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Awards and achievements

Two CIMR Professors, David Owen and David Rubinsztein, are among seven Cambridge researchers  announced as new Fellows of the Royal Society this year.


David Owen, Professor of Structural and Molecular Biology, was elected for his pioneering studies uncovering the structural and molecular basis of protein traffic in the endocytic pathway. As a structural biologist and biochemist, his group uses an integrated combination of in vitro and in vivo techniques to study how membrane-embedded ‘cargo’ proteins are moved between a mammalian cell’s membranes in transport vesicles and tubules.

A particular focus has been on understanding the structure and function of the AP2 adaptor complex, which selects cargo for and plays a central role in controlling the internalization of proteins from the cell surface. They have also provided insights into the mechanisms underlying the selective incorporation of SNARE proteins, which allow transport vesicle and tubules to fuse with their correct target membranes.

David Rubinsztein, Professor of Molecular Neurogenetics and Deputy Director of the CIMR, was recognized for his contributions in the field of autophagy, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. His laboratory discovered that this pathway plays an important role in degrading many of the intracytoplasmic, aggregate-prone, proteins causing neurodegenerative diseases, like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and various dementias. He pioneered the strategy of autophagy upregulation as a possible therapeutic approach in various neurodegenerative diseases and identified drugs and novel pathways that may be exploited for this objective. He has made key contributions to illuminating the relevance of autophagy defects as a disease mechanism and to the basic cell biology of this important catabolic process.

"The CIMR is already home to five Fellows of the Royal Society (Gillian Griffiths, Randy Read, Margaret Robinson, David Ron, Peter St George-Hyslop) and we are delighted that David Owen and David Rubinsztein have now been elected, making a total of 7 Fellows of the Royal Society among the 24 Principal Investigators at CIMR." says Gillian Griffiths, Institute Director.

FRS celebrations

Researchers at CIMR have received numerous awards, and the most recent are listed here. Those elected to societies are shown at the bottom of the page.

2017 awards

Peter St George-Hyslop: Ryman Prize 2017 for the world’s best discovery, development, advance or achievement that enhances quality of life for older people.

Jim Huntington: Distinguished Career Award 2017 from the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis

David Rubinsztein: Fellow of the Royal Society

David Owen: Fellow of the Royal Society

2016 awards

Peter St George-Hyslop: Weston Brain Institute Outstanding Achievement Award 2016.

Paul Lehner: GSK Discovery Partnership with Academia (DPAc) initiative

Alan Warren: FEBS National Lecture Award 2016

David Rubinsztein: Biochemical Society Thudichum Medal 2017

2015 awards

Paul Lehner: GSK Discovery Fast Track Challenge 2015

2014 awards

Jim Huntington: Cambridge News Top Innovation award for XO1 Ltd 2014

Jim Huntington: Business Weekly Start-Up of the Year for XO1 Ltd 2014

Peter St George-Hyslop: Dan David Prize for the Present Time Dimension in the field of Combatting Memory Loss 2014

2013 awards

Randy Read: 7th Max Perutz Prize of the European Crystallographic Association 2013

Peter St George-Hyslop: BIAL Merit Prize 2013

Frank Waldron-Lynch: Sir Jules Thorn award for BioMedical Research 2013

Ken Smith: Distinguished Innovator Award from the Lupus Research Institute 2013


Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellows

Gillian Griffiths · Paul Lehner · David Owen · Randy Read · Margaret Robinson · David Ron

Fellows of the Royal Society

Gillian Griffiths · David Owen · Randy Read · Margaret Robinson · David Ron · David Rubinsztein · Peter St George-Hyslop

Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Gillian Griffiths · Fiona Karet · Paul Lehner · Paul Luzio · Patrick Maxwell · David Owen · Margaret Robinson · David Ron · David Rubinsztein · Peter St George-Hyslop · Alan Warren · Geoff Woods

EMBO members

Gillian Griffiths · David Owen · Margaret Robinson · David Ron · David Rubinsztein