Season’s Greetings from the Lister Institute

Everyone here at the Lister Institute would like to send our best wishes to you all for the festive season and the New Year!

The highlight of our year, as ever, was in awarding the Lister Prizes to our Fellows! In 2022, we received 82 applications and were in a position to award eight Fellowships – a new record for us. This was a result of the Governing Body’s decision to support more researchers as a result of Covid and other challenges facing young researchers in the current climate.

The following individuals received the Prize as a mark of their outstanding biomedical research:

  • Dr Shoba Amarnath, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Dr Elizabeth Ballou, University of Exeter
  • Dr David Bending, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Amanda Chaplin, University of Leicester
  • Prof James Davies, University of Oxford
  • Dr Marco Di Antonio, Imperial College London
  • Dr Anthony Khawaja, Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL
  • Dr Tung Le, John Innes Centre

You can read more about the Prize Winners and their areas of research in our news story from earlier in the year.

Some of the Lister Summer students at our Annual Meeting

We also funded 36 Summer Studentships as part of our aim to nurture the future leaders in biomedical research. First established in 2011, this scheme supports undergraduate students to carry out summer research projects with Fellows and former Fellows and provides funding for a student to spend time working in a Fellow’s laboratory during the summer holiday period.

Some of the students who took part joined us at our Annual Fellows’ Meeting in September to share posters of their projects. As usual, the event was in the usual venue of the University of Oxford’s stunning Corpus Christi College and offered a wonderful opportunity to bring our community together in person to talk, listen, connect… and have fun.

Most of our 2022 Prize Winners were able to join us at the meeting to introduce themselves and give an overview of the lines of research they’ll be pursuing using the Lister funding. We also enjoyed a lecture from former Fellow, Professor Frances Platt, who spoke about her journey to establishing miglustat as an approved treatment for lysosomal storage diseases (after her early work on miglustat was supported by her Lister Fellowship).

It was also a sad occasion, for it marked the departure of our outgoing Chair, Professor Sir Alex Markham, after an 11-year tenure. The occasion was celebrated with bottles of Alex’s Lister Ale, brewed by the man himself during an experience given to him as a leaving gift.

And so, we move into 2023 with a new Chair, Professor John Iredale, and a new Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group, Professor Julian Blow. Again, you can read the details here, as published earlier in the year on our news page.As well as new paper and exciting research advances, 2022 also brought the following news for the Institute, our Fellows, and Members:

  • In January, we announced that former member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Professor Nick Lemoine, was awarded a CBE, and Professor John Iredale, our new Chair, was appointed interim Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council.
  • In March, we signed a cross-funder statement, along with 21 other UK research funders, to remember and recognise the impacts of COVID-19 on Lister Fellowship applications.
  • Also during the Spring, we visited Dublin to formally welcome our first Fellow based in an institution in the Republic of Ireland, Tomás Ryan, into the Fellowship.
  • In May, Professor Kate Storey, a former member of our Scientific Advisory Committee, and Former Fellow, Professor Paul Lehner, were elected as new Fellows of the Royal Society.
  • In July, we reported that former Lister Fellow and current member of our Scientific Advisory Committee, Professor Barry V L Potter, was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bath.
  • In November, Lister Fellows Dr Tanmay Bharat and Professor Ravi Gupta were awarded prestigious 2023 Prizes from the Microbiology Society.
  • We also created Lister Reflections – five personal stories from former Fellows talking about what the Lister Prize meant to them.

It’s been another fantastic year for us and our community – and one that has thankfully been free of disruption to research. We’re looking forward to 2023 and continuing to support the exciting and dynamic biomedical research community in the UK and Republic of Ireland.