Two Crick scientists elected to Academy of Medical Sciences

Erik Sahai (left) and James Turner (right).

Erik Sahai (left) and James Turner (right)

Two Francis Crick Institute group leaders, Erik Sahai and James Turner, have been elected as fellows of the prestigious Academy of Medical Sciences for their contributions to cancer research and developmental biology. 

The Academy of Medical Sciences is an independent body in the UK which aims to advance biomedical and health research and help this work be translated into benefits for society, including new treatments. 

Each year it elects up to 50 new fellows who have made exceptional contributions to the medical sciences. The successful candidates are selected from the nominee list by eight AMS committees with expertise in different areas of research. This year 384 candidates were nominated.

Group leader of the Tumour Cell Biology Laboratory, Erik Sahai, studies how cancer spreads through the body and why it can become resistant to therapies. His team focus on the environment around a tumour, listening in on the signals that are sent between cancer cells and their neighbours and investigating genetic and molecular changes that allow cancer cells to break away and move towards new locations.

He says: “It’s an honour to be recognised among this year’s new fellows. I look forward to working with the Academy to champion progress against both longstanding problems, such as cancer, and rapidly evolving challenges like the current coronavirus pandemic.”

James Turner, group leader of the Sex Chromosome Biology Laboratory, studies the impact of sex chromosomes on health and disease, including if they play a role in certain diseases being more prevalent in men or women. 

“Being elected this year, when the value of science has been so widely recognised, is really humbling. It’s testament to the talented researchers who I am fortunate to work alongside, and I look forward to continuing our research to better understand issues such as infertility and how abnormal numbers of chromosomes arise in early embryo development,” says James. 

Paul Nurse, Director of the Crick, adds: “Erik and James have both shown themselves to be leaders in their respective fields and election to the Academy is a richly deserved honour in recognition of their significant contributions to medical research.” 
The 50 fellows, who represent 11 different regions of the UK, will be formally admitted to the Academy in July 2021.

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