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The University of Southampton

Southampton cancer scientist becomes Fellow of Academy of Medical Sciences

Published: 30 May 2024
Mark Cragg

A Faculty of Medicine Professor has been named a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Mark Cragg is Professor of Professor in Experimental Cancer Biology and is internationally recognised for his work in using the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

His research analyses how the immune system interacts with cancer cells and how it can be harnessed with immunotherapy drugs called monoclonal antibodies. These drugs recognise and find specific proteins on cancer or immune cells and can then remove the cancer in different ways. Some attach to the cancer cells, making it easier for the cells of the immune system to find and destroy them, others block proteins that stop the immune system working (checkpoint inhibitors) and others bind to and stimulate the immune cells directly (immunostimulatory antibodies). Southampton has a rich and successful history in this area of cancer research bringing new antibody treatments from the laboratory to the clinic.

Mark is a member of the Antibody and Vaccine Group at the University of Southampton, joint Deputy Head of School Research in Cancer Sciences and is Director of the MRC DTP Translational Biomedical Sciences.

He is the only University of Southampton member of staff in the 2024 cohort of Fellows, who have been recognised for their remarkable contributions to advancing biomedical and health sciences, ground-breaking research discoveries and translating developments into benefits for patients and wider society.

Professor Cragg said: “I am surprised, delighted and honoured to have been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, which is welcome recognition of the work we are doing in Centre for Cancer immunology. Awards like this are only possible through long-term commitment to a research area and collaboration with many different scientists, clinicians and industry colleagues. It recognises a rich history of Antibody Immunotherapy first developed in Southampton by George Stevenson and Martin Glennie and is only possible through the support from my fantastic colleagues within the Antibody and Vaccine Group. I am also grateful to my colleagues and collaborators across the University and beyond who I have worked with to take new antibody drugs into patients. This fellowship reflects the strength of cancer immunology translational research in Southampton. I look forward to working with the Academy to further the advances of Cancer Immunotherapy in the future”

The expertise of Fellows elected this year spans a wide range of clinical and non-clinical disciplines, from midwifery to cancer stem cell biology. They join an esteemed Fellowship of over 1,400 researchers who are at the heart of the Academy's work, which includes nurturing the next generation of researchers and shaping research and health policy in the UK and worldwide.

Professor Andrew Morris PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “It is an honour to welcome these brilliant minds to our Fellowship. Our new Fellows lead pioneering work in biomedical research and are driving remarkable improvements in healthcare. We look forward to working with them, and learning from them, in our quest to foster an open and progressive research environment that improves the health of people everywhere through excellence in medical science.”

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Wednesday 18 September 2024.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent, expert body representing the diversity of medical science in the UK. Its mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. The Academy's elected Fellows are the most influential scientists in the UK and worldwide, drawn from the NHS, academia, industry and the public service.

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