Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Luke Boulter awarded Patrick Neill Medal

The Royal Society of Edinburgh Patrick Neill medal will be awarded to Luke Boulter recognising his work in liver cancer: October 2020

Dr Luke Boulter received the RSE Patrick Neill Medal for his discovery of a number of processes that are required for cancers to develop during chronic disease, and his identification of a series of therapeutically targetable signals that cancers use to grow.  He is also an active champion of LGBTQ+ diversity in medicine and science. 

The medal is named for Dr Patrick Neill (1776 – 1851), a distinguished Scottish Naturalist and Fellow of the RSE who devoted his spare time to natural history, especially botany and horticulture and designed the West Princes Street gardens.

Dr Boulter’s received his BSc (Hons) degree in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of York, a PhD at the University of Edinburgh focused on how adult progenitor cells are regulated in the liver. This led to finding that signals that are needed for the liver to repair itself also regulate the growth of a type of liver cancer called cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer of the bile duct with a very poor prognosis. 

Dr Boulter moved to the MRC Human Genetics Unit in 2014 as a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow and University of Edinburgh Chancellors Fellow, affiliated also with the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, and the work of his group now focuses on the signals that regulate the biology of the liver in health and disease. Their research employs a combination of human genetics, molecular biology and disease modelling to ask fundamental questions about diseases processes in vivo . Dr Boulter and colleagues aim to apply this knowledge to developing therapies for liver disease, with collaborations spanning academia and industry. In 2020 he was awarded a Cancer Research UK Career Development Fellowship.

I am absolutely delighted to receive this prestigious Patrick Neill medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Its testament to my brilliant research group, who work tirelessly to understand how and why liver cancer is increasing across Scotland and further afield.

Dr Luke BoulterCancer Research UK Career Development Fellow and Principal Investigator

This is a wonderful recognition of Luke’s creative and fearless research that is providing much needed insight into how liver cancers develop. I am very proud of him and his team.

Professor Wendy BickmoreDirector-MRC Human Genetics Unit
Luke Boulter lab 9.2018