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Queen Mary Alumni

Nobel Prize Winners

Our Nobel Laureates include former students and members of staff of Queen Mary University of London and our constituent colleges:

Professor The Lord Edgar Adrian (1889-1977) was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1932, together with Sir Charles Sherrington, for their work on the function of neurons. He undertook clinical work at St Bartholomew's Hospital during World War I, initially as part of his medical degree.

Sir Henry Hallett Dale (1875-1968) was a renowned pharmacologist and physiologist. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1936 for his discoveries relating to the chemical transmission of nerve impulses. He received a scholarship to undertake the clinical part of his medical training at St Bartholomew's Hospital between 1900-02.  

Sir Charles Kao FRS FREng (1933-2018), former Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University in Hong Kong (1987-96), was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009 for his groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibres in optical communication. Sir Charles is a former member of staff of Queen Mary, having joined Professor Peter Clarricoats' Research Group as a Visiting Research Associate in 1969, in what is now the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. Sir Charles was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2008.

Professor Sir Peter Mansfield FRS
(1933 - 2017) (BSc Physics, 1959; PhD, 1962) was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2003, together with the late Professor Paul Lauterbur, for their pioneering work on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as a diagnostic technique.

Sir Peter Ratcliffe FRS, FMedSci (1954-) (Barts, Medicine MBBChir, 1978), Director for the Target Discovery Institute within the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, and Director of Clinical Research at the Francis Crick Institute, London, was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2019. Together with William G Kaelin, Jr of Harvard University and Gregg L Semenza of John Hopkins University, he discovered the key mechanisms that our cells use to detect and respond to low oxygen levels, known as 'hypoxia'.  

Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1931) commenced his medical training at St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1875. It is for the work he did on discovering the life-cycle of the malarial parasite Plasmodium that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902. 

Professor Joseph Rotblat (1908-2006) was Professor of Physics at St Bartholomew's from 1950 to 1976. He identified that the fallout from hydrogen bombs was highly radioactive and a direct cause of cancers in fallout victims. He had a lifelong devotion to nuclear abolition and the social responsibility of scientists. In 1995, Professor Rotblat shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, the organisation of scientists he established in 1957. 

Sir John Vane FRS (1927-2004), one of the pre-eminent pharmacologists of the twentieth-century, established the William Harvey Research Institute at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College in 1986. He shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his work on prostaglandins in 1982.

Dr Mario Vargas Llosa (1936-), a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist and critic, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. Dr Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America's most significant novelists and essayists; he rose to fame in the 1960s with novels such as The Time of the Hero, The Green House and Conversation in the Cathedral. Dr Vargas Llosa was formerly a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary and was made an Honorary Fellow in 1988.

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