The N8 universities were strongly represented in the most recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015, with figures from a wide range of academic disciplines receiving recognition for their work.
Professor Munir Pirmohamed, The University of Liverpool’s David Weatherall Chair in Medicine and a Consultant Physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, received a Knights Bachelor for his work in medicine.
As Director of the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicines at Liverpool, Professor Pirmohamed has pioneered major new initiatives to establish a clinical evidence base for safe and effective medication based on a patient’s unique genetic make-up, age, weight and diet.
Professor Pirmohamed, who holds the only NHS Chair in Pharmacogenetics in the UK and is Director of the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Drug Safety Sciences, said: “I am tremendously surprised, but hugely delighted to have received this honour. It is a privilege for me to have worked with so many wonderful people and organisations in the UK and beyond, who strive to make a difference to people’s lives by improving how we develop and use medicines.”
For services to Higher Education and Psychology, Professor Victoria Bruce of Newcastle University’s School of Psychology, was awarded a DBE. Professor Bruce, currently Vice-President for Public Engagement in the British Academy, is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of human face perception and recognition. Her work has influenced the way that witnesses are interviewed and how evidence from CCTV may be used by the courts.
She said: “I am truly honoured, and slightly terrified, to be joining the tiny group of UK Dames from academia – but hope this will help more women to be recognised for their efforts for the academy and society.”
Meanwhile, The Dean of the University of Sheffield’s world-leading School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), Professor Jon Nicholl, was awarded a CBE for his services to health research.
Professor Nichol said: “I was surprised and delighted to hear about the honour – in fact I think it is fair to say I was absolutely astonished. My CBE is not just about my own work – it really reflects the esteem in which ScHARR is held.”
Professor Rachel Griffith, Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and Deputy Research Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), was also awarded a CBE.
Professor Griffith is currently serving as President of the European Economic Association and is Managing Editor of the Economic Journal – the first woman to hold either of these positions. Her research considers the ways that public policy affects firms and people and her work has considered what drives the process of innovation and what determines differences in productivity levels between firms. She is interested in understanding dietary choices and the ways that public policy affects the choices that individuals make over the foods they purchase and their activity levels, and the choices that the food industry makes over what foods they offer.
Professor Griffith said: “I am delighted that the work that my colleagues and I do at the IFS has been recognised in this way. I believe passionately in the value and contribution that applied economics has to make to our understanding of how public policy affects all of us in our daily life.”
Also at the University of Manchester, Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow Dr Erinma Ochu has been awarded an MBE for services to public engagement in science, engineering and technology. Dr Ochu is exploring innovative ways in which the public can participate and collaborate in biomedical research, including an exploration of the cultural value of citizen science, interactive storytelling and games.
Dr Ochu said: “It’s fantastic that public engagement with science is recognised today. Thanks to everyone in Manchester and beyond who got involved and made a difference. Hopefully, this can inspire more people to embrace the big societal challenges we face together.”
And in addition to Professor Pirmohamed, The University of Liverpool was also represented by Professor Jennifer Hunter, Emeritus Professor of Anaesthesia at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, who was awarded an MBE for her services to medicine.
Dr Peter Simpson, Director of the N8 Research Partnership, commented: “Our congratulations go to all of our colleagues in the N8 universities who have been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015. To receive this kind of recognition is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the wealth of academic expertise and research strengths held within the N8 institutions.”