Two scientific advisory board members elected as Royal Society Fellows

 6 May 2021   Institute News

The Royal Society has granted prestigious fellowships to two members of our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), Professors Julie Ahringer and Sadaf Farooqi.

Professor Sadaf Farooqi FMedSci FRS is Professor of Metabolism and Medicine, Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge. She is a clinician scientist distinguished for her discoveries of fundamental mechanisms that control human energy homeostasis and their disruption in obesity.

Professor Julie Ahringer FMedSci FRS is Director, Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge. She has made wide-ranging contributions to molecular genetics through her work on the nematode C. elegans. She carried out the first systematic inactivation of all the genes in any animal, which pioneered genome-wide reverse genetic screening.

Their election takes the Royal Society Fellow membership of our SAB to 7 with Professors Dario Alessi, Neil Brockdorff, Frank Grosveld, Ara Darzi and Steve Jackson elected in previous years.

This year over 60 outstanding scientists from all over the globe have joined the Royal Society as Fellows and Foreign Members. The distinguished group of scientists consists of 52 Fellows, 10 Foreign Members and one Honorary Fellow and were all selected for their exceptional contributions to science.

Their achievements and research are diverse and range from the detection of a new type of neuron in the human brain and the design and development of new vaccines for globally important infectious diseases to a new way of looking at Einstein’s theory of general relativity and contributing to understanding the link between the increase in sea levels and global warming. The new Fellows and Foreign Members originate from around the world and include one Nobel laureate as well as academics and world-renowned figures from industry.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said:

“This is the first year of my presidency at the Royal Society and I’ve been very much looking forward to welcoming the newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members.

“The global pandemic has demonstrated the continuing importance of scientific thinking and collaboration across borders. Each Fellow and Foreign Member bring their area of scientific expertise to the Royal Society and when combined, this expertise supports the use of science for the benefit of humanity.

“Our new Fellows and Foreign Members are all at the forefronts of their fields from molecular genetics and cancer research to tropical open ecosystems and radar technology. It is an absolute pleasure and honour to have them join us.”

Professors Farooqi and Ahringer are two of 20 women in this year’s intake of Fellows (16) and Foreign Members (4) – this is 31.7% of the 2021 intake and an increase of 9.1% compared to 2020.

New Fellows have been elected from institutions across the UK, (London, Cambridge, Bristol, St Andrews, Oxford, Birmingham, East Anglia, Leeds), the Commonwealth (South Africa, Canada, Australia, Singapore) and around the world (the US, Switzerland, Germany)

The full list of the newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society can be viewed on the Royal Society website: