Crick scientists elected to the Royal Society

New Fellows of the Royal Society, James Briscoe and Caetano Reis e Sousa

James Briscoe (left) and Caetano Reis e Sousa

Crick group leaders Caetano Reis e Sousa and James Briscoe have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society in recognition of their outstanding contributions to science.

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Each year, up to 52 Fellows are elected to the Fellowship for making 'a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge.'

Caetano has been elected for his 'contributions to understanding the mechanisms by which the immune system detects pathogen invasion, cancer and tissue damage.' His lab discovered fundamental processes that the immune system uses to detect pathogens and dead cells, explaining how they function at the cellular and molecular level.

"I am absolutely delighted to have been elected to the Royal Society," said Caetano. "It is a great honour, which recognises the scientific contributions of my research team over the last 20 years. I am very grateful to everyone who has worked in my group for their incredible dedication and to my colleagues, friends and family for their support and for creating an environment in which such contributions are made possible.”

James Briscoe was elected for 'significant contributions to understanding how tissues are formed and patterned in embryos.' His team discovered key genetic and molecular processes that precisely assemble the spinal cord in growing embryos, answering fundamental questions about early development.

"I’m deeply honoured to be elected to the Royal Society," said James. "I’d like to thank my friends and colleagues for their support and encouragement over the years. I also want to pay tribute to all my lab members, past and present. It has been a privilege to work alongside them, not only are they responsible for the hard work that makes the research possible but they also create the enjoyable and inspiring environment in which to do it. I’m very lucky to work in a field that asks fundamental questions and provides unceasingly fascinating insight into how animals form and function; frankly I’m still amazed that I get paid to do this for a living!"

Paul Nurse, Director of the Crick, said: "This is well-deserved recognition for two outstanding researchers whose innovative work is always ahead of the curve. Through novel discoveries and field-changing theories, Caetano's lab has given us a clearer understanding of the fundamental principles underlying immune function. James leads interdisciplinary teams where biological, physical and computational scientists work together to answer fundamental questions about development biology. Both labs continue to push the frontiers of human understanding and advance our knowledge of how life works."

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