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Outstanding research honour from Hungary

30 June 2010

Professor John HarwoodProfessor John Harwood

Professor John Harwood, Deputy Director of the School of Biosciences, has been honoured by one Europe’s most influential scientific bodies – the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Professor Harwood was elected an Honorary Member of the Academy – an award given only to scientists with an outstanding international reputation and a connection with Hungarian Science.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1825 and is one of the oldest and most distinguished academies in Europe. It has eleven sections reflecting all branches of science. Professor Harwood is one of 35 new Honorary Members, having been elected by the General Assembly to the Biological Sciences section.

Professor Harwood’s research centres on lipids – a range of naturally occurring biochemicals which include storage fats and signalling molecules. He has investigated how lipid metabolism in plants has been affected by environmental changes such as higher levels of carbon dioxide and rising temperatures. He also has an interest in the role of dietary lipids in alleviating medical problems, including arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, BudapestThe Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest

Professor Harwood said: This is a fantastic honour that reflects well on all the hard work carried out by my group over the years. We have worked closely with a number of Hungarian colleagues over the years, especially Professor Laszlo Vigh of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged. The list of Honorary Members of the Academy is an impressive one, so I am extremely flattered to have been recognised in this way."

Director of the School of Biosciences, Professor Ole Petersen, said: "The Hungarian Academy of Sciences is one of the most effective and influential National Academies of Science in Europe, making this a great and very well-deserved honour for Professor Harwood. I was elected an Honorary Member of the Academy in 2004 – I don’t believe there can be many UK bioscience schools with two such Academicians among their numbers."

Professor Harwood’s award is part of a recent run of significant honours for the School. Professor Petersen himself has just received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Pancreatic Club. Professor Stephen Dunnett was presented with the Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement by the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair. Meanwhile, Professor Alun Davies has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

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