Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom
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|Motto||Improving health through research|
|Formation||1 November 1998|
|Sir Robert Lechler|
|Mission||To promote medical science and its translation into benefits for society|
The Academy of Medical Sciences is an organisation established in the UK in 1998. As of December 2015[update] its president is Sir Robert Lechler. Its stated objectives are to improve health through research and promote benefits for society from medical science, attempting to influence policy, link state and commercial health and research organisations, and encourage dialogue about the medical sciences.
The Academy was established in 1998 following the recommendations of a working group chaired by Michael Atiyah, former president of the Royal Society. A single national organisation was formed to support biomedical scientists and clinical academics working together to promote advances in medical science. It is one of the five learned academies in the United Kingdom, with the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The intention of the founders was to create a national resource outside the framework of Government, with the expertise and authority to deal with scientific and societal aspects of public policy issues in healthcare.
The formation of the Academy occurred against a backdrop of increasing fragmentation and specialisation within the medical profession. The Academy merged with the Novartis Foundation in 2008, and moved to a dedicated headquarters building at 41 Portland Place in October 2010. This building provides office space for its 25 members of staff, and has rooms for events and conferences.
As of May 2015[update], the academy had 1,169 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.
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:
- Chen Zhu Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, China;
- Sydney Brenner, Distinguished Professor, Salk Institute;
- Francois Gros, Permanent Secretary of ‘Académie des Sciences’, Institut de France;
- William Castell LVO FCA, President & CEO, GE Healthcare;
- Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi Director, Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales, Institut Pasteur and Nobel Laureate;
- Sir Andrew Witty Chief Executive Officer, GSK.
Some of its members are retired and no longer research-active.
List of Presidents
- 1998–2002 Peter Lachmann (University of Cambridge)
- 2002–2006 Keith Peters (University of Cambridge)
- 2006–2011 John Irving Bell (University of Oxford)
- 2011-2015 John Tooke (University College, London)
- 2015- Sir Robert Lechler (King's College London)
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 Sir John Tooke PMedSci, Head of the University College London School of Life & Medical Sciences. (President)
- Professor Martin Humphries FMedSci, Professor of Biochemistry, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester (Vice President)
- Professor Sir Patrick Sissons FMedSci, Regius Professor of Physic, University of Cambridge (Vice President)
- Professor Moira Whyte OBE FMedSci, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Director of MRC Centre for Inflammation Research University of Edinburgh (Registrar)
- Professor Robert Souhami CBE FMedSci, Former Director of Clinical Research and Training, CRUK (Foreign Secretary)
- Professor Sue Iversen CBE FMedSci, Emeritus Professor of Psychology and PVC Special Projects, University of Oxford (Treasurer)
Policy advice Areas of policy work originate from within the Academy Council and wider Fellowship, and in response to consultations from the government, Parliament and other relevant bodies. As of 2011[update] work included reports on ageing, brain science, addiction and drugs, inter-species embryos, the use of data in medical research and the use of non human primates in research.
Education 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 activities for Academic Clinical Fellows, Clinical Training Fellows and MB PhD students.
Funding research The Academy’s funding schemes focus on areas of specific and specialist need, addressing perceived shortages within key speciality areas, and international collaboration. Schemes include Clinician Scientist Fellowships, Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers and UK/Middle East Exchange Fellowships.
Publicising medical science The Academy’s public events demonstrate recent research and provide a platform for discussion of the latest science.
Linking academia and industry The Academy has a forum that brings together biomedical scientists from academia and industry.
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