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Professor Elaine Holmes elected AMS Fellow

Two leading oncologists and a professor in surgery & Cancer have joined the prestigious fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) for their expertise and excellance in cancer research and care.

Professor Elaine Holmes, from the Department of Surgery & Cancer at Imperial, joins a list of top UK researchers elected for their outstanding contributions to biomedical and health science, leading research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and the wider society.

This year’s elected Fellows have expertise spanning sleep research, infectious and tropical diseases, diabetes medicine, parasite biology and ultrasound research and technology among many other fields.

As Professor of Chemical Biology and Head of Computational and Systems Medicine at the College, Professor Holmes’s work focuses on the search for new biomarkers associated with disease. By screening large scale genetic, health and lifestyle data, her group is able to search for common biological markers indicative, and potentially predictive, of disease.

Her work has expanded to cover the influence of human gut bacteria, by characterising the microbiome interactions with the host (ie humans), influencing metabolism. The findings have been applied to the study of gastrointestinal-related diseases, including colorectal cancer, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Commenting on the Fellowship, Professor Homes said: “I am of course delighted to receive such an honour and recognition for my work and I would just like to take the opportunity to extend my gratitude to the amazing research group who have helped me reach this point.”

She added: “In dealing with such huge volumes of health-related data, our work can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. But we hope that discovering/identifying new biomarkers for disease could help to deliver personalised medicine in future.”

Professor Christopher Nutting and Dr James Larkin have also been chosen for their research into head, neck and lung cancer, as well as research and new treatments for melanoma and kidney cancer.

Professor Christopher Nutting, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden, said he was ‘delighted’:

“This election to the Fellowship is a tribute to The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research’s leading role in radiotherapy research trials in the UK, and the advances that those trials have made to improving outcomes for head and neck cancer patients.”

Dr James Larkin, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden said he was ‘honoured’ to be elected, adding: “This is a testament to the amazing team of people both at The Royal Marsden, and more broadly, with whom I am very fortunate to work.

“The Academy is an incredible organisation, which includes hundreds of clinicians and scientists who have made major contributions to understanding and treating disease. I feel extremely humbled and very much look forward to contributing to their incredible work.”

According to AMS, 16 of the new Fellows are women, representing 33 per cent of the total elected in 2018.

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on 27 June 2018, and the full list of 2018 Fellows can be found online on the AMS website.