Two Leicester professors join prestigious Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship

The Academy of Medical Sciences has elected Leicester’s Professor Chris Brightling and Professor Rodrigo Quian Quiroga to their esteemed Fellowship, as announced today, Wednesday 8 May.

They are part of a cohort of 50 new Fellows, chosen from 413 candidates, who have been selected for their outstanding contributions to advancing medical science, cutting-edge research discoveries, and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society.

Professor Brightling, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Director of the Leicester Institute for Lung Health and Respiratory Theme Lead for the Leicester NIHR BRC, is a leading clinician scientist studying the mechanisms and new precision therapies for asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and chronic cough. His work has led to new tests and treatments now available for airways disease with other new therapies on the horizon.

On his election, Professor Brightling said: “I am enormously proud of the amazing work undertaken in Leicester by our talented and dedicated researchers working with and for our patients to impact upon our understanding and treatment of respiratory diseases. My election to the Academy of Medical Sciences reflects the efforts of the whole team and I shall use my position to continue to champion respiratory research.”

Professor Quian Quiroga, Director of the Centre for Systems Neuroscience, undertakes research on the principles of visual perception and memory. He discovered what have been named "Concept cells" or "Jennifer Aniston neurons" – neurons in the human brain that play a key role in memory formation. The finding was selected as one of the top 100 scientific stories of 2005 by Discover Magazine.

On the Fellowship, Professor Quian Quiroga said: “I’m delighted to have been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and I very much look forward to joining this prestigious institution and taking part in its activities.”

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “The Academy’s Fellowship is a unique assembly of the finest minds in biomedical and health research, from across the UK and beyond. Our Fellows are at the centre of all that we do, from supporting early career researchers via our hugely popular mentorship programme to incorporating public and patient views into health research. Their collective wisdom is a national asset to guide research and policy aimed at tackling pressing health challenges.

“It brings me great pleasure to congratulate the new Fellows, each of whom has pushed the boundaries of their individual research field. I am always delighted to see the Fellowship expand, adding fresh talent to our invaluable pool of high quality guidance, advice and expertise.”