Gabor Medal

The Gabor Medal is a medal awarded by the Royal Society every alternate year for "acknowledged distinction of interdisciplinary work between the life sciences with other disciplines".[1] The medal was created in 1989 to honour the memory of physicist Dennis Gabor, and was originally awarded biennially.[1] Initially awarded "for acknowledged distinction of work in the life sciences, particularly in the fields of genetic engineering and molecular biology", the criteria for the awarding of the medal was later changed to its current definition.[1] The medal is targeted at "emerging early to mid career stage scientist[s]" and is accompanied by a £2000 prize (since 2017, earlier £1000).[1] It was first awarded in 1989 to Noreen Murray for her pioneering work in genetic engineering.[1] From 2018 it has been awarded annually.

List of recipients

Year Name Rationale Notes
1989Noreen Murray"in recognition of her pioneering work in the field of genetic engineering, in particular for her development of the bacteriophage lambda system as a cloning [vector?] into which could be incorporated DNA fragments of over 5 kilobases in length"[2]
1991Alan Fersht"in recognition of his pioneering work in the use of protein engineering to study protein structure and enzyme function"[3]
1993Charles Weissmann"in recognition of his many contributions to molecular biology, including his innovative analysis of coliphage Q-beta by the introduction of methods for making site-specific mutations, and the cloning and expression of alpha-interferon genes in bacteria"
1995David Hopwood"in recognition of his pioneering and leading the growing field of the genetics of Streptomyces, and for developing the programming of the pervasive process of polyketide synthesis"[4]
1997Kenneth Holmes"in recognition of his achievements in molecular biology, in particular his pioneering analyses of biological structures and viruses, and his development of the use of synchrotron radiation for X-ray diffraction experiments, now a widely used technique not only in molecular biology but in physics and materials science"[5]
1999Adrian Peter Bird"in recognition of his pioneering work in the study of global mechanisms by which transcription of the mammalian genome is regulated and for his exploration into the molecular basis of fundamental biological mechanisms, particularly his development of ways of analysing methylation patterns of eukaryotic DNA using endonucleases and the discovery of and continued research into a new class of DNA sequences found in all vertebrates"
2001Azim Surani"in recognition of his discovery of mammalian genomic imprinting, revealing the expression of certain autosomal genes according to the parent of origin. Genomic imprinting has major implications for human genetics and the inheritance patterns of human disease and its discovery has been a major fundamental breakthrough that has changed the way we think about genetics in mammals"[6]
2003Jean Beggs"for her contributions to the isolation and manipulation of recombinant DNA molecules in a eukaryotic organism, adding a new dimension to molecular and cellular biology"[7]
2005Lionel Crawford"in recognition for his work on the small DNA tumour viruses, specifically the papova virus group, papilloma, polyoma and SV40"
2007Richard J. Roberts"for his internationally acclaimed contributions to the discovery of RNA splicing and his structural and genetic studies that have extended the range of sequence specificity of restriction and modification of enzymes"
2009Gregory Challis"for his highly interdisciplinary work, exploiting genomics of Streptomyces coelicolor to identify new natural products and biosynthetic enzymes."[8]
2010Gideon Davies"for his highly interdisciplinary work into the three-dimensional structures and reaction coordinates of enzymes, which has transformed glycobiochemistry"
2011Angela McLean"for her pivotal work on the mathematical population biology of immunity."
2013Christofer Toumazou"for his success in applying semiconductor technology to biomedical and life-science applications, most recently to DNA analysis."
2015Benjamin Simons"for his work analysing stem cell lineages in development, tissue homeostasis and cancer"
2017Richard M. Durbin"for his outstanding contributions to computational biology, and their impact across many areas of the life sciences"
2018Cait MacPhee"for her seminal contributions to understanding protein aggregation that informed our approach to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and opened up new opportunities for creating self-assembled functional biopolymers"
2019Alison Noble"for developing solutions to a number of key problems in biomedical image analysis and substantially advancing automatic extraction of clinically useful information from medical ultrasound scans"



  • "Award winners : Gabor Medal". The Royal Society. Retrieved 2016-06-07.


  1. "Gabor Medal". The Royal Society. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  2. "Special Minute: Noreen E Murray F.R.S" (PDF). University of Edinburgh. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  3. "Trinity College Science Society - Prof Sir Alan Fersht FRS". Trinity College Science Society. Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  4. The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  5. "Fascinating Research" (PDF). Max Planck Research. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  6. "CSHL Stem Cells Symposium Chats". Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  7. "Jean Beggs (Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocenter - The University of Manchester)". The University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  8. "Greg Challis". Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick. Retrieved 7 June 2016.

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