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18th April 2024

Exeter College elects nine new Honorary Fellows

2024 Honorary Fellows

From left to right: (top row) Andrew Blake, Rory Collins, Jo Dunkley, Antony Galione; (bottom row) Guy Goodwin, Gillian Griffiths, Jane Mellor, Anant Parekh, Clare Stanford 

Exeter College’s Governing Body has elected, with effect from 1 April 2024, nine new Honorary Fellows of the College. The Honorary Fellows are all renowned academics, and each is either an alumnus or a former Fellow of the College. We are pleased to recognise the extraordinary achievements of all our new Honorary Fellows in their respective fields.

Professor Andrew Blake FRS FREng

Andrew Blake is a pioneer in the development of the theory and algorithms that make it possible for computers to behave as seeing machines. He served as junior faculty in Edinburgh in the 1980s, and later in Oxford as Professor of Engineering Science and Tutorial Fellow of Exeter College. At the turn of the millennium he moved to Cambridge to join Microsoft’s newly established European research lab. He became Lab Director (2010-2015) winning, with his team, the Silver and the Gold medals of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering for work on 3D machine vision. He was inaugural Director of the Alan Turing Institute 2015-2018 and established Samsung’s European AI lab in Cambridge. He is a consultant in Artificial Intelligence, has advised major European companies and a variety of startups, and mentors numerous budding scientists and engineers. Since 2000 he has been a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and he has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sheffield and Edinburgh.

Professor Sir Rory Edwards Collins FMedSci FRS

Rory Collins is a medically-qualified epidemiologist who studies how to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease in large international population-based studies. Previously Staines Medical Research Fellow at Exeter College, he is the founding Head of Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health. During the past 40 years he has conducted large randomised trials which have shown unequivocally that clot-dissolving and clot-preventing treatments during a heart attack can more than halve mortality, and that lowering LDL-cholesterol with statin therapy safely reduces the risk of cardiovascular death and disability among a wide range of people. As a consequence, these treatments are being widely used.

In 2005, the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council appointed him as Principal Investigator and Chief Executive of UK Biobank. Involving 500,000 participants, it is the largest deeply-characterised prospective study globally available for any type of health research that is in the public interest. More than 30,000 researchers worldwide use it currently, generating more than 3,000 papers in 2023 alone.

Professor Jo Dunkley OBE

Jo Dunkley is the Joseph Henry Professor of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. She was previously Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where she was a Tutorial Fellow of Exeter College. Her research is in cosmology, studying the origins and evolution of the Universe. She plays leading roles in the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and Simons Observatory projects, both of which are large international collaborations. She has been awarded the Maxwell Medal, the Rosalind Franklin award and the New Horizons prize for her work on the cosmic microwave background, and she shared the Gruber Prize and the Breakthrough Prize with the WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) team.

Beyond her academic work, her book for the general public, Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide (2019), was published by Penguin (UK/Canada) and Harvard University Press (US), and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Korean.

Professor Antony Galione FRS FMedSci

Antony Galione was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and received a BA in Natural Sciences in 1985 and his PhD in 1989. He held The Staines Medical Research Fellowship at Exeter College from 1995 to 1998. He was Head of the Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, from 2006-2015, and Chair of the Heads of UK Pharmacology Departments from 2014-2017. His research has pioneered the elucidation of novel signal transduction pathways regulating calcium signalling orchestrated by new second messenger molecules, termed cyclic ADP-ribose and NAADP. Using pharmacological, biochemical and physiological approaches, he showed that messengers and their signalling pathways control many fundamental cellular processes including synaptic plasticity, membrane excitability, excitation-contraction coupling, immune cell function, and both endocrine and exocrine secretory mechanisms.

Professor Galione was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2010 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. He received the 2001 Novartis Prize of the British Pharmacological Society for his scientific contributions to pharmacology. He is also a scientific co-founder of IntraBio Inc, a late-stage pharmaceutical company working in the areas of rare and neurodegenerative diseases. He has published over 200 scientific papers including several in Nature, Science and Cell.

Professor Guy Goodwin DPhil FRCPsych FMedSci

An alumnus of Exeter College, Guy Goodwin was WAHandley Professor and Head of department of Psychiatry in Oxford between 1995 and 2012. He is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and was previously president of the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and Senior Investigator on the faculty of UK National Institute for Health Research.

His research interests are in the treatment of mood disorder and the application of neuroscience in understanding its neurobiology and the potential for new treatments. In his current role as Chief Medical Officer at Compass pathways ltd he is leading the re-medicalization of the psychedelic drug, psilocybin i.

Professor Gillian Griffiths FMedSci

Gillian Griffiths obtained her PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology with Cesar Milstein. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University, she started her own research laboratory at the Basel Institute for Immunology in Switzerland in 1990. She subsequently held posts at University College London and the Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford from 1997 to 2007.  She was also a Fellow by Special Election of Exeter College.  She then moved to the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research where she was Director 2012-2017. She was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2005, EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) in 2006, and the Royal Society in 2013.

Professor Griffiths’ research is focused on the interface between cell biology and immunology aimed at understanding the mechanisms controlling polarised secretion from cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), the killer cells of the immune system which destroy virally infected and cancer cells. She was awarded the Royal Society Buchanan medal in 2019 in recognition of her ground-breaking research establishing the fundamental cell biological mechanisms that drive CTL killing, laying the foundations for the development of targeted cancer immunotherapy.

Professor Jane Mellor

Jane Mellor is a member of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. After a PhD working on foot and mouth disease virus at the Animal Virus Research Institute in Pirbright and a post-doc developing technologies with the first biotechnology companies in the UK, in 1986 she established her research group in Oxford to focus on gene expression, chromatin, and metabolism as a Monsanto Senior Research Fellow of Exeter College. In 1995, she became Tutor in Biochemistry at Queen’s College, Oxford. Recently, her group has pioneered our understanding of the dark genome, demonstrating roles for the non-coding transcriptome in switching chromosome conformation signatures in diseases such as cancer, and coordinating metabolism with chromatin structure around genes. Her research has contributed to two successful spin-out companies: Oxford BioDynamics plc and Sibelius Natural Products Ltd. She was elected a member of EMBO in 2010.

Professor Anant Parekh FRS FMedSci MAE

Anant Parekh was a medical student at Oxford University, where he obtained his undergraduate and doctoral degrees, both at University College. He then moved, initially as an Alexander Von Humboldt Scholar, to the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, where he worked in Professor Erwin Neher’s department with Professor Walter Stuehmer and then Professor Reinhold Penner. He moved back to Oxford (Physiology) in 1997 as a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and Sir Edward Abraham Research Fellow at Keble College. He was subsequently awarded a Lister Institute Senior Research Fellowship, the Amersham Medical Fellowship at Keble College and then the Monsanto Senior Research Fellowship at Exeter College. In 2002, he was appointed to a proleptic University Lectureship (Physiology Department) and Tutorial Fellowship (Lady Margaret Hall). In the same year, he was awarded a personal chair.

Professor Parekh’s research interests are on intracellular calcium signalling, how changes in calcium can engender a wide range of cellular responses and how the signal can be hijacked to cause diseases such as asthma. He was awarded the Wellcome Prize in Physiology in 2002, the India International Foundation Prize in 2009, the GL Brown Prize (2012) and the Annual Prize Lecture (2023) from the UK Physiological Society. He is a member of Academia Europaea (2002), is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2012) and the Royal Society (2019).

Professor Clare Stanford

Clare Stanford graduated in physiology at UCL, where she is now Professor (Emerita) of Translational Neuropharmacology. She studied for a DPhil in the Department of Physiology, Oxford, and was later awarded a (University of Oxford) Mary Goodger Scholarship to continue her postdoctoral Research. This was followed by a faculty position, as a Departmental Demonstrator, during which time she became the first woman Fellow at Exeter College. She then returned to UCL where she continued her research into how monoamine neurotransmitters influence mood and behaviour. This work has involved both human and preclinical studies and has led to over 100 peer-reviewed publications on the role of monoamines in the stress response, depression, anxiety, obesity and their treatments.

Professor Stanford is an Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology and Past President of both the Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) and the British Association for Psychopharmacology. She has served two terms as a member of Council of the University of London and, from 2016-2023, was a member of the Animal Science Committee, which advises the Home Office Minister on matters relating to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (1986). She is currently the Chairwoman of the Project Management Board for the prize-winning NC3Rs Experimental Design Assistant, Honorary Treasurer of LASA, Chairman of the Animal Science Group (Royal Society for Biology) and also Chairwoman of the Transparency and Reproducibility Committee, which is a section of the International Union of (Basic and Preclinical) Pharmacology.

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