Professor Dame Sally Davies and Professor Karen Vousden CBE, have both been awarded Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degrees at Queen Mary University of London’s recent graduations.
Professor Dame Sally Davies is Master of Trinity College, Cambridge and the UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Before this, she was Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the UK government from March 2011 to September 2019. Her DSc builds on her Honorary Fellowship of Queen Mary in 2015.
Professor Karen Vousden is a Queen Mary alumna, having completed her BSc and PhD in Genetics here. Karen is Cancer Research UK's former Chief Scientist and a Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute, where her work focuses on tumour suppressors.
Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal of Queen Mary University of London says: “These are very well-deserved honours, bestowed on two inspirational women who have made significant and continued contributions to science, medicine, and global and domestic health policies over the years.
“Their prominent and exceptional leadership have brought about huge developments in health and medical research – including women’s health, genome research and antimicrobial resistance to name but some. We are honoured to honour them in this way.”
Professor Dame Sally Davies says: “I am proud of my connections with this University, and so receiving this honorary DSc from them is a privilege for which I thank all at Queen Mary for bestowing on me, in recognition of my work in global health.”
Professor Karen Vousden says: “Receiving this Honorary DSc from Queen Mary is a real honour and the graduation ceremony was a special way to start 2023. I have immense respect for Queen Mary’s world-class education and development of the health and science experts that our society needs and I am very proud to be part of that rich and diverse community.”
At the citation for her honorary degree, Professor Dame Sally was described as one of the most impactful people in global medicine in our lifetime. Dame Sally has supported several of Queen Mary’s key developments relating to research and medical expertise. Her prominent role in the health sector, her leadership in developing global strategies to combat serious and complex health challenges, and her engagement with the work of Queen Mary were instrumental in conferring the honorary DSc.
Professor Karen’s citation mentioned her early work at the Human Papillomavirus Group at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, focussing on the molecular biology of human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are associated with cervical cancer. Karen’s current research has made contributions to our understanding of how the tumour suppressor protein p53 is regulated and the functions of p53 that contribute to its ability to control cancer progression. These studies have revealed an unexpected ability of p53 to help cells adapt and survive under transient periods of nutrient starvation. This work led her to a more general investigation of cancer cell metabolism, focused on exploring the role of oxidative stress and serine metabolism in cancer development and metastatic progression. Professor Karen’s DSc is awarded in recognition of her significant scientific achievements.
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