Royal Society appoints University staff

Thirteen staff members have been recognised in the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s 2019 intake of Fellows.

The academics are part of a 62-strong group of people who have been appointed to Scotland’s National Academy.

The University is represented by experts from the fields of law, global health, fire safety, psychiatry, public health policy, medicine, informatics and climate change.

The new Fellows will be inducted in May.

Historic institution

The RSE is an educational charity that operates on an independent and non-party-political basis and provides public benefit throughout Scotland.

It was established in 1783 and draws upon the strengths and expertise of its Fellows.

There are currently around 1600 Fellows, based in Scotland, the UK and beyond.

Legal rights

Professor Christine Bell has been appointed as a Fellow owing to her work in international human rights law and peace processes.

She is Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal (Global Justice), co-director of the Global Justice Academy and a member of the British Academy.

Worldwide impact

Professor Elizabeth Grant is named as a Fellow as a result of her work into global health.

She is Assistant Principal, Professor of Global Health and Development and Director of the University’s Global Health Academy.

Engineering expertise

Professor Luke Bisby has been appointed as a Fellow as a result of his research into fire safely engineering.

He is Chair of Fire and Structures with the School of Engineering.

Mental health

Professor Stephen Lawrie joins the RSE as a result of his work into major psychiatric disorders.

He is Head of Psychiatry & Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging at the Deanery of Clinical Sciences.

Health in society

Professor Linda Bauld has been named an RSE Fellow for her work in public health policy, including studies on drug and alcohol use, inequalities in health, obesity and tobacco control.

She is the Bruce and John Usher Chair in Public Health and CRUK/BUPA Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention for Cancer Research UK.

Antenatal care

Professor David Fitzpatrick joins the RSE as a result of his research into abnormalities of development in early pregnancy.

He is Group Leader at the University’s MRC Human Genetics Unit.

Computing expertise

Professor Mirella Lapata from the School of Informatics is elected to the RSE due to her work into extracting semantic information from large volumes of text.

She is Personal Chair in Natural Language Processing.

Glacier studies

Professor Peter Nienow joins the RSE as a result of his work into glacial processes and climate change.

He is Professor of Glaciology with the School of Geosciences.


Professor Dónal O'Carroll is Professor of Stem Cell Biology in the School of Biological Sciences.

He has been appointed to the RSE as a result of his work as Associate Director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

Brain development

Professor David Price’ research focuses on the development of the brain, particularly the cerebral neocortex.

He is Professor of Developmental Neurobiology with the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences.

Insect-borne disease

Professor Sarah Reece joins the RSE for her work as Chair of Evolutionary Parasitology with the School of Biological Sciences.

Her research focuses on malaria parasites.

Reproductive systems

Philippa Saunders is Professor of Reproductive Steroids in the Deanery of Clinical Sciences.

She joins the RSE as a result of her expertise into the impact of sex steroids on cell repair, regeneration and cell replication.

Organ transplantation

Professor Stephen Wigmore is elected to the RSE for his expertise into organ transplantation, liver, pancreas and biliary cancer surgery.

He is Professor of Transplantation Surgery with the Deanery of Clinical Sciences and an Honorary Consultant Surgeon.

The calibre of our Fellows never ceases to amaze me and this year is no different. For such a small country we surpass ourselves with the talent and expertise that exists across our academic, cultural and business landscape. All of our Fellows are assets, not just to the RSE but to Scotland and the rest of the world, and I look forward to welcoming and working with them.

Professor Dame Anne GloverPresident of the RSE


Royal Society of Edinburgh