UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology academics elected to Academy of Medical Sciences

13 May 2022

Two ION academics have been elected Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences in recognition of their exceptional contributions to biomedical and health science and their ability to generate new knowledge and improve the health of people everywhere.

academy fellows photo

Professors Sebastian Brandner and Karen Duff are among the 60 outstanding scientists elected to the Fellowship this year.

Professor Sebastian Brandner 

Professor Brandner (Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) studies the cellular origins of brain tumours, including research that could feed into potential new treatments such as discovering biomarkers that correlate with survival of gliomas. He introduced a novel technology to diagnose brain tumours into clinical practice in the UK, which is now an essential part of molecular diagnostics in the NHS. He also researches neurodegeneration, having led two national surveillance studies of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and he led a team that discovered that amyloid beta can in rare cases be transmitted through medical procedures.

Professor Karen Duff 

Professor Duff is UK Dementia Research Institute Centre Director at UCL, and is a Professor in Dementia and Neurodegeneration who was co-awarded the prestigious 2006 Potamkin Prize. Exploring a variety of disease-associated molecular mechanisms using innovative and state-of-the-art methods, she has created several important and widely used mouse models for Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia, and now focuses on finding ways to stop the spread of the protein tau, which accumulates in tangles in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice-Provost (Health), commented: “Each of these new Fellows makes a remarkable contribution to UCL Health’s aim of improving lives. By addressing pressing challenges such as neurodegeneration, infectious disease, cancer and intensive care medicine, they have had a material impact on people’s health. I am delighted that the Academy of Medical Sciences have recognised their incredible work and offer them all my warmest congratulations.”
Professor Dame Anne Johnson, Co-Director of UCL Health of the Public and President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, praised all the new Fellows, saying: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome these 60 experts to the Fellowship to help to address the major health challenges facing society. Each of the new Fellows has made important contributions to the health of our society, with a breadth of expertise ranging from the physical and mental health of young people to parasitic diseases and computational biology.
“The diversity of biomedical and health expertise within our Fellowship is a formidable asset that in the past year has informed our work on critical issues such as tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the health impacts of climate change, addressing health inequalities, and making the case for funding science. The new Fellows of 2022 will be critical to helping us deliver our ambitious 10-year strategy that we will launch later this year.”