College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Royal society recognises lab manager

A laboratory manager who helped establish a centre of excellence for research has received a prestigious award.

Dr Sharon Hannah is the only person in Scotland and one of 10 people in the UK to receive the Royal Society Hauksbee Award.

The award from the UK’s national academy of science recognises unsung heroes in the scientific field.

Award recipient

Dr Hannah has worked at the University for more than 10 years and encouraged many of young scientists in their careers.

She is the senior laboratory manager at Queen’s Medical Research Institute, as well as senior laboratory manager for the Medical Research Council Centre for Inflammation Research within the Institute.

I have the privilege to work with many great people, often behind the scenes, and the award is very much a reflection of the unique team work which takes place within the University and Medical Research Council units.

Dr Sharon HannahSenior laboratory manager, Queen's Medical Research Institute

Hausksbee Award

The Royal Society Hauksbee Award acknowledges those in roles that support science, technology, engineering and maths.

The award is named in honour of Francis Hauksbee, who was Isaac Newton’s laboratory assistant at the Royal Society.

It is being made as part of the Society’s 350th anniversary celebrations.

Queen’s Medical Research Institute

Dr Hannah played a major role in setting up the University’s Queen’s Medical Research Institute.

This involved working with designers, architects, technical teams and researchers and applying for funding to open the building within a two-year time frame.

The £50 million Institute opened in 2005 and is sited next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

It brings together three centres looking at cardiovascular disease, reproductive biology and inflammation.


Dr Hannah has also overseen the building of a £20 million Clinical Research Imaging Centre, based at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute.

The centre, to be opened later on this year, includes a full range of scanners to improve the diagnosis and understanding of disease.

She has also been instrumental in building the careers of young scientists, providing practical advice as well as ensuring the submission of essential grants for research projects.

Sharon is the quintessential ‘unsung heroine’ of a world-class clinical science operation at the University. She is incredibly supportive of young researchers, providing advice on practical problems, and has also been instrumental in creating a collaborative research environment.

Professor Sir John SavillHead of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine