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Fellows Directory

Ian Kerr

Dr Ian Kerr FMedSci FRS


Elected: 1985


Ian Kerr’s research interests range from the mechanism of action of the interferons, signal transduction and protein synthesis to viral infection and double-stranded RNA. His scientific contributions include the discovery of the ‘2-5A’ system and, with others, elucidation of the JAK/STAT signal transduction pathways.

He graduated from the University of St Andrews with a BSc in biochemistry, receiving his PhD from the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in 1963. He followed this with a three-year postdoctoral position at Stanford University, after which he returned to the NIMR, remaining there until 1980. From 1980 to 2005, he continued his research at the ICRF, now Cancer Research UK.

Ian has received many honours and awards, including the Milstein Prize of the ISICR, which he shared in 1993 and 1996. He also received the 1999 William B. Coley Award of the Cancer Research Institute and the 2003 Feldberg Foundation prize for Anglo-German scientific exchange. In 1986, he was elected as a Member of EMBO, and he became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Bk virus infection, interferon action, Protein synthesis, Signal transduction