Credit: Debbie Fan via Unsplash

Six UofG Academics recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

By Clara Punsita Ritthikarn

They received nominations for their services in medicinal and scientific fields.

Six professors from leading University of Glasgow colleges are among those receiving the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, four researchers from the College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life Sciences have been honoured for their services to the NHS, while the other two from the College of Science and Engineering have been recognised for their services to research, education and outreach. 

Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “On behalf of the entire University, I offer my warmest congratulations to each of the colleagues recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. They each bring unique expertise to the University from across the fields of computing science, physics, medicine and virology, and their honours are richly deserved.”

Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, Muffy Calder, has been honoured with Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her services to research and education.  

Previously, she received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award and won a Suffrage Science award in Computing Science and Mathematics in 2016. Her research interest is in computational modelling and automated reasoning about the behaviour of complex, interactive, and sensor-driven systems. 

On this award, Professor Calder stated: “The DBE is a great surprise for me – I feel very honoured. I love being a computer scientist and also raising the profile of science and engineering, which change our lives for the better.

“I am grateful to all the interesting people I work with and to the University of Glasgow, which has supported me and helped me to flourish, both in my research and in many external roles. It might sound corny, but I really feel this – I am very proud to be part of the University of Glasgow.”

Similarly, Miles Padgett, Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy in the School of Physics & Astronomy, who has been awarded for his services to scientific research and outreach, felt delighted to be recognised for his work at the University of Glasgow. 

Meanwhile, Christian Delles, an Honorary Consultant Physician in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde said: “This is such a great honour and I hope that it highlights the amazing work of doctors and other health professionals both in the University and the NHS. Our clinical fellows and clinical lecturers contribute so much to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and I would really like to share this honour with them.”

Another honorary consultant physician who joined the fight against the coronavirus crisis across Glasgow, Matthew Walters, said: “I’m humbled and surprised to receive this honour, which reflects the huge efforts of the team in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing to work with NHS colleagues in the battle against Covid-19.”

Similarly, the biobank manager at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR), Sarah McDonald felt honoured and overwhelmed to receive this award, “particularly as someone who has moved away from the traditional academic career pathway.” 

McDonald stated: “The response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been a huge team effort, working closely with colleagues from the CVR, ISARIC 4C consortium and wider research community. I’m incredibly grateful to the many people who have helped us to establish the biorepository in such a short period of time.”

Emma Thomson, a professor in Infectious Disease at the CVR said: “I’m very lucky to work with many people both more and less experienced than me who I admire greatly and who make coming to work rewarding, varied, and often very exciting. Everything that we do is done as a team that is a sum of very diverse but equally important parts and I learn something from them every day.

“This extends from those in my own research laboratory and department as a whole at the MRC Centre for Virus Research to the outstanding team at the NHS Clinical Research Facility and the Department of Infectious Diseases at the QEUH. I hope that they will consider this award a reflection of their own achievements.

“Despite our efforts, we have not yet done enough to prevent the next virus emergence – we need to think very carefully about what we are doing as a species to prevent such events. It will only be by reducing air travel, global warming, reversing deforestation, and preserving other species on the planet that we will provide security for the next generation. These are urgent issues, and I hope that some of our new students will choose careers that will help to address these challenges.”


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