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30 May 2023

Professor David Edwards receives James Spence Medal

Professor David Edwards has been awarded the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s (RCPCH) highest honour, the James Spence Medal for 2023.

david edwards in front of computer

Professor Edwards is a consultant neonatologist at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital and Professor of Neonatal Medicine at King’s College London. Over his 40-year career he has made an enormous impact not just on the survival of babies, but on the quality of life of some of the sickest new-borns cared for in neonatal units around the UK and internationally.

Professor Edwards was the driving force behind the research and implementation of therapeutic hypothermia for neonates. This intervention is now used globally and has been found to double normal survival and dramatically decrease health care costs.

In his ground-breaking Human Connectome Project, Professor Edwards and his team are working on the first and largest ever study looking at how connections first form in the months and weeks leading up to birth. This study will provide a greater understanding of conditions like autism and cerebral palsy.

I am extremely proud to have been awarded the Royal College’s highest honour, the James Spence Medal. In truth, the credit is all due to my colleagues at the Centre for the Developing Brain, and I’m also grateful to my mentor, the late Prod Osmund Reynolds for showing me how to go about addressing difficult medical problems.

Professor David Edwards, Head of the Department of Perinatal Imaging and Health

Congratulations to Professor Edwards on this wonderful achievement, he has pioneered the use of MRI scanning to image the smallest of babies. His work has led to improved diagnosis and prognosis, improved care, and the introduction of novel patient-orientated outcome measures for premature babies.

Professor Sebastien Ourselin FREng FMedSci, Head of School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

The James Spence Medal is awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in paediatrics and child health. The award is made on the recommendation of RCPCH Council on the advice of the Nominations Committee.

In this story

Sebastien Ourselin

Professor of Healthcare Engineering

David  Edwards

Director, Insititute for Women & Children's Health