Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom

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Academy of Medical Sciences
Motto Improving health through research
Founded 1 November 1998 (1998-11-01)
Mission To promote medical science and its translation into benefits for society

The Academy of Medical Sciences was established in 1998 on the recommendation of a group chaired by Michael Atiyah.[1] Its president is Professor Sir John Tooke.[2] Its objective is to improve health through research and promote medical science into benefits for society.

The Academy's 2012-16 strategy is

  • Promoting excellence;
  • Influencing policy to improve health and wealth;
  • Nurturing the next generation of medical researchers;
  • Linking academia, industry and the NHS;
  • Seizing international opportunities;
  • Encouraging dialogue about the medical sciences.


In April 2014, the membership was 1,090 Fellows drawn from fundamental biological sciences, clinical academic medicine, public and population health, health technology implementation, veterinary science, dentistry, medical and nursing care and other professions allied to medical science as well as the basic fundamental mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, ethics, social science and the law.

Fellows are elected to the academy for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of medical science, for their application of existing scientific knowledge to innovative health interventions, or for their conspicuous service to medical science and healthcare. Up to 44 new Fellows are elected to the Academy each year.[3]

Honorary Fellowship is offered to those of the highest distinction in the field of medical science, who would not necessarily be expected to participate in the affairs of the academy, but whose Fellowship brings distinction to the organisation.

Honorary Fellows include:

Some of its members are retired and no longer research-active.


The Academy was established in 1998 following the recommendations of a working group chaired by Michael Atiyah, Past President of the Royal Society.[4] The establishment of the Academy of Medical Sciences brought together biomedical scientists and clinical academics within a single national organisation with the express purpose of promoting the translation of advances in medical science into benefits for patients and the population at large. The Academy of Medical Sciences is one of the five learned academies in the United Kingdom, alongside the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Academy and, in Scotland, the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The formation of the Academy reversed a UK trend of increasing fragmentation and specialisation within the medical profession and the propensity of the professions to focus on education, training and research within the confines of their individual profession.[5] The Academy established an integrated, national resource, outside the framework of Government, with the expertise and authority to deal with public policy issues in healthcare in their wide scientific and societal context.

In November 2008 the Academy celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special dinner held at the Wellcome Trust.

Following a merger with the Novartis Foundation in 2008, the Academy moved to its first dedicated headquarters building at 41 Portland Place in October 2010.[6]

The Academy's headquarters provides office space for its 25 members of staff and several modern and period rooms that are available for public hire for events and conferences.[7]

List of Presidents[edit]


The Academy is governed by a Council of 24 Fellows including six Honorary Officers whose role is to provide strategic advice to the Academy. The Academy's Honorary Officers are:

  • Professor Martin Humphries FMedSci, Professor of Biochemistry, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester (Vice President)
  • Professor Moira Whyte FMedSci, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of Department of Infection and Immunity, University of Sheffield (Registrar)
  • Professor Robert Souhami CBE FMedSci, Former Director of Clinical Research and Training, CRUK (Foreign Secretary)


Policy advice The Academy’s policy work addresses issues of medical science and healthcare in their wide scientific and societal context. Areas of policy work originate from within the Academy Council and wider Fellowship, as well as in response to consultations from HM Government, Parliament and other relevant bodies. Recent work includes reports on ageing, brain science, addiction and drugs, inter-species embryos,[8] the use of data in medical research and the use of non human primates in research.

Developing the leaders of tomorrow The Academy's National Mentoring and Outreach Scheme was established in 2002 and is supported by the UK Department of Health, the National Institute for Health Research and NHS Education for Scotland. The programme provides one-to-one mentoring by Academy Fellows for Clinical Lecturers and Clinician Scientist Fellows. It also offers a range of outreach activities for Academic Clinical Fellows, Clinical Training Fellows and MB PhD students.

Funding first class research The Academy’s funding schemes focus on areas of specific and specialist need. It targets efforts to address shortages within key specialty areas, international collaboration and career development. Schemes include Clinician Scientist Fellowships, Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers and UK/Middle East Exchange Fellowships.

Celebrating medical science The Academy’s public events programme has provided opportunities to highlight major scientific and public health issues. Events focus on cutting edge research and provide a platform for discussion of the latest science.[9]

Linking academia and industry The Academy has a FORUM with industry that brings together biomedical scientists from academia and industry to provide a place for debate on key issues at the industry-academe interface.[10]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "The Formation of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "President of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Formation of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Academy of Medical Sciences: promoting advances in health science and biomedical research". Clinical Medicine, RCP. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Merger with the Novartis Foundation". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "41 Portland Place". 41 Portland Place. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Regulations proposed for animal–human chimaeras". Nature. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Music and Medicine". Harbour and Jones. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "2014 FORUM Lecture on Youtube". Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 

External links[edit]