David Roblin and Robert Wilkinson elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences

08 May 2017

 AcMedSci

David Roblin, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Translation at the Francis Crick Institute, and Robert J Wilkinson, Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute, have been elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in recognition of their excellence in medical science.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is an independent body representing UK medical science, which aims to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society.

Every year, 46 Fellows are elected for their contribution to biomedical and health research. Fellows of the Academy are elected for exceptional contributions to the medical sciences either in the form of original discovery or of sustained contributions to scholarship.

Candidates are drawn from clinical academic medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, laboratory science, medical and nursing care and other professions allied to medical science. Candidates are selected primarily for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of medical science, or for the innovative application of existing scientific knowledge or understanding to advance human health and welfare.

Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute, said: "David and Robert are both world-leading medical scientists, so this recognition from the Academy of Medical Sciences is richly deserved. David has made many contributions to translational medicine, turning research discoveries into treatments that directly benefit lives and the economy. Robert is an exemplary clinical scientist, tackling tuberculosis and HIV on the ground in South Africa and London while maintaining a first-class research programme and nurturing a new generation of scientists. Congratulations to David and Robert on this recognition of their significant contributions to medical science."

David said: "I was simply delighted to hear the news, both grateful to be nominated and honoured to be elected. I look forward to working with the Academy to bring academic, clinical and industrial science ever closer as this is the way we will really deliver translational impact in the UK."

Robert said: "It is very gratifying that the research of a person based in a hard-pressed middle income country has been recognised as world-class in this way. The credit must be shared with innumerable people with whom I have worked over the years and to whom I am very grateful."

David practised medicine at a variety of London teaching hospitals for five years before joining the pharmaceutical industry in 1995. He has held significant leadership roles in his pharmaceutical career, with general management, research, development and commercial responsibilities. He is regarded as a leader in translational research and during his tenure at Pfizer and Bayer he was instrumental in the successful development of several important medicines.

In February 2014, David joined the Crick as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Translation. He led the Crick through the completion of its state-of the-art building in 2016 and migration into the building from four sites as well as establishing the Translational Sciences strategy. David is stepping down from his current role at the Crick in June 2017, but will retain a role as Chairman of Scientific Translation where he will provide ongoing advice to our work and will chair the Translational Advisory Group.

Robert began his research career at the Medical Research Council Tuberculosis Unit at Hammersmith Hospital in 1993. After further research experience at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and Imperial College London, he was awarded a Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship to base himself at the University of Cape Town in 2004 to work on tuberculosis and HIV-associated tuberculosis.

In 2007, Robert took up a joint appointment as Programme Leader at the National Institute for Medical Research (now part of the Crick) and the University of Cape Town. Robert is now a Group Leader at the Crick, a Professor in Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London and Director of the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa at the University of Cape Town.

  • David Roblin, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Translation at the Francis Crick Institute, and Robert J Wilkinson, Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute, have been elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in recognition of their excellence in medical science.
  • The Academy of Medical Sciences is an independent body representing UK medical science, which aims to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society.
  • Every year, 46 Fellows are elected for their contribution to biomedical and health research. Fellows of the Academy are elected for exceptional contributions to the medical sciences either in the form of original discovery or of sustained contributions to scholarship.