Science for Health
19 March 2013
The Waddington Medal is the only national award in developmental biology in the UK. It is awarded for outstanding research performance as well as services to the subject community. Nominees are outstanding developmental biologists who have made a significant contribution to UK developmental biology and who are still currently active in the field. Previous winners include NIMR's Robin Lovell-Badge (2010) and Rosa Beddington (1999).
Jim Smith (pictured) joined the staff of NIMR in 1984 and stayed until 2001. During that time he was Head of the Division of Development Biology for nine years and Head of the Genes and Cellular Controls Group for four years. After eight years as director of the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute in Cambridge he returned to NIMR in 2009 to take up the post of Director. His current research investigates how cells of the very early vertebrate embryo become different from each other, such that they go on to form specialised tissues such as muscle, skin, blood and bone. His work may inform attempts to drive stem cells along particular developmental pathways.
Jim was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1993 and was a Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998; he has served on the Councils of both societies. He is also an Honorary Professor at UCL, an EMBO member and a member of the Academia Europaea. Jim has previously received many awards and prizes, including the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Medal and the Feldberg Foundation Award. For several years he was Editor-in-Chief of Development.
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