RSE Dame Anne McLaren Medal

The RSE Dame Anne McLaren Medal recognises exceptional achievements in the life sciences by an early career researcher. This award meets with the Society’s strategic objective of recognising and rewarding excellence in, and increasing public understanding of, the life sciences. The awardees are required to have a Scottish connection but can be based anywhere in the world.

Early career researcher is defined as “a researcher with a minimum of two years postdoctoral work experience and no more than ten years postdoctoral work experience” (i.e. research fellows to lecturers in their first academic posts are eligible). For those not based in academia, ‘early career’ is defined as “individuals who have demonstrated outstanding ability in their work and professional practice within thirteen years of graduation.”


Nominations are currently closed.


ABOUT Dame Anne McLaren

Dame Anne McLaren (1927 – 2007) was a leading figure in developmental biology and one of the most influential and eminent reproductive biologists of the twentieth century. She was educated at Oxford and University College London and, for fifteen years, worked in the Institute for Animal Genetics at the University of Edinburgh, a period and place she later described as ‘the most wonderful scientific atmosphere I have come across anywhere’. A pioneer of in-vitro fertilisation, McLaren was the Royal Society’s first female officer in that body’s 330-year-old history when appointed to the role of Foreign Secretary in 1992. 


The RSE relaunched its medals in autumn 2022 to better reflect the important, and often overlooked, input of eminent women to the sciences, arts, and letters in Scotland. The RSE Dame Anne McLaren Medal was formally the RSE Patrick Neill Medal.

RSE Dame Anne McLaren Medallists:

YearName(s)Institution Awarded
2024No award made
2023Dr Mattie PawlowicUniversity of DundeeFor her commitment to teaching, training and research aimed at tacking cryptosporidiosis, an emerging disease with largely unexplored biology in need of investment in drug discovery. Her efforts in combating the disease are set to deliver new interventions against cryptosporidiosis.

RSE Patrick Neill Medallists:

YearName(s)Institution Awarded
2022No award made
2021Dr Julie WelburnWellcome Centre for Cell Biology at the University of Edinburghfor enhancing our understanding of human cell division and disease through her research into the structure and cooperativity of key motor proteins and microtubule tracks.
2020Dr Luke Graham BoulterMRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburghfor their discovery of a number of processes that are required for cancers to develop during chronic disease, and his identification of a series of therapeutically targetable signals that cancers use to grow. He is also an active champion of LGBTQ+ diversity in medicine and science
2019Dr Joe MarshIGMM Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Edinburghfor their outstanding research in human genetics, which is key to the success of personalised and precision medicine.
2019Dr Ferry MelchelsHeriot-Watt Universityfor their outstanding contribution to the field of biomaterials and tissue engineering.
2018Dr Sarah CoulthurstDivision of Molecular Microbiology, University of Dundeefor their outstanding research work in the field of microbiology, particularly in the area of bacterial communication and competition.
2017Dr James ChalmersDiscovery Fellow and Honorary Consultant Physician, Division of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Dundeefor their outstanding research work on respiratory infections and his expertise in bronchiectasis.
2016Dr Asier Unciti-BrocetaPI/Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburghfor their outstanding research work in biomedical technologies and innovative therapeutics through multi-disciplinary collaboration.
2015Dr Tiziana Lembo University of Glasgow Research Fellow, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgowfor their outstanding research work in the field of Veterinary medicine and her breadth of expertise in this field and in data analysis, zoonotic disease and public and animal health in the developing world.