Congratulations to Professor Francesca Happé who has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours for 2021. Professor Happé, who is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the IoPPN, was awarded a CBE for services to the study of autism.
It was a wonderful shock to learn that I had been awarded a CBE! All science is a collaborative effort, so this honour really goes to my wonderful students and colleagues, and to the autistic collaborators and participants who make our research possible– Professor Francesca Happé
The Queen’s New Year honours list, published annually, recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK, from all walks of life.
Professor Happé’s primary research focus for over 30 years has been the study of autism. Her work explores the nature of social understanding in neurotypical development; studies of abilities and assets in autism and their relation to detail-focused cognitive style; and mental health on the autism spectrum, and under-researched subgroups including women and the elderly.
She was previous Head of Department for SGDP, and during her tenure oversaw the successful launch of the MSc programme Genes, Environment and Development, and MSc Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology. A core theme under Professor Happé’s leadership was development and innovation, with a focus on the new generation of young researchers.
Professor Happé is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences, past-President of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR; 2013-2015). Professor Happé has received the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal and President's Award, the Experimental Psychology Society Prize, and the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award.
Other King's colleagues recognised in this year's list were:
Dr Asha Thomson, Senior Clinical Teacher for King's College London, and Speciality Dentist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Senior Clinical Leadership Fellow East Anglia NHS England, received an MBE for services to the NHS, particularly during the Covid-19 Response.
Dr Mary Patricia Sheridan, Newborn and infant physical examination (NIPE) Lead and Midwifery Lecturer, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London received an OBE for services to Midwifery in the NHS.
Dr Azeem Alam, Clinical Teaching Fellow and King’s alumnus received the BEM for services to medical education during COVID-19.