News Release

Molly Stevens receives the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award 2021

Grant and Award Announcement


Molly Stevens receives the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award 2021

image: Heidelberg, 10 February 2021 - EMBO and FEBS announce Molly Stevens of Imperial College London, UK, as the recipient of the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award 2021. view more 

Credit: David Vintiner, Imperial College London

The FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award recognizes outstanding scientific achievements in the last five years of a female life scientist who carried out the research in Europe. The recipients are also inspiring role models for future generations of scientists.

"I am humbled by this award which is a fantastic recognition of all the work that my team of brilliant researchers does. I'm continually inspired by them and by the potential for our science to change lives," Stevens says about the award and her team.

Molly Stevens receives the award for her innovative bioengineering approach that addresses key problems in regenerative medicine and biosensing. Her multidisciplinary research has not only advanced the understanding of interactions at the biomaterial interface, its results are also being translated into the development of point-of-care tests for tumours and viruses such as HIV and Ebolavirus. These biosensors are designed to allow rapid diagnoses anywhere in the world.

The President of Imperial College London, Alice Gast, says: "Prof Molly Stevens is an extraordinary scientist at the forefront of the field of biosensing and regenerative medicine. She uses a visionary cross-disciplinary approach rooted on a clear understanding of the biochemical interactions that define the bio-interfaces." Commenting on Stevens' mentoring activities, Gast continues: "She is an inspiring role model for women that follow her steps to achieve successful academic and scientific careers. Without a doubt she has opened doors for women following similar paths and has inspired and mentored many students and researchers in her lab through her many public engagements including keynote lectures at EMBO Workshops."

Stevens has received more than 30 awards and honours, including the Karen Burt Memorial Award of the Women's Engineering Society, UK, and is a Fellow of eight learned societies in the UK. She addressed world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020 and discussed how mobile health technologies are democratizing healthcare.

Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, who was Stevens' postdoctoral advisor, explains: "Molly designs diagnostic technologies that are cost-effective, easy to interpret and that do not need specialist lab equipment. The tests can be combined with a smartphone app that collects and analyses results, connects with health centres and monitors patients, as validated for an Ebola serological test in Uganda with 91 survivors. This is an extremely powerful mobile health approach that will revolutionize the diagnostics field."


The FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award 2021 of 10,000 euros and a bronze statuette will be presented to Stevens at the 45th FEBS Congress on 5 July 2021, where she will give a plenary lecture.



Prof Molly M Stevens FREng FRS is Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Department of Materials, in the Department of Bioengineering and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London, UK. She also runs a satellite laboratory at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Her multidisciplinary research balances the investigation of fundamental science with the development of technology to address some of the major healthcare challenges. Her work has been instrumental in elucidating the biomaterial interfaces. She has created a broad portfolio of designer biomaterials for applications in disease diagnostics and regenerative medicine. Her substantial body of work influences research groups around the world (>350 publications, h-index 86, >30k citations, 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher in Cross-Field research).

Stevens holds numerous leadership positions including Director of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform "Smart Acellular Materials" Hub, Deputy Director of the EPSRC IRC in Early-Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases and President of the Royal Society of Chemistry Division of Materials Chemistry.

She has received more than 30 awards and honours, including the Karen Burt Memorial Award of the Women's Engineering Society, UK, and the Rosalind Franklin Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics, UK. She is a Fellow of eight learned societies in the UK, including the Royal Society, and has been elected a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Engineering, USA.

About the FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award

The Women in Science Award is a joint initiative of FEBS and EMBO. It recognizes and highlights major contributions by female scientists working in Europe to life sciences research in the past five years. The award includes a prize of 10,000 euros, a bronze statuette and the opportunity to give a plenary lecture at the FEBS Congress.

Nominations for the 2022 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award close on 15 October 2021.

More information:

About FEBS

The Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) is one of Europe's largest organizations in the molecular life sciences, with over 35,000 members across more than 35 biochemistry and molecular biology societies (its 'Constituent Societies') in different countries of Europe and neighbouring regions. As a grass-roots organization FEBS thereby provides a voice to a large part of the academic research and teaching community in Europe and beyond.

As a charity, FEBS promotes and supports biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, molecular biophysics and related research areas through its journals, Congress, Advanced Courses, Fellowships and other initiatives. There is an emphasis in many programmes on scientific exchange and cooperation between scientists working in different countries, and on promotion of the training of early-career scientists. For more information:

About EMBO

EMBO is an organization of more than 1800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe. For more information:

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