Alex Gould elected to Academy of Medical Sciences

08 May 2013

Alex Gould has been elected to become a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Academy Fellows are elected for excellence in medical research, for innovative application of scientific knowledge or for their conspicuous service to healthcare. This year 44 researchers from across the UK have been recognised for their contribution to the advancement of medical science by election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. These distinguished medical scientists join the existing Fellows of the Academy bringing the total membership to 1095. The new Fellows will be admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Wednesday 26 June 2013.

Alex Gould obtained his Ph.D at the University of Cambridge with Rob White, developing an early version of ChIP-seq to identify Hox target genes. He was then awarded a Beit Memorial Fellowship and moved to NIMR where he worked with Robb Krumlauf, showing that Hox genes share enhancers and are induced in the CNS by retinoids from somites. He established his own lab at NIMR in 1998 and became Head of the new Division of Physiology & Metabolism in 2012.

Working mainly on Drosophila, Alex has made several important contributions to the emerging field of developmental metabolism. He and his group identified insect oenocytes as a specialized lipid-metabolising cell that is required for normal growth, physiology and behaviour. More recently, his group have been studying how critical organs, such as the brain, are able to grow at the expense of others when nutrition is suboptimal. This work identified the first molecular mechanism for brain sparing, accounting for how neural stem cells can continue to grow and divide when dietary nutrients become scarce. Alex's work has also highlighted similarities between the mechanisms by which kinases regulate growth and metabolism during normal development and during abnormal tumorigenesis. Alex is a member of EMBO and was awarded the Hooke Medal in 2011.

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