Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute, is to receive the Order of Merit, one of the UK’s highest honours.
The award is the sole gift of the Sovereign, to just 24 members at any one time, rewarding exceptional service in the arts, learning, literature and science.
In addition to his own research, Paul has helped lead scientific innovation and discovery in the UK and internationally, building environments in which science can thrive. He has held a number of scientific leadership positions, including Director General of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, President of Rockefeller University in New York, Director and Chief Executive of the Crick, and President of the Royal Society.
Paul was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Leland Hartwell and Tim Hunt for their discoveries of protein molecules that control the division (duplication) of cells in the cell cycle.
Paul was knighted in 1999 and was appointed Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 2022 New Year Honours, in recognition of major and sustained contributions to science, society and medicine in the UK and internationally, as a geneticist and cell biologist.
Paul will join current members of the Order of Merit, including Sir David Attenborough, David Hockney, Baroness Boothroyd and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
He will be one of only four people to hold both the Order of the Companions of Honour and the Order of Merit.
Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Francis Crick Institute, said: “On behalf of the entire Francis Crick Institute, I extend sincere congratulations to Paul as today he is named as a member of the Order of Merit, a mark of special honour conferred by the Sovereign on individuals of exceptional distinction.”
“It is wonderful to see Paul’s life-long dedication to science recognised in this way - for his work to advance our understanding of the cell cycle, for his tireless efforts to shape the research landscape in this country, and for acting as a champion of science at the highest levels of government and in wider society.”