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Professor Peter Cullen elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences

13 May 2020

Peter Cullen, Professor of Biochemistry and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, has been elected to a Fellowship by the Academy of Medical Sciences.

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.

Professor Cullen is internationally recognised for his identification and characterisation of the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate protein and lipid transport through the endosomal network, a complex intracellular maze found in all human cells.

His world-leading research has laid the foundations for understanding how altered function of the network contributes to an array of human diseases, ranging from cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders, most notably Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, through to metabolic disorders such a type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and subversion of the network by a wide range of viruses and bacteria.

Professor Cullen said: "This accolade really reflects the talent, endeavour and friendship of the current and past members of my laboratory and the amazingly stimulating and supportive research environment within the School of Biochemistry and the Faculty of Life Sciences. I must also express my extreme gratitude to the Medical Research Council, the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine and, in particular, the Wellcome Trust for their continued and long-term funding of our research".

Indeed, the Cullen laboratory was recently awarded a prestigious £1.8-million Wellcome Trust Investigator Award to continue its groundbreaking research into 2026.

The value of medical science has never been more apparent than during the current COVID-19 global health crisis. From testing and vaccine development, 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. Many of the Academy’s newly elected Fellows are at the forefront of the efforts to tackle coronavirus.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said: “This year our new Fellows announcement happens amidst a global health crisis. Some will face the challenge of how to continue to lead on some of the most pressing health challenges our society faces beyond coronavirus, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer. Others have joined the global research effort to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, whether that be through working out how to treat those with the virus, joining efforts to develop a vaccine, or looking to limit the impact of the pandemic more broadly on our physical and mental health.

“Never has there been a more important time to recognise and celebrate the people behind ground-breaking biomedical and health research, working harder than ever to further knowledge and protect patients and the public.

“It brings me great pleasure to congratulate the new Fellows, and see our Fellowship grow to even greater heights of evidence-based advice, leadership and expertise.”

Further information

The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Their mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society.

The Academy is working to secure a future in which the UK and global health is improved by the best research; the UK leads the world in biomedical and health research and is renowned for the quality of its research outputs, talent and collaborations; independent, high-quality medical science advice informs the decisions that affect society and more have a say in the future of health and research.

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