MRC scientists elected Fellows of the Royal Society

illustration of a group of pople in a line

MRC-supported researchers are among the eminent scientists announced this week, elected as Fellows of the Royal Society.

As the UK’s independent academy for science, the Royal Society seeks to promote excellence in science through its fellowships and foreign memberships. Each year, the Royal Society elects up to 52 new Fellows and up to 10 new Foreign Members, recognising scientists who have made substantial contributions to the improvement of knowledge in the sciences.

Professor Gordon Brown, Director of the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Exeter, is an international leader in the fields of innate immunity and medical mycology. Professor Brown’s work is recognised for significantly advancing our understanding of host-pathogen interactions, and his research has helped to bring mycology into the mainstream interest of the immunology community.

Dr Francois Guillemot is a Senior Group Leader focused on molecular neurobiology at the Francis Crick Institute. Dr Guillemot’s Group aims to learn exactly how cells of the nervous system form, where and at what stage in development, in order to generate new ideas for therapies to treat brain disorders.

Professor Andrew Jackson is a clinical geneticist and Programme Leader at the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh and is the Deputy Chair of the MRC Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board. Professor Jackson’s research has focussed on the identification of genes for inherited neurological disorders and in defining the functional role of the proteins they encode, in particular human disease genes acting in growth and inflammation, involved in fundamental cellular processes. 

Dr William Schafer is a Group Leader in the Division of Neurobiology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Dr Schafer’s research addresses basic questions about how ion channels and signaling molecules function in the context of neural circuitry to produce behaviour and he is recognised for being instrumental in developing optical approaches for measuring neural activity, and applying these methods to investigate how individual genes affect the activities of neurons in defined neural circuits, and how this impacts behaviour.  

Visit the Royal Society website for a full list of the Fellows and Foreign Members elected in 2020.


The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health.

MRC [Medical Research Council]