A colour photo of green grass on the Wellcome Genome Campus, with the Conference Centre red brick buildings in the background.

Wellcome Connecting Science Director recognised by the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences

Date: 18 May 2023

We are delighted to announce that our Director, Professor Julian Rayner, has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK.

Today (18 May) new Fellows have been elected to the Academy in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the advancement of biomedical and health science, cutting edge research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society. Fellows are drawn from institutions across the UK, and their breadth of expertise ranges from molecular imaging to public health policy.

Professor Julian Rayner is Director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, part of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine; Honorary Faculty at the Wellcome Sanger Institute; and Director of Wellcome Connecting Science. His research has focussed on how the Plasmodium parasite, which causes malaria, recognises and invades red blood cells in humans. His work has contributed to the identification of new vaccine targets, and informed antimalarial drug development, through co-leading the first ever functional screens in malaria parasites based on genomic technologies. Julian collaborates closely with researchers in malaria-endemic countries in the Global South, and is strongly committed to ensuring that this work generates equitable benefits.

In his role as Director of Connecting Science, he is particularly interested in sharing skills and knowledge through training and capacity building, and engaging public audiences with the process and outcomes of science in an inclusive and meaningful manner. The 59 new Fellows join a prestigious Fellowship of 1,400 researchers who are central to the Academy’s work, which includes providing career support to the next generation of researchers and contributing to the Academy’s influential policy work to improve health in the UK and globally.

“Malaria is a devastating and too often forgotten disease that still kills more than half a million children every year. Tackling it requires deep collaboration and working across disciplines. I’m enormously honoured by this announcement, which reflects not my work but the work of all the talented people I’ve been lucky enough to host in my lab, and collaborations with friends and colleagues across the world. I’m excited to become a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences because I strongly share their conviction that science is not just for scientists.”  Professor Julian Rayner FMedSci, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge and Director, Wellcome Connecting Science

In addition to Julian, two other Wellcome Sanger Institute scientists have also been elected to the Academy’s Fellowship, Professor Ben Lehner and Dr Trevor Lawley. Visit the Wellcome Sanger Institute website to find out more about their work.

Congratulations to our Director, and our Sanger Institute colleagues, on their election as Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences!


For more information about all the new Fellows visit the Academy of Medical Sciences website.