Patrick Chinnery elected a Fellow of the Royal Society

Professor Patrick Chinnery, a member of the MRC National Mouse Genetics Network’s Mitochondria Cluster, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of many of the world’s most eminent scientists, engineers, and technologists. Each year, Fellows elect up to 85 new Fellows and up to 24 new Foreign Members. Candidates must have made “a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science.”

Patrick is a neurologist and clinician scientist and his group at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge studies mitochondrial genomics. Mitochondrial disorders cause incurable diseases that often result in premature death, with genetic mutations in either nuclear or mitochondrial DNA ultimately leading to defects in ATP synthesis. However, despite having the same basic biochemical basis, mitochondrial disorders have an enormously variable clinical presentation and disease course. Patrick’s group’s aim is to determine the factors that explain this variability and to identify and characterise previously unknown genetic mutations associated with disease.

Since obtaining his medical degree and PhD from Newcastle University, Patrick has been Director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University, Head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, Clinical Director of the MRC, and was last year appointed the Executive Chair of the MRC. Patrick was previously elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009.

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