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The Matt Wilson Scholarship

Matthew (“Matt”) Wilson studied at King’s College London and obtained an MSc in “Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Research” in October 2011. He graduated with Distinction, ranked 2nd of 33 students, notably whilst undergoing treatment for cancer throughout his studies. The picture on the right shows Matt at his graduation.

In memory of Matt’s exemplary contributions, we initially set up the Matt Wilson Prize, awarded annually to the “best overall performing” Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Research MSc student.

In addition, and thanks to a generous donation from Matt’s family, we were able to establish a  scholarship scheme designed to support  the enhancement of research projects. Please browse through the eclectic mix of impacting research this has enabled – and many more success stories will follow over the coming years. The scholarship is a wonderful way to ensure that Matt’s legacy lives on!

Matt Wilson at his graduation

Matt worked in my laboratory for six months. His research was performed with the best of diligence and the highest degree of intellectual engagement and this provided remarkable novel insights into the mode of inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatases. Matt participated in all steps of preparing the manuscript we published as a Report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry the following year (M. Wilson, C. Hogstrand, W. Maret (2012) Picomolar concentrations of free zinc(II) ions regulate receptor protein-tyrosine phosphatase β activity. J. Biol. Chem 287, 9322-6). The publication criteria requires exceptional novelty, significance and broad interest and the quality of an article must fall within the top 5 percent of all articles published in the journal. Testament of Matt’s contribution to science is the fact that his paper has, to date, been cited over 160 times by the research community.

Prof Wolfgang Maret, Matt’s Project Supervisor

Matt was an incredibly modest person who did not want classmates and colleagues to know about his ongoing Cancer treatment during his MSc. Following the impressive performance in his MSc, he moved to Germany to study for his PhD in Virology but unfortunately had to return to the UK for further treatment. Despite being ill, his determination was unshaken, and he inquired whether he could continue to work with Prof Maret whilst being treated. Unfortunately, this second period of work did not come to fruition due to the untimely loss of his life. He will be remembered for his equanimity under the worst circumstances, his friendliness, and his true dedication to the course and meaning of scientific work.

Prof Stephen Sturzenbaum, Director of Matt’s MSc