• New Year Honours for Crick Scientists
    Paul Nurse (Credit: Jane Airey)

News & Views

New Year Honours for Crick Scientists

Jan 21 2022

In recognition of his outstanding scientific leadership, contribution to the national COVID effort and for his world leading research, Steve Gamblin, the Francis Crick Institute’s Director of scientific platforms has received a CBE; and Crick Director Paul Nurse was also made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.

In the first waves of the pandemic, Steve worked non-stop through the week leading the Crick’s development of a COVID testing pipeline to support the testing of patients and staff at multiple NHS hospitals and care homes. At the same time, he redirected his own research group to characterise the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ spike protein, which was vital in helping inform vaccine design, providing critical insights into viruses, disease and pandemics.

He also played a crucial role in the complex establishment of the Crick between 2015 and 2017 which brought together researchers from its parent organisations, the former MRC National Institute of Medical Research and CRUK’s London Research Institute.

“I’m honoured to receive a CBE. I consider it a tribute to the many extraordinary people I have worked with in my time at the Crick and before that at the NIMR,” said Steve.

Paul Nurse, Director of the Crick, said: “I’m delighted that Steve’s extraordinary contribution to science over so many years has been recognised. He was responsible for multiple challenges in setting up the Crick, and rose to them magnificently. He has outstanding leadership and organisational skills, which really came to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he has played an indispensable role, combining a broad strategic perspective with extraordinary attention to detail, while also continuing his world leading research as a structural biologist.”

The Companion of Honour is a special award granted to those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time. Paul has been recognised for his "major and sustained contributions to science, society and medicine in the UK and internationally, as a geneticist and cell biologist."

Knighted in 1999 for his work in cell biology and cancer research, in 2001, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of cell cycle regulatory molecules.

His previous scientific leadership roles include President of the Royal Society, CEO of Cancer Research UK and President of Rockerfeller University in New York. He also served for 15 years on the Council of Science and Technology, advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has been Director of the Crick since 2011 and has established the institute’s reputation as a world-leader in biomedical discovery research.

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