College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Awards shower for scientists

Five University of Edinburgh scientists were honoured in the 2010 Nexxus Life Sciences Awards.

Nexxus Life Sciences award winners

The annual awards celebrate Scottish excellence in the life sciences and reward outstanding contributions to the sector.

Lifetime achievement

Husband-and-wife researchers Professors Ken and Noreen Murray received the Nexxus Lifetime Achievement Award (East).

The duo joined the University’s then newly established Department of Molecular Biology in 1967.

Their early work on restriction enzymes paved the way for successful individual careers.

Noreen focussed her work on the lambda virus as a vehicle to deliver and clone genes and is now considered by many in the field as the ‘godmother of lambda vectors.’

Ken’s 1980s research on the Hepatitis B virus led to the development of the first effective genetically engineered vaccine against the disease.

Astronomy double

Dr Ben Panter and Professor Alan Heavens from the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy both received an award for innovation and a second for collaboration.

The researchers have developed technology for analysing the starlight of distant galaxies.

They have set up a company, Blackford Analysis, to explore applications of the technology to other fields including medical imaging.

One to watch

Taking home the Nexxus Life Sciences Young Scientist of the Year (East) award was Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta.

Dr Unciti-Broceta joined the University’s School of Chemistry in 2005 and has since co-founded spin-out enterprise Deliverics.

He was recently awarded a fellowship position with the Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre.