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Scientist’s work on synaptic plasticity earns him a Fellowship

08 May 2013

Kevin Fox16_web

A Cardiff University Professor has received recognition for his contribution to the advancement of medical science by election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professor Kevin Fox of the School of Biosciences received the accolade for his research on synaptic plasticity, which is generating insights into debilitating medical conditions such as schizophrenia, autism and Alzheimer’s disease and providing routes for designing future therapies.

Speaking of the significance of the award, Professor Fox said:

"This is valuable recognition for the work done by everyone in the lab over the years to try and understand a fundamental property of the brain. I am absolutely delighted to join this important and influential academy of scientists and clinicians."

Academy Fellows are elected for excellence in medical research, innovative application of scientific knowledge or for their conspicuous service to healthcare.

For the past two decades, Professor Fox’s research has probed the synaptic plasticity processes that allow the region of the brain responsible for sight and touch to adapt to changes in experience.

His studies have given scientists insight into the fundamental processes of synaptic plasticity that are vital for correctly wiring up the cortex during development and provide a lifelong ability to adapt to a changing environment in adulthood.

Professor Fox is now turning his focus on to the development and plasticity of the frontal cortex – the region of the brain that underpins executive function, as well as attention, short-term memory, planning and motivation - in an effort to understand psychiatric conditions in which plasticity appears to be compromised.

Director of the Cardiff School of Biosciences, Professor Ole Petersen FRS, who was one of the Founding Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998, said:

"The election of Kevin Fox to the increasingly important and very influential Academy of Medical Sciences is a very well deserved recognition of the important body of work published by Kevin and his group over many years in the most competitive international scientific journals.

"Kevin’s work, which has been and continues to be supported by an MRC Programme Grant, is recognised worldwide as extremely innovative and is acclaimed for its rigour and precision. Kevin’s election is great news for the School of Biosciences and for Cardiff University."

The new Fellows will formally be admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Wednesday 26 June, 2013.

Useful links

Cardiff School of Biosciences