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Dr Maddy Parsons awarded RMS Life Science Medal

Dr Maddy Parsons, a Group Leader in the Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biophysics, has been awarded the Royal Microscopical Society Life Science Medal for her outstanding scientific contribution to applying microscopy in the field of cell biology. 

The award follows a nomination by Professor Anne Ridley, Head, Cell Motility and Cytoskeleton Research Section in the Randall Division, in recognition of Dr Parsons' position as one of the top researchers in the world, in applying fluorescence life-time imaging (FLIM) to analyse Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in the cell biology field. 

It was as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Tony Ng here at King’s that Dr Parsons first learnt FLIM/FRET methodology and soon had published widely using this technique. Following this period, Dr Parsons launched her own research group in the Randall Division as a Royal Society Fellow in 2005. 

Dr Parsons’ current research specialises in studying the cell biology of cell-extracellular matrix and cell-cell adhesion dynamics. She uses a wide array of microscopy techniques in addition to FLIM/FRET, including tracking cell migration in 2D and 3D, live imaging of protein dynamics in cells using FRAP and photo-activation. 

Dr Parsons has an international profile providing expertise to and developing collaborations with many laboratories in the UK, Europe and the USA. She has received and accepted many invitations to present at international conferences and seminars at institutes/universities throughout Europe and the USA. 

Dr Parsons is also on the editorial boards of: the International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Section Editor: Signalling Networks in Focus); Open Biology; PLoS ONE; NanoBioimaging; Journal of Visual Experimentation and International Reviews of Cell Molecular Biology. 

One of Dr Parsons’ most important contributions to advanced light microscopy was her key role in creating the Nikon Imaging Centre. Dr Parsons is now director of the Centre, which is a national resource and site for scientists to observe the latest Nikon light microscopy developments. 

The Royal Microscopical Society Life Science Medal is awarded only once every two years. Dr Parsons will be presented with  the medal in June at the next Microscience Microscopy Congress (MMC) in Manchester.