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Four department scientists honoured by RSC

Professors Melinda Duer, Stephen Elliott, Tuomas Knowles, and Dr Steven Lee have all been awarded prizes by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 

Professor Melinda Duer


Professor Duer was awarded the Interdisciplinary Prize, for applying solid-state NMR spectroscopy and computational methods to the elucidation of structure and molecular interactions in calcified tissues.  Melinda is a Professor of Biological and Biomedical Chemistry and has a broad range of research interests, from tissue development to how and why its molecular structure changes in degenerative diseases and ageing.  In her research she utilises every possible physical characterisation technique from NMR to advanced optical imagine and high-resolution electron microscopy.


 Professor Stephen Elliott


Professor Elliott won the John B Goodenough Award, given for his distinguished contributions to the science of disordered materials when applied to chalcogenide glasses and phase-change materials for industry.  Stephen is a Professor of Chemical Physics in the department.  His research involves computer simulation combined with experiment on a variety of themes, including structure-property characeristics of disordered materials, (bio-)chemical-sensor platforms based on optical waveguides and microelectromechanical system devices, and optical-spectroscopic techniques for the non-destructive analysis of art works.  He co-founded MINIARE (Manuscript Illumination: Non-Invasive Analysis, Research and Expertise) with the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.


 Professor Tuomas Knowles


Professor Knowles received the Corday-Morgan Prize, which was awarded for his fundamental work on the mechanism of amyloid aggregation, including the discovery of the role of secondary nucleation.  Tuomas is a Professor of Physical Chemistry and Biophysics in the department and at the Cavendish Laboratory, and is co-director of the Cambridge Centre for Misfolding Diseases.  His research focuses on bringing together the development and application of new theoretical and experimental approaches based on physical chemistry with key biomedical problems, in particular the molecular basis of neurodegeneration.


 Dr Steven Lee


Dr Steven Lee was given the Marlow Award for the development of novel single-molecule super-resolution fluorescence techniques.  Steve is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the department, and a fellow of Sidney Sussex College.  His research centres on building new tools to study biomolecules, using a variety of advanced ultrasensitive optical techniques. Since 2013 Steve has been tackling problems that relate directly to human health, including developing new tools to visualise individual protein aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases, and next-generation super-resolution imaging. He also co-runs a successful scientific communication podcast with fellow academic Dr Nick Evans, called TheScienceShed.


Congratulations to these respected scientists for their outstanding achievements.