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13 May, 2020 - 21:42 By Tony Quested

Hospital consultants elevated to coveted medical academy

Two consultants at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are among six affiliates of the University of Cambridge elected to a prestigious academic body. All six are world leaders in their field.

The Trust’s Dr Helen Firth and Professor Menna Clatworthy are among 50 of the UK’s most prominent biomedical and health scientists to be elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship.

Dr Firth specialises in the application of new genomic technologies to improve the diagnosis of severe developmental disorders. 

She is clinical lead for the UK-wide Deciphering Developmental Disorders project and global DECIPHER platform for data-sharing in rare disease (decipher.sanger.ac.uk ) and co-author of Oxford Desk Reference Clinical Genetics & Genomics and Oxford Handbook of Genetics.

Professor Clatworthy, who holds an honorary position at CUH, is Professor of Translational Immunology and a Fellow and Director of Clinical Studies at Pembroke College. 

She divides her time between research, teaching and clinical practice in transplantation and nephrology. Her research interests include humoral and tissue immunity and the use of novel immuno-suppressants 

The new Fellows have been chosen for their exceptional contributions to advancing biomedical science via world-leading research discoveries, running national science communication and engagement programmes and translating scientific advances into benefits for patients and the public. 

The value of medical science has never been more apparent than during the current coronavirus global health crisis. From testing and vaccine development, to public health and behavioural science, to addressing the impacts of lockdown measures on mental health, biomedical and health scientists are helping to guide the UK through unprecedented challenges. 

Several new Fellows have redirected their research efforts to tackle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as Professor Ludovic Vallier, a stem cell expert from the University of Cambridge, who has refocused part of his team to study the effects of coronavirus on the liver. 

Professor Tamsin Ford, a Professor of Psychiatry at Cambridge, has channelled her expertise into looking at mental health impacts of the pandemic on children and young people.

Professor Ziad Mallat, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Cambridge and Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld, Senior Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge complete the prestigious pantheon.

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