World leading scientists among 2010 honours

Professor Sir David Lane will be awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science

The scientist who discovered the trigger behind the development of half of human cancers is among nine esteemed figures to receive honorary degrees from the University of Liverpool next week.

Professor Sir David Lane identified a protein that plays a unique part in triggering the genetic alteration by which normal cells mutate and become cancerous.  Since this discovery, it has become known that the mutations cause almost 50 per cent of all human cancers.  He is Chief Scientist of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore and Director of the Cancer Research UK Transformation Group.

Professor C. N. R. Rao is one of the world’s leading materials chemists.  His research at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, has produced new insights into materials that do not occur in nature – an area of work that plays an important role in the development of nanotechnologies.  His work on superconductors is significant in the development of new medical technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

University of Liverpool graduate, Andrew Pettigrew, is Professor of Strategy and Organisation at the SaΪd Business School at the University of Oxford.  His research focuses on the study of innovation, change, organisational performance and corporate governance. Professor Pettigrew’s most recognised published work is a study of long-term institutional change at ICI.  A Fellow of the British Academy, he received an OBE for services to higher education in 2009.

Lewis Booth is Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Ford Motor Company and a graduate of the University of Liverpool.  After joining Ford in 1978 as a financial analyst, he held a succession of key positions around the world, before being seconded to Japan in 2002 to develop the ailing Mazda Company. In 2008 he returned to Ford’s headquarters in Michigan, where he has been instrumental in successfully guiding the company through a global recession.

The television producer, Professor Phil Redmond is responsible for founding Mersey Television and creating the long-running dramas Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks. In 2007, he was appointed
Creative Director of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture board and has been appointed to chair the University’s new collaboration with Liverpool John Moores University, the Institute of Cultural Capital.

Award winning British film director and screen writer, Terence Davies, was born in Liverpool and has since based many of his films on his life growing up in the city during the 1940s and 50s.  His documentary film, Of Time and the City, uses vintage newsreel footage to depict post-war Liverpool.  His other works, including Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes have received critical acclaim around the world.  Terence will also be appointed honorary professor at the Department of Communication and Media.

Dame Lorna Muirhead is the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside.  She originally trained as a nurse and midwife and moved to Liverpool in the mid-60s to take up a position at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. In 1997 she was elected to the Council of the Royal College of Midwives and five years later became its President. She was later made a Dame of the British Empire for services to midwifery in 2000.

The former President of the University of Liverpool Council, Mark Blundell, is founder of the Crosby Hall Educational Trust, an independent charity that operates as a residential centre for children to support social and educational development. He is also involved with community work for Tate Liverpool and served for six years as a board member of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Professor Dame Janet Nelson is a historian whose research has transformed understanding of the early medieval period. She is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at King’s College London and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.  Professor Nelson became the Society’s first-ever woman President and was later elected a Fellow of the British Academy. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2006 for services to History.

“¢ At a graduation ceremony to be held at Shanghai World Expo in August, the University will honour John Whittaker, Chairman of Peel Holdings, and Professor Zhou Hanmin, Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Co-ordination.

The honorary degrees will be conferred during a week of ceremonies at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall from Monday, 19 July, in which more than 4,000 students will graduate.

Reporters are invited to attend the ceremonies and photographers are invited to attend prior to each ceremony.  Please contact Sarah Stamper in advance if you plan to attend.

Monday, 19 July, 10.30am – Mark Blundell (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws)
Monday, 19 July, 3.00pm – Lewis Booth (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science)
Tuesday, 20 July, 10.30am – Professor Sir David Lane (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science)
Tuesday, 20 July, 3.00pm – Dame Janet Nelson (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws)
Wednesday, 21 July, 10.30am – Professor C.N.R. Rao (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science)
Wednesday, 21 July, 3.00pm – Professor Phil Redmond (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters)
Thursday, 22 July, 10.30am – Professor Andrew Pettigrew (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws)
Friday, 23 July, 10.30am – Terence Davies (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters)
Friday, 23 July, 3.00pm – Dame Lorna Muirhead (Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws)

Notes to editors:

1.  The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £98 million annually.

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