University of Dundee

Three distinguished life scientists receive honorary degrees from the University of Dundee

18 Jun 2014

This week, the University of Dundee will bestow three outstanding life scientists with honorary degrees. All three are great friends to the University and have provided invaluable advice and support to The College of life Sciences over many years. We warmly welcome them to Dundee for graduation this week.

Our Honorary Graduands are:

Professor Sir David Baulcombe FRS, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Through his innovative work on plant viruses, David Baulcombe was instrumental in the discovery of RNA silencing, one of the most important discoveries in molecular cell biology that is now a standard tool of contemporary life sciences research. His seminal work in this field was recognized by the award of the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. 

David is one of the greatest advocates for plant sciences and chaired a crucially important Royal Society report on Food Security in 2009. David has been an advisor to the College of Life Sciences for several years, generously providing advice and guidance to our Division of Plant Sciences.

Professor Ron Laskey CBE FRS, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Ron Laskey has made seminal contributions to the fields of nucleosome assembly (coining the phrase ‘molecular chaperone’), nuclear protein import and DNA replication. He used his knowledge of DNA replication to develop a novel screening method for cancer diagnosis that has been applied to a wide range of different cancers. He founded the Medical Research Council Cancer Cell Unit and was recognized by the award of the Louis-Jeantet Prize, one of the most prestigious scientific awards.
Ron has been an outstanding member of the International Scientific Advisory Board for the Centre for Gene Regulation & Expression in Dundee. He is also a talented singer/sonwriter and has recorded three albums on the theme of ‘Songs for Cynical Scientists’!

Professor Chris Marshall FRS, Institute of Cancer Research, London

Chis is internationally acclaimed cancer biologist known for his work signal transduction pathways regulated by small GTPases. In particular, how p21Ras and other small GTPases contribute to neoplastic transformation. His work has had massive impact on modern therapeutic strategies in cancer, for example on the development of BRAF and MEK inhibitors. Among his many awards is the Buchanan Medal of the Royal Society.

Chris has undertaken many important collaborations with The University of Dundee, particularly with Sir Philip Cohen in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit, and he has supported us through serving on numerous site-visits and reviews.