Honorary Degrees for outstanding work in life sciences

Published: 12 May 2008

The University of Glasgow is to award honorary degrees to five distinguished academics for their outstanding contributions to medicine and the life sciences.

The University of Glasgow is to award honorary degrees to five distinguished academics this summer for their outstanding contributions to medicine and the life sciences.

Professor Judith Whitworth and Drs Derek Chalmers, Betsy Nabel, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Ian Sword will all receive their honorary doctor of science degrees at ceremonies in the Bute Hall next month. 

Professor Andrew Nash, Clerk of the Senate at the University said: "In awarding these honorary degrees, the University has recognised internationally renowned biomedical scientists and it is notable that this year three of the five graduands are women - often under-represented in honorary degree lists, especially in the sciences."

Glasgow Pharmacology graduate Dr Derek Chalmers has become a key figure in the global biopharmaceutical industry. He was co-founder and President of Cara Therapeutics, an emerging biotechnology company based in the US that is focused on developing novel therapeutics to treat human diseases associated with pain and inflammation.

Dr Betsy Nabel is Director of the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She is a world leader in both basic and clinical research focusing on coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction; and molecular, cellular, and genetic mechanisms that cause vascular disorders. Dr Nabel is a pioneer in development of methods for gene therapy for vascular disease.

Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon Ltd, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has won global recognition for her pioneering work in biotechnology. She has steered Biocon’s transition from an industrial enzymes company to an integrated biopharmaceutical company with strategic research initiatives. The Economist has described her as ‘India’s Biotech Queen’ and The New York Times called her, ‘India’s mother of invention.’

Glasgow chemistry graduate Dr Ian Sword CBE has played a major role in life sciences and chemistry in Scotland and the UK. He co-founded Inveresk Industries, the successful Scottish based biosciences company that has since merged with the global company, Charles River Laboratories. Dr Sword was instrumental in the foundation of a named lectureship in organic chemistry at the University of Glasgow.

Former Chief Medical Officer for Australia, Professor Judith Whitworth is a medical scientist of global standing. Director of The John Curtin School of Medical Research and Howard Florey Professor of Medical Research at The Australian National University in Canberra, Professor Whitworth heads the High Blood Pressure Research Unit. She was made a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2001 for service to the advancement of academic medicine and as a major contributor to research policy and medical research administration internationally.

The schedule for awarding the Honorary Degrees is as follows:

Dr Betsy Nabel –18 June 2008
Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw - 18 June 2008
Dr Ian Sword – 30 June 2008
Dr Derek Chalmers – 1 July 2008
Professor Judith Whitworth – 2 July 2008

Further information:
Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593

First published: 12 May 2008

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