Cancer Research UK scientists awarded Royal Society Fellowships

In collaboration with the Press Association

Two of Cancer Research UK's scientists have been elected as new Fellows of the Royal Society.

Dr Jesper Svejstrup and Professor David Glover were chosen alongside 44 other researchers to be recognised by the UK's national science academy for contributions to their respective fields.

Based at the London Research Institute's Clare Hall Laboratories, Dr Svejstrup and his team have made great headway studying the processes by which information contained in DNA is "transcribed" into RNA molecules, which are fundamental to the manufacture of proteins.

Dr Svestrup joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in 1996, and his team has particularly focused on the way in which the transcribing process is linked to the process of DNA repair, known to be defective in cancer.

The University of Cambridge's Professor Glover was recognised by the Royal Society for his studies with the Drosophila fruit fly that provide new insight into how cells know when to divide.

His pioneering work led to the discovery of the Polo and Aurora proteins, both of which are involved in the mitosis (cell division) process and have become the focus of subsequent studies into potential new cancer treatments.

Commenting on his new fellowship, Dr Svejstrup said: "It's a great honour to have been elected by the Royal Society.

"I am keenly aware that although this honour was given to me as an individual, it's actually the result of a team effort.

Professor Glover added: "I am absolutely thrilled to have been elected to this prestigious academy.

"Our achievements would have been impossible without the insight over 25 years ago from Cancer Research UK to fund our studies in the basic cell biology of mitosis."

Founded in 1660, the Royal Society chooses 44 new fellows every year from the fields of science, engineering and medicine. Among its more notable alumni are Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and, more recently, Albert Einstein, Sir David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking.