Congratulations to Professor Ron Hay, the recipient of the 2012 Novartis Medal and Prize. This is the third consecutive year that the Novartis Prize has been awarded to a CLS scientist; Angus Lamond was the recipient of the prize for 2011 and Grahame Hardie in 2010. Previous winners of the Prize from the College of Life Sciences also include Sir Philip Cohen who gave the Novartis Medal Lecture in Warwick in 1992.

The Medal is awarded annually in recognition of contributions to the development of any branch of biochemistry to scientists (of any nationality) working in the UK. The recipient receives the Novartis Medal and £3000 and presents the Medal Lecture at a Society conference. The lecture is published in Biochemical Society Transactions. The award was donated in 1964 by the Ciba Laboratories, which later became Ciba-Geigy.

Ron Hay’s lab is part of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression. The Centre Director Angus Lamond, last year’s winner, said, “This is a well deserved recognition of Ron Hay’s outstanding research on SUMO and protein modification mechanisms. The award of the Novartis Medal is a major distinction and underlines Ron’s reputation as a world leading researcher.”

In response to the announcement Professor Hay, who is also an honorary Programme Leader at the Scottish Institute for Cell Signalling (SCILLS) said, “It’s a great honour to be awarded the Novartis medal of the Biochemical Society. This recognition is a direct result of the hard work and creativity of the scientists who now work, and who have worked, in my laboratory. This also reflects on the high standard of the facilities available and the excellence of the scientific environment here in Dundee.”

Michael Ferguson, Dean of the School of Research at the College of Life Sciences commented, “This award to Ron Hay is richly deserved. I am delighted his seminal contributions to protein sumoylation, and its biological functions, have been recognised by the Biochemical Society. The award comes hot on the heels of his election as a Fellow of The Royal Society last year.”

The Prize will be presented to Professor Hay in 2012.