Bath Professor elected to prestigious European Academy

Professor Barry Potter has been elected a member of the prestigious Academia Europaea, Europe's Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Letters.

The Academia Europaea is a European, non-governmental academy with a membership of over 2000 scientists and scholars including 42 Nobel Laureates, which aims to promote learning, education and research.

Members are drawn from across the whole European continent from 35 European countries and eight non-European countries and are selected by invitation and peer-review.

The membership comprises leading experts from the physical sciences and technology, biological sciences and medicine, mathematics, the letters and humanities, social and cognitive sciences, economics and the law.

Professor Potter is amongst 38 members elected this year from the UK, including the eminent physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, the discoverer of pulsars Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, the inventor of the world-wide web Sir Timothy Berners-Lee and the 2007 Nobel Prize winner for stem cell work Sir Martin Evans.

Through workshops, conferences and expert meetings, the Academia promotes a wider appreciation of the value of European scholarship and research, and plays an important role in influencing European science policy.

The new members will be presented at the opening ceremony of the 21st annual plenary conference of the Academia taking place in Naples in September. Professor Potter will represent chemical biology and will become a member of the Chemical Sciences section, which includes several Nobel prize winners amongst its ranks.

Professor Potter said: "I feel humbled indeed to be included in such a distinguished group, spanning all of Europe and all areas of academic life.

"My own postdoctoral period was in Germany and I am highly committed to furthering European science. My research group has frequently engaged collaboratively with many European scientists and we have jointly funded grants.

"I am particularly pleased that the Academia through this election has expressed its support for our kind of interdisciplinary work that can often fall between established boundaries."

Professor Potter is Head of Medicinal Chemistry within the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology at the University of Bath.

His work in chemical biology, including the development of a new class of anti-cancer drugs, has been recognised recently by the award of three medals and by election to the UK national Academy of Medical Sciences.

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