Wednesday 17 April 2019

Prestigious honour for Professor Sir Doug Turnbull

Professor Sir Doug Turnbull, Professor of Neurology at Newcastle University and an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Newcastle Hospitals, has been elected by the Royal Society to join the ranks of the UK’s most eminent scientists as part of the 2019 election of 50 new fellows.

Sir Doug leads the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre Neuromuscular Disease research theme and has spent over 30 years caring for patients with mitochondrial disease and researching into ways to improve the lives of people with mitochondrial disease.

Over this time the Newcastle Clinic has grown incredibly, with the clinical team now supporting over 900 patients from across the UK. Sir Doug has always strived to provide the best care and support for his patients and is a true advocate of patient engagement to ensure that the research performed remains patient-focussed.

When asked about the award, Sir Doug said “I am delighted to be elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. It is a great honour. This Fellowship highlights the exceptional quality of mitochondrial research performed within the Wellcome Centre at Newcastle University and as part of the NIHR Newcastle BRC”.

Pioneering a greater understanding

Founded in November 1660 by King Charles II, the Royal Society is the world’s most prestigious and oldest continuously running scientific academy.

This prestigious award is given to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of knowledge in their area of scientific expertise. Sir Doug has dedicated his career to understanding the role of mitochondria in disease through high-quality research, as well as caring for those affected by mitochondrial disease, and it is this commitment that has earned him the esteemed honour.

Professor Avan Sayer, Director of the NIHR Newcastle BRC, said: “Sir Doug is a pioneer of mitochondrial research, leading a basic science research programme and using the results to develop clinical services that have a major benefit on the lives of patients. His work has been key to the realisation that mitochondrial DNA mutations play a critical role in human ageing and his election to the Royal Society is deserved recognition for his outstanding contribution to the field of mitochondrial research”.

Sir Doug will be formally admitted to the Royal Society at a ceremony that will take place later this year.

You can find out more from the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust Centre.