The School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London has been recognised with a national award for its world-class research in the development of novel therapies for rare diseases, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
Professor George Dickson, from the School of Biological Sciences and Chair of Molecular Cell Biology, received the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's 'Scientist of the Year' award from TV presenter Sue Barker at their annual conference held in Coventry on Saturday 18 October.
Professor Dickson commented: "This is a really nice recognition of the hard work and dedication of our research team, and of past colleagues. I thank my lucky stars to have such a talented team of brilliant dedicated people, and such a tremendous and supportive research environment in the School and the College."
George Dickson has dedicated his career to studying neuromuscular disease and muscle cell biology, including the first cloning of an intact dystrophin gene, the discovery of the role of cell adhesion molecules in muscle stem cell fusion, the first identification of utrophin, and the first description of exon skipping in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). He has also conducted notable research into gene therapy for atherosclerosis, and genetic vaccination against HIV/AIDS.
Professor Paul Hogg, Vice Principal and Dean of Science at Royal Holloway said: "Congratulations to George Dickson and his research team on such a well-deserved award in recognition of many years of pioneering research into potential treatments and cures for people with DMD and related neuromuscular conditions."
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, a consistently strong funder of research at Royal Holloway, launched 'Scientist of the Year' in 2012 and the 2013 award went to Professor Francesco Muntoni at the Institute of Child Health/ GOSH, and the UK MDEX consortium, of which Professor Dickson's team are also a part.
Professor Dickson is currently Royal Holloway Research Theme Champion for 'Health, the Human Body and Behaviour'.