Infection and Immunity


Prestigious Wolfson Research Merit Award for Professor Lucy Walker

lucy-walkerUniversity College London scientist Professor Lucy Walker has been appointed one of 15 new Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holders. The prestigious award provides five-year’s support for outstanding scientists to help them continue their ground-breaking work. Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme helps universities to attract science talent from overseas and retain respected UK scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

Lucy Walker is Professor of Immune Regulation at the UCL Institute for Immunity & Transplantation. Her research focuses understanding how immune responses are initiated and regulated and how defects in these processes can cause autoimmune diseases. Her group has a particular interest in type 1 diabetes in which the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. She is interested in characterising the particular immune cells responsible and defining the molecular switches that control them. The research may lead to new approaches to treat type 1 diabetes and related autoimmune conditions.

“I am delighted to have received this prestigious award” said Professor Walker. “We work closely with Dr Miranda Rosenthal and the clinical diabetes team here at the Royal Free hospital to try to understand the immune processes that occur in type 1 diabetes. We hope that our research will ultimately reveal new ways to tackle this condition which is affecting more people every year.”

The Wolfson Foundation is a grant-making charity established in 1955 by Sir Isaac Wolfson FRS (1897-1991), a businessman who distributed most of his fortune to good causes. Funding is given to support excellence through partnerships with organisations such as The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science.

The Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine. More information is available from: