RSE honours for Dundee Professors

David Horn, John Rouse, Robert Steele - RSE Fellows 2017

The Royal Society of Edinburgh has announced today that three academics from the University of Dundee have been elected as Fellows of the RSE.

The new Fellows from the University are:

  • David Horn, Professor of Parasite Molecular Biology
  • Professor John Rouse, Professor of Chromosome Biology
  • Professor Robert Steele, Professor of Surgery

“I am delighted to see our staff recognised among the range of new Fellows announced by the Royal Society of Edinburgh,” said Professor Sir Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee.

“These awards highlight the impact our staff make through their work, both in maintaining excellence across the University and ensuring we are helping transform lives around the world.”

New Fellows are elected to the RSE each year through a rigorous five-stage nomination process. Drawn from across sectors that range from the arts, business, science and technology and academia they join the current Fellowship whose varied expertise supports the advancement of learning and useful knowledge in Scottish public life.

Professor Steele is one of the UK’s leading authorities on cancer screening, which plays a vital role in detecting the disease in its earliest stages and increasing survival rates. His main interest is colorectal cancer and he is Director of the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme, having acted as clinical lead for the UK demonstration pilot that was used to inform the decision to introduce national screening programmes throughout the United Kingdom. Last year he was appointed independent Chair of the UK National Screening Committee.

John Rouse has been a Principal Investigator in the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit (MRC-PPU) at Dundee since 2002, and has made an important contribution to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that allow cells to detect and repair damage to DNA. He has discovered several important factors in our cells that are required for DNA repair and that are vital for preventing human disease such as cancer, kidney disease and Fanconi anaemia.

Professor Horn is a Wellcome Trust Investigator and Deputy Head of the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery in the School of Life Sciences. He is a world authority on tropical parasitic diseases. His research aims to understand the genetics and molecular biology of the parasites behind tropical diseases such as African Sleeping Sickness, Chagas’ disease and leishmaniasis, with the aim of finding potential drugs to treat them. These neglected tropical diseases affect millions of the world's poorest people.

As Scotland’s National Academy, the RSE’s strength lies in the breadth of disciplines represented by its Fellowship. This range of expertise enables the RSE to take part in a host of activities such as providing independent and expert advice to Government and Parliament, supporting aspiring entrepreneurs through mentorship, facilitating education programmes for young people and engaging the general public through educational events.

President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, commented, “Each newly elected Fellow has been nominated on their exceptional and extensive achievements; it is a great honour to welcome such a range of outstanding individuals to the Fellowship. In joining the RSE Fellowship, they will strengthen the Society’s capacity to advance excellence across all areas of public life in Scotland and further afield.”

The scope of the Fellowship, numbering over 1600 individuals from Scotland, the UK and abroad, enables the RSE to provide a wide range of leadership and expertise.

Notes to Editors

About the RSE:

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is a leading educational charity which operates on an independent and non-party-political basis to provide public benefit throughout Scotland. Established by Royal Charter in 1783 by key proponents of the Scottish Enlightenment, the RSE now has around 1600 Fellows from a wide range of disciplines. The work of the RSE includes awarding research funding, leading on major inquiries, informing public policy and delivering events across Scotland to inspire knowledge and learning.

The RSE’s Fellowship comprises Honorary Fellows (members of the Royal House or persons eminently distinguished in any subject within our disciplinary domains), Corresponding Fellows (those who have attained high international standing in any subject within our disciplinary domains, and are not normally resident in the UK) and Fellows.


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