Dr Paul J Mitchell, a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in the pharmacology group of the Department of Life Sciences, has been elected a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS).

Fellows and Honorary Fellows of the British Pharmacological Society are elected by their peers in recognition of their contributions to the field.

The BPS states: “Our Fellows and Honorary Fellows have demonstrated distinction and peer recognition in pharmacology and play an incredibly important role in the Society.

“Through their work, they further all disciplines of pharmacology in the discovery, development and use of medicines. Through their leadership, and contribution to Society life, they inspire and support members at earlier stages of their career or study.”

In addition, the President of the Society, Professor Clive Page, said: “The individuals elected this year reflect the broad expertise currently advancing pharmacology across academia, clinical and industry settings. This list is also diverse: over 60% are women; over 30% are international; and 13% are early career researchers.”

Dr Mitchell said: “I am absolutely thrilled and grateful to receive this distinction, especially as it reflects recognition from my peers.

“I have been a member of the BPS for over 40 years and to have been made a Fellow of the Society in recognition of my work in research and education is both humbling and very rewarding. I would never have thought this possible when I started in the pharmaceutical industry 48 years ago. Thankyou BPS.”

Prof Philip Ingham, Head of the Life Sciences Department, said: “Many congratulations to Paul on this well-deserved honour. It is a very fitting recognition of his contributions and standing in the field.”

Dr Mitchell began his pharmacological career working for Beecham Pharmaceuticals before studying for a PhD at Bath examining the effect of psychotropic drugs on rodent social behaviour in the resident-intruder and social hierarchy paradigms.

He then joined Wyeth-Ayerst to continue his research using these behavioural models which ultimately led directly to the identification and development of venlafaxine (Efexor® ) for the treatment of depressive illness.

Returning to Bath to continue his research in 1995, he now teaches pharmacology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. His educational focus has always been on the importance of robust experimental design and statistical analysis which resulted in a complete programme of study for UG/PG students at Bath and the University of Galway, coupled to his textbook Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis for Pharmacology and the Biomedical Sciences (Wiley 2022).

Paul currently provides residential training courses on statistical analysis for the BPS, sits on the BPS Education and Training Committee and is CEO/MD of Experides Ltd., providing guidance and education in experimental design and statistical analysis.

This year the BPS also awarded an Honorary Fellowship to Professor Steve Ward from the University’s Department of Life Sciences.