The Royal Society in central London

Ten outstanding Cambridge researchers have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences and the oldest science academy in continuous existence.

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering and medicine.

The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

This year, over 90 researchers, innovators and communicators from around the world have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society for their substantial contribution to the advancement of science. Nine of these are from the University of Cambridge.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society said: “I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

“This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry.

“From visualising the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges. It is an honour to have them join the Fellowship.”

The Fellows and Foreign Members join the ranks of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Dorothy Hodgkin.

The new Cambridge fellows are: 

Professor Sir John Aston Kt FRS

Aston is the Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life at the Statistical Laboratory, Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, where he develops techniques for public policy and improves the use of quantitative methods in public policy debates.

From 2017 to 2020 he was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office, providing statistical and scientific advice to ministers and officials, and was involved in the UK’s response to the Covid pandemic. He was knighted in 2021 for services to statistics and public policymaking, and is a Fellow of Churchill College.

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore FBA FMedSci FRS

Blakemore is the Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, and leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her research focuses on the development of social cognition and decision making in the human adolescent brain, and adolescent mental health. 

Blakemore has been awarded several national and international prizes for her research, and is a Fellow of the British Academy, the American Association of Psychological Science and the Academy of Medical Sciences. 

Professor Patrick Chinnery FMedSci FRS

Chinnery is Professor of Neurology and head of the University’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and a Fellow of Gonville & Caius College. He was appointed Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council last year, having previously been MRC Clinical Director since 2019.

His principal research is the role of mitochondria in human disease and developing new treatments for mitochondrial disorders. Chinnery is a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow with a lab based in the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit and jointly chairs the NIHR BioResource for Translational Research in Common and Rare Diseases. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald OBE FMedSci FRS

Fitzgerald is Professor of Cancer Prevention in the Department of Oncology and the inaugural Director of the University’s new Early Cancer Institute, which launched in 2022. She is a Fellow of Trinity College.

Her pioneering work to devise a first-in-class, non-endoscopic capsule sponge test for identifying individuals at high risk for oesophageal cancer has won numerous prizes, including the Westminster Medal, and this test is now being rolled out in the NHS and beyond by her spin-out Cyted Ltd.

Professor David Hodell FRS

Hodell is the Woodwardian Professor of Geology and Director of the Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research in the Department of Earth Sciences, and a Fellow of Clare College.

A marine geologist and paleoclimatologist, his research focuses on high-resolution paleoclimate records from marine and lake sediments, as well as mineral deposits, to better understand past climate dynamics. Hodell is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received the Milutin Milankovic Medal.

Professor Eric Lauga FRS

Lauga is Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, where his research is in fluid mechanics, biophysics and soft matter. Lauga is the author, or co-author, of over 180 publications and currently serves as Associate Editor for the journal Physical Review Fluids.

He is a recipient of three awards from the American Physical Society: the Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics, the François Frenkiel Award for Fluid Mechanics and the Early Career Award for Soft Matter Research. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of Trinity College.

Professor George Malliaras FRS

Malliaras is the Prince Philip Professor of Technology in the Department of Engineering, where he leads a group that works on the development and translation of implantable and wearable devices that interface with electrically active tissues, with applications in neurological disorders and brain cancer.

Research conducted by Malliaras has received awards from the European Academy of Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the US National Science Foundation among others. He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society and of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Lloyd Peck FRI FRSB FRS

Peck is a marine biologist at the British Antarctic Survey and a fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

He identified oxygen as a factor in polar gigantism and identified problems with protein synthesis as the cause of slow development and growth in polar marine species. He was awareded a Polar Medal in 2009, the PLYMSEF Silver medal in 2015 and an Erskine Fellowship at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch in 2016-2017. 

Professor Oscar Randal-Williams FRS

Randal-Williams is the Sadleirian Professor of Pure Mathematics in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.

He has received the Whitehead Prize from the London Mathematical Society, a Philip Leverhulme Prize, the Oberwolfach Prize, the Dannie Heineman Prize of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and was jointly awarded the Clay Research Award.

Randal-Williams is one of two managing editors of the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, and an editor of the Journal of Topology.

Professor Mihaela van der Schaar FRS

Van der Schaar is the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Medicine in the Departments of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Engineering and Medicine.

She is the founder and director of the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine, and a Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute. Her work has received numerous awards, including the Oon Prize on Preventative Medicine, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and the IEEE Darlington Award.

Van der Schaar is credited as inventor on 35 US patents, and has made over 45 contributions to international standards for which she received three ISO Awards. In 2019, a Nesta report declared her the most-cited female AI researcher in the UK.


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