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Academy of Medical Sciences Fellows elected

08 May 2009

Four of the College’s leading academics, including Shitij Kapur and Michael Kopelman from the Institute of Psychiatry,  have been recognised for excellence in medical science and will be elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences with 40 of the United Kingdom’s foremost doctors and medical researchers in June.

The Academy of Medical Sciences promotes advances in medical science and campaigns to ensure these are translated into benefits for patients.

King’s Fellows elected in 2009

Professor Shitij Kapur

Shitij Kapur, Professor of Schizophrenia, is Vice Dean and Dean-elect (2010) of the Institute of Psychiatry and Head of Schizophrenia, Imaging and Therapeutics.

A psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Professor Kapur is internationally recognised for his work, which has shown all antipsychotic medicines (typical and atypical) block dopamine D2 receptors, but to different degrees in different patients. He is continuing to investigate the mechanism of antipsychotic drugs at both biological and psychological levels. This research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is now being funded by the UK Medical Research Council.


Professor Michael Kopelman

Michael Kopelman, Professor of Neuropsychiatry, is Head of Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry. The main focus of the research undertaken by the Section is memory disorder – ranging from amnesic syndromes as a result of head injury, stroke or brain disease, to different types of dementia, confabulation (false memories as a result of brain damage), other sorts of false memory and psychogenic amnesia.

A past president of the British Neuropsychological Society, Professor Kopelman was a founder member of the Memory Disorders Research Society. He is internationally known for work in this field and is lead clinician at the Neuropsychiatry and Memory Disorders Clinic run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).


Professor John Marshall

Professor John Marshall is the Frost Professor of Ophthalmology, in the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases (CARD) in the School of Biomedical & Health Sciences and Chairman of the Academic Department of Ophthalmology, at St Thomas' Hospital. He was formerly Sembal Professor of Experimental Ophthalmology at the Institute of Ophthalmology (1982-1991). His research over the past 40 years has covered a range of ocular problems but has concentrated on the inter-relationships between light and ageing, the mechanisms underlying age-related, diabetic and inherited retinal disease, and the development of lasers for use in ophthalmic diagnosis and surgery. This work has resulted in almost 400 research papers and numerous book chapters and books.

He invented and patented the revolutionary Excimer laser for the correction of refractive disorders with in excess of 30 million procedures now having been undertaken worldwide. He also created the world’s first Diode laser for treating eye problems of diabetes, glaucoma and ageing. Professor Marshall is editor and co-editor of numerous international journals.


Professor Lucilla Poston

Lucilla Poston, Tommy's Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health, is Head of the Division of Reproduction and Endocrinology and Director of the Maternal and Fetal Research Unit, in the School of Biomedical & Health Sciences. Professor Poston’s current research focuses on two predominant fields of interest, developmental programming of adult disease and pre-eclampsia, having written papers in high impact journals on these subjects. Research into developmental programming includes investigation of rodent models of maternal over nutrition and obesity, and her group also undertakes studies of nutrition in human pregnancy.

Professor Poston is an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and has recently been appointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator. She has published more than 200 research papers.

Outstanding contributions

Academy Fellows are elected for outstanding contributions to the advancement of medical science, for innovative application of scientific knowledge or for their conspicuous service to healthcare. These nominations bring the number of King’s College London Fellows to 39 of the 947 in the Academy.

Professor Shitij Kapur, commented: 'It is an honour for me to be so recognized by my peers especially as most of my contributions to science have been outside the UK. I think it speaks to the international perspective of the Academy and its emphasis on excellence where ever achieved. I am pleased to join a large contingent of King’s scientists who are members of the Academy, particularly the large number in psychiatry who are already elected, and I think together we will have an opportunity to promote the translation of medical innovation into implementation for patient benefit in our field.’

Professor Sir John Bell, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said, ‘Our new Fellows illustrate the wealth of experience and diversity of talent amongst the UK’s research community. Changes in global financial markets, and the promise of medical research to deliver both benefits to health and economic growth, mean it is more important than ever that these assets are recognised and supported. I look forward to working with these skilled scientists to ensure their strengths across academia and industry are used to promote basic science discoveries, innovative healthcare and the rapid translation of research into patient benefits.’

This year Fellows were chosen from 369 candidates. The seven Sectional Committees met in March to consider potential Fellows for 2009 entry to the Academy.



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