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Professor Edel O’Toole awarded triennial Moxon Medal by Royal College of Physicians

This prestigious award is given to individuals who have produced distinguished observation and research in clinical medicine. Professor O’Toole is the first woman to receive it since its inception in 1891.

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Professor O’Toole was nominated to receive the medal by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD). The citation was given by Dr Tanya Bleiker, a recent President of the BAD. She mentioned her contribution to understanding the biology of rare genetic skin diseases including epidermolysis bullosa and rare forms of ichthyosis, her work on clinical phenotyping in rare skin diseases including palmoplantar keratoderma, her research on biology of the basement membrane zone, her deep phenotyping project of atopic eczema in Bangladeshi children and young adults in East London and her efforts to bring clinical trials to rare skin disease patients.

The last dermatologist to receive the Moxon medal was Frederick Parkes Weber in 1930. Other notable recipients of the award include Professor Sir John Bell FRS in 2008, Sir John Parkinson (cardiologist at the London Hospital) in 1957, Sir Arthur William Mickle Ellis (physician and nephrologist at the London Hospital) in 1951, Sir Alexander Fleming in 1945 and Sir Jonathan Hutchinson in 1906.

The award was presented by Dr Sarah Clarke, President of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), prior to the Harveian Oration on the 18th of October, 2023.

Professor O’Toole said: "It is a great honour to receive the Moxon Medal from the Royal College of Physicians and I am very proud to be the first woman to receive this award. I am very grateful to my research team, Queen Mary and Royal London Hospital colleagues (academic and clinical), my patients, research funders, patient advocacy groups and dermatology societies that have shaped and underpinned my clinical research career."

Edel is Professor of Molecular Dermatology and a co-director of the Wellcome-funded Health Advances in Underrepresented Populations and Diseases (HARP) doctoral training programme. She was Centre Lead of the Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research at the Blizard Institute from 2015-2022. She is also an honorary consultant dermatologist at the Royal London Hospital with clinical interests in paediatric dermatology and rare genetic skin disorders.

Her research mainly focuses on genetic skin diseases including epidermolysis bullosa, ichthyosis, palmoplantar keratodermas and atopic eczema. Her work is funded by the BBSRC, Unilever, Lifearc, the Chan Zuckerberg Institute, the Medical Research Foundation, Barts Charity and the Leo Foundation. She works closely with patient organisations including Pachyonychia Project and is Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Ichthyosis Support Group and Chair of the Scientific Grants Panel of DEBRA UK.


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