Biochemical Society Awards Recipients 2021

By 23.03.20

Ten eminent scientists and exceptional early career researchers have been honoured in the annual Biochemical Society Awards. Each winner exemplifies the very best of the bioscience community in fields ranging from DNA repair and the motile behaviour of microorganisms to muscle metabolism and complex membrane trafficking.

Professor Colin Bingle, Professor of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Sheffield, and Chair of the Biochemical Society’s Awards Committee, said:

Bioscientists represent an incredible community of researchers and academics that are dedicated to understanding biology at a molecular and cellular level. Due to current events, I am pleased that we have this opportunity to highlight the true value of excellence in biosciences via our awards programme. The 2021 Biochemical Society award-winners have all made significant contributions to their field of study. There is no doubt that their research is fundamental to life and of transformative relevance to health and disease. These individuals demonstrate a commitment to enhancing knowledge and, on behalf of the Society, I’d like to sincerely congratulate all of these winners for their hard work in the pursuit of biology.

On winning the Biochemical Society Award, Professor Dame Janet Thornton of the European Bioinformatics Institute added:

I am delighted to be chosen for this Biochemical Society Award for computational methods leading to advancing the understanding of biomolecular sciences. This is a real honour for me – and for all the people with whom I have worked.  For me to see, to understand and to be inspired by the beauty of protein structures and their incredibly complex biology has been a real pleasure. To be recognised by the Biochemical Society adds much to that pleasure.

Recipients of the Biochemical Society’s 2021 Awards:

Centenary Award
Professor Kim Nasmyth, University of Oxford, UK

Colworth Medal
Dr Giulia Zanetti, Birkbeck University of London, UK

Early Career Research Awards
Dr Roser Vento-Tormo, Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK
Dr Kirsty Wan, University of Exeter, UK

Biochemical Society Award
Professor Dame Janet Thornton, European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, UK

Industry and Academic Collaboration Award
Dr Pamela Williams, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK

International Award
Professor Brandt Eichman, Vanderbilt University, USA

Portland Press Excellence in Science Award
Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck, University College London, UK

Sir Philip Randle Award
Professor Erik Richter, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Teaching Excellence Award
Dr Rosemary Clyne, Queen Mary University of London, UK

You can read more about the recipients here.

These winners will receive their prize and deliver an award or medal lecture in 2021. All of the awards and medal lectureships carry prize money and, as part of the prize, winners will also be invited to submit an article to one of the Society’s publications.

Nominations for the Biochemical Society’s 2022 Awards open in August 2020 and can be made by and for members and non-members alike. For more information, please visit