UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Three UCL scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

26 April 2019

Three UCL researchers and an honorary professor have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society in recognition of their outstanding contributions to science.


Professor Christine Orengo (UCL Structural & Molecular Biology), Professor Mark Handley (UCL Computer Science) and Professor James Rothman (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) are among 51 eminent scientists newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society in recognition of their exceptional contributions to science which have benefited humanity. UCL honorary professor, Dr James Briscoe (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology) of the Francis Crick Institute, is also among the new Fellows.

Christine Orengo, UCL Professor of Bioinformatics, is a computational biologist whose core research has been the development of robust algorithms to capture relationships between protein structures, sequences and functions. She has built one of the most comprehensive protein classifications, CATH, used worldwide by tens of thousands of biologists, and central to many pioneering structural and evolutionary studies with implications for cell division, cancer, antibiotic resistance and ageing.

Mark Handley, UCL Professor of Networked Systems, has made key contributions to the technologies that underpin today’s Internet. His research specialises in the control of network traffic, including how it is routed across the world, how network resources are shared between the Internet’s many users, and how to ensure the network is sufficiently resilient and secure to live up to the demands placed on it by society.

Professor Rothman is Professorial Research Associate at UCL and Sterling Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University. One of the world’s most distinguished biochemists, he is renowned for discovering the molecular machinery responsible for the transfer of materials among compartments within cells for which he received a Nobel Prize in 2013. His work provided a unified framework for understanding a range of important processes, from the release of insulin into the blood to communication between nerve cells in the brain and the entry of viruses to infect cells.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), said: "It is a great achievement to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and I congratulate these outstanding UCL academics. It shows the tremendous depth of research leadership here at UCL as their research is recognised for the impact it is having across a wide range of fields.”

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said: “Our Fellows are key to the Royal Society’s fundamental purpose of using science for the benefit of humanity. From Norwich to Melbourne to Ethiopia, this year’s newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society are testament that science is a global endeavour and excellent ideas transcend borders.”



From left: Professor Rothman, Professor Handley, Professor Orengo


Royal Society

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Mark Greaves

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Email: m.greaves [at] ucl.ac.uk