New Year's Honours for Crick science leaders

Extraordinary contributions to science have been recognised in the New Year Honours list.

I’m honoured to receive a CBE. I consider it a tribute to the many extraordinary people I have worked with in my time at the Crick and before that at the NIMR.
Steve Gamblin

Steve Gamblin, the Crick’s director of scientific platforms has received a CBE for his “outstanding scientific leadership,” his contribution to the national COVID effort, and for his "world-leading research".

Steve worked seven days a week to lead the Crick’s work to develop a COVID testing pipeline early in the pandemic, which supported the testing of patients and staff at multiple NHS hospitals and care homes. At the same time, he redirected his own research group to characterise the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ spike protein, which was vital in helping inform vaccine design.

Over the last few years, his research programme has provided critical insights into viruses, disease and pandemics.

Steve also played a crucial role in the complex operation to establish the Crick and bring together researchers from its parent organisations, the former MRC National Institute of Medical Research and CRUK’s London Research Institute between 2015 and 17. He led the work to merge the two organisations and bring sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced facilities into the new building with minimal disruption to scientific research.

On receiving the news, Steve Gamblin said: “I’m honoured to receive a CBE. I consider it a tribute to the many extraordinary people I have worked with in my time at the Crick and before that at the NIMR.”

Paul Nurse, Director of the Crick, said: “I’m delighted that Steve’s extraordinary contribution to science over so many years has been recognised. He was responsible for multiple challenges in setting up the Crick, and rose to them magnificently. He has outstanding leadership and organisational skills, which really came to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he has played an indispensable role, combining a broad strategic perspective with extraordinary attention to detail, while also continuing his world leading research as a structural biologist.”

Paul Nurse has also been recognised this year and is to be made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. The Companion of Honour is a special award granted to those who have made a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time. The members, of which there are 65 at any one time, include Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Paul McCartney. 

Paul has been recognised for his "major and sustained contributions to science, society and medicine in the UK and internationally, as a geneticist and cell biologist."

His contributions to cell biology and cancer research were recognised with a knighthood in 1999. And in 2001, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of cell cycle regulatory molecules.

His previous scientific leadership roles include President of the Royal Society, CEO of Cancer Research UK and President of Rockerfeller University in New York. He also served for 15 years on the Council of Science and Technology, advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has been Director of the Crick since 2011 and has established the institute’s reputation as a world-leader in biomedical discovery research.

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