Professor Steven West

An innovative scientist in Molecular Biology at the University of Exeter has been recognised for his contribution to life sciences research.

Professor Steven West joins scientists across Europe and beyond that have been elected to the EMBO Membership, an honour that celebrates research excellence and outstanding achievements in the life sciences.

The first set of EMBO members were elected in 1964 and in celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, 120 scientists have been inducted into the community. Professor West whose research focuses on the genesis and transcription of the Ribonucleic acid (RNA), a fundamental process disrupted during diseases, previously held an election into the EMBO Young Investigator programme.

Professor West joins a distinguished list that features Professor Austin Smith who was elected in 2004, and Professor Nina Wedell, elected in 2014 as Exeter affiliates and representatives in EMBO.

Professor West said: “I was delighted to hear about my election as an EMBO member and to join the more than 2000 leading researchers that form this wonderful organisation. This election recognises the outstanding achievements of the people in my research group and their wonderful work.

“I’m also grateful to my colleagues in the Living Systems Institute for making it such a vibrant workplace and to The Wellcome Trust who have funded the research in my lab. As an EMBO member, I look forward to contributing to their important activities, which help to promote and enable excellent science throughout Europe and beyond.”

The new EMBO Members and Associate Members have been recognized for accomplishments that cover the spectrum of life science research, including work that has advanced understanding of how infectious disease spreads, the intricacies of ocean nutrient cycles, the mysteries of cellular signalling networks, the secrets of how plants survive in desert environments, and the links between the biology of our brains and our emotions.  

Fiona Watt, EMBO Director, said: “The new EMBO Members and Associate Members have made immense contributions to fundamental life science research, and, in many cases, their work has paved the way for innovations that have improved lives and livelihoods around the world.

“As EMBO marks its 60th anniversary, we celebrate the pivotal roles played by the EMBO Membership in strengthening international life science research and contributing to the EMBO Programmes and activities. I send my warmest congratulations to all those elected.”

For a full list of EMBO members, please visit the EMBO directory.