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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

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Biotechnologist Professor Lisa Hall and British-Iranian neuroscientist and neurologist Professor Sarah Tabrizi will both receive the MRC Millennium Medal at an award ceremony in 2023. 

The medal, specially created by the Royal Mint, is MRC’s most prestigious personal prize. It is usually presented each year to an outstanding researcher who has made a major contribution to MRC’s mission to improve human health through world-class medical research.

The ceremony in the spring will also see the announcement of the winners of the inaugural MRC Impact Prize

Contributing to health and wealth

Professor Hall, Professor of Analytical Biotechnology at CEB, is recognised for her pioneering multidisciplinary work and key translational impacts in biotechnology and biosensor design.

Her research on glucose biosensors led to spinout company AgaMatrix, which has delivered more than 8 million devices that are helping health services to provide diabetes care.

Professor Hall has also used synthetic biology techniques to develop new diagnostics and environmentally sustainable local manufacturing techniques that will benefit the NHS and provide beneficial solutions for low and middle-income countries.

The MRC Prize Committee also praised Professor Hall for her dedication to improving the wider research culture and environment, particularly by embedding entrepreneurship into her work, advancing the education of young researchers and ‘being a champion for women in science’.

“It’s a great honour and an enormous privilege to have been awarded the MRC Millennium Medal," said Professor Hall. "The MRC and UKRI’s investment in our research has catalysed innovation and entrepreneurship from an incredible group of students and early career researchers in Cambridge and my collaborators in low and middle income countries.

"The Medal acknowledges that advancing in vitro diagnostics requires education and creativity - a global challenge to inspire us all. This led me to revisit access and use of diagnostics in low and middle income countries and, through MRC and other sponsors, gave me the passion and determination to research new sustainable approaches and solutions. We aren’t there yet and I’m humbled by the award of the Medal.”

Professor John Dennis, Head of the School of Technology, University of Cambridge, said: “I am truly delighted that the MRC has awarded this prestigious medal to Lisa: it is a fitting testament to her dedication to research in the field over many years and to her major contributions more widely to her Department, the University and to society.”

Recognising outstanding science

Professor John Iredale, MRC Executive Chair said: “These MRC prizes pay tribute to some of the extraordinary impacts that science carried out by our research community in the UK and abroad have delivered for us all.

“It is especially pleasing that the MRC has been able to recognise the world class work of the two outstanding scientists receiving our MRC Millennium Medal. The impact of their work is not only via the world-class science they have undertaken but also in their championing of open and inclusive research environments that can only make UK science and research more successful."

Find out more on the MRC website.

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