactions and innate immunity.

Professor Smith will be awarded a medal and a gift of £2,000 at the associated prize lecture in 2020.

The award

The Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture. It was originally established to recognise excellence in the field of microbiology but now also includes excellence in bacteriology, virology, mycology and parasitology, and microscopy. The lectureship was named after the Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek FRS, often referred to as the ‘Father of Microbiology’, and is supported by a bequest from George Gabb. Originally it was held annually, and from 2006 to 2018 it was awarded triennially, but it is now awarded biennially. The lecture was first given in 1950. The medal is of bronze, is awarded biennially and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000.


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations opens in November 2020. 

Sign up to be notified when nominations open.

Past winners

Professor Sarah Cleaveland OBE FRS was awarded the Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture in 2018 for her pioneering work towards the eradication of rabies throughout the world.

Professor Jeffrey Errington FMedSci FRS was awarded the Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture in 2015 for his seminal discoveries in relation to the cell cycle and cell morphogenesis in bacteria which helped to found the field of bacterial cell biology.

Dr Brad Amos FRS was awarded the Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture in 2012 for his exceptional impact on the field of cell biology through his co-development of the laser scanning confocal microscope.

See full list of all past winners of the Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture.


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