Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom

"Academy of Medical Sciences" redirects here. For other uses, see Academy of Medical Sciences (disambiguation).
Academy of Medical Sciences
Motto Improving health through research
Formation 1 November 1998 (1998-11-01)
  • 41 Portland Place,
    London, W1B 1QH
Sir Robert Lechler
Mission To promote medical science and its translation into benefits for society

The Academy of Medical Sciences is an organisation established in the UK in 1998. Its stated objectives are to improve health through research and promote benefits for society from medical science, attempting to influence policy, link state and commercial health and research organisations, and encourage dialogue about the medical sciences. [1]As of December 2015 its president is Sir Robert Lechler.[2]


The Academy was established in 1998 following the recommendations of a working group chaired by Michael Atiyah, former president of the Royal Society.[3] A single national organisation was formed to support biomedical scientists and clinical academics working together to promote advances in medical science. It is one of the five learned academies in the United Kingdom, with the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[4] The intention of the founders was to create a national resource outside the framework of Government, with the expertise and authority to deal with scientific and societal aspects of public policy issues in healthcare.[5]

The formation of the Academy occurred against a backdrop of increasing fragmentation and specialisation within the medical profession.[6] The Academy merged with the Novartis Foundation in 2008, and moved to a dedicated headquarters building at 41 Portland Place in October 2010.[7] This building provides office space for its 25 members of staff, and has rooms for events and conferences.[8]


As of May 2015, the academy had 1,169 Fellows[9] drawn from fundamental biological sciences, clinical academic medicine, public and population health, health technology implementation, veterinary science, dentistry, medical and nursing care and other professions allied to medical science as well as the basic fundamental mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, ethics, social science and the law.

Fellows are elected to the academy for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of medical science, for their application of existing scientific knowledge to innovative health interventions, or for their conspicuous service to medical science and healthcare. Up to 44 new Fellows are elected to the Academy each year.[10]

Honorary Fellowship is offered to those of the highest distinction in the field of medical science, who would not necessarily be expected to participate in the affairs of the academy, but whose Fellowship brings distinction to the organisation.

Honorary Fellows include:

Some of its members are retired and no longer research-active.

List of Presidents


The Academy is governed by a Council of 24 Fellows including six Honorary Officers whose role is to provide strategic advice to the Academy. The Academy's Honorary Officers are:


Policy advice Areas of policy work originate from within the Academy Council and wider Fellowship, and in response to consultations from the government, Parliament and other relevant bodies. As of 2011 work included reports on ageing, brain science, addiction and drugs, inter-species embryos,[11] the use of data in medical research and the use of non human primates in research.

Education The Academy's National Mentoring and Outreach Scheme was established in 2002 and is supported by the UK Department of Health, the National Institute for Health Research and NHS Education for Scotland. The programme provides one-to-one mentoring by Academy Fellows for Clinical Lecturers and Clinician Scientist Fellows. It also offers activities for Academic Clinical Fellows, Clinical Training Fellows and MB PhD students.

Funding research The Academy’s funding schemes focus on areas of specific and specialist need, addressing perceived shortages within key speciality areas, and international collaboration. Schemes include Clinician Scientist Fellowships, Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers and UK/Middle East Exchange Fellowships.

Publicising medical science The Academy’s public events demonstrate recent research and provide a platform for discussion of the latest science.[12]

Linking academia and industry The Academy has a forum that brings together biomedical scientists from academia and industry.[13]


  1. "Improving health through research". Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  2. "President of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  3. "The Formation of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  4. "Funding national academies". UK Government. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  5. Savill, John (1999). "More than merely academic: the new Academy of Medical Sciences". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Royal Society of Medicine. 92: 387. PMC 1297311Freely accessible. PMID 10656001.
  6. Manning, Mary (2004). "Academy of Medical Sciences: promoting advances in health science and biomedical research" (PDF). Clinical Medicine. Royal College of Physicians. 4: 462–464. doi:10.7861/clinmedicine.4-5-462.
  7. "Merger with the Novartis Foundation". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  8. "Interesting facts about the building". 41 Portland Place (Academy of Medical Sciences). Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  9. "Fellowship news: New Fellows". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  10. "Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  11. Abbott, Alison (21 July 2011). "Regulations proposed for animal–human chimaeras". Nature. 475: 438. doi:10.1038/475438a.
  12. "Music and Medicine". Harbour and Jones. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  13. "2014 FORUM Lecture on Youtube". Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
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