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Prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Awards announced

20 August 2010

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, has announced the appointment of 12 new Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holders. The scientists started taking up their awards at institutions across the UK at the beginning of August.

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme aims to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract to this country or to retain respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

The newly appointed award holders are working on a wide variety of projects including the dynamics of virus transfer from African bat populations to humans; research to diagnose, prevent and treat preterm births in humans; and the development of novel mirrors that will enable us to access information from far out in our Universe obtainable in no other way.

The full list of appointments is as follows:

Professor Stephan Beck, University College London

“Development of an integrated (epi)genomic approach to common disease”

Professor Tim Coulson, Imperial College London

“The Joint Dynamics of Populations, Life history and Heritable Characters”

Dr Andrew Cunningham, Institute of Zoology

“Infection and spillover dynamics of zoonotic viruses in African bats”

Professor David Hume, University of Edinburgh

“The biology of the mononuclear phagocyte system”

Professor Margaret MacLean, University of Glasgow

“Effect of oestrogen on the serotonin system: role in the development of PAH”

Professor David Manolopoulos, University of Oxford

“Quantum mechanical hydrogen atoms in condensed phase environments”

Professor Mervyn Miles, University of Bristol

“High-speed non-contact force microscopy for biomolecular systems”

Professor Steven Nolan, University of St Andrews

“Gold complexes in catalysis and medicine”

Professor Sheila Rowan, University of Glasgow
“Towards a new view of the Universe”

 Professor Richard Thomas, Imperial College London
“Applications of mirror symmetry and derived categories in topology”

 Professor Vincent Walsh, University College London
“Exploring Behavioural Plasticity in Learning, Ageing and Sleep”

Professor John Wood FRS, University College London

“Voltage-gated sodium channels and pain pathways”

The Wolfson Foundation is a grant-making charity established in 1955. Funding is given to support excellence. More information is available from

For further information on any of the projects listed above or to arrange interviews with the scientists appointed please contact the Royal Society press office.

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