Publish date: 13 May 2022

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Top row: Professors Sam Janes and Russell Viner, bottom row: Professors Hugh Montgomery, Sebastian Brandner and Robert Heyderman.

Five UCLH consultants 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.

Professor Sebastian Brandner, Professor Robert Heyderman, Professor Sam Janes, Professor Hugh Montgomery and Professor Russell Viner are among the 60 outstanding scientists and clinicians elected to the Fellowship this year.

Prof Brandner is based at the NHNN and 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 Heyderman is based at the HTD. His work bridges clinical practice, disease prevention and the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of infectious disease. He leads a Global Health Research Unit on Mucosal Pathogens at UCL, an interdisciplinary partnership between UK and African scientists and policymakers, studying the effectiveness of new and existing vaccines to prevent meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis.

Professor Janes is a UCLH consultant in respiratory medicine. He is interested in lung cancer pathogenesis and runs several clinical trials aiming to detected lung cancer earlier, including the largest-ever UK lung cancer screening study.

Professor Montgomery OBE is a director of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health. In addition to his research improving intensive care practices, he has research interests into environmental impacts on health, as he co-chairs the international Lancet Countdown, which tracks how climate change is affecting human health.

Professor Viner CBE is a UCLH paediatrician and a researcher focusing on population health, policy and health services for children and young people. He is Vice Chair of the NHS England Transformation Board for Children and Young People, has been a member of SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) during the Covid-19 pandemic advising on children and young people, and was President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health from 2018 to 2021.

Professor Dame Anne Johnson, 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.”

UCLH chief executive David Probert said: “These clinicians improve our patients’ lives through their contributions to challenging fields such as neurodegeneration, infectious disease, cancer and intensive care medicine. I am delighted that their efforts have been recognised by the Academy of Medical Sciences. I would like to extend UCLH’s warmest congratulations for their achievements.”