Honorary Fellows & Fellows of the British Toxicology Society
Announcement of New Honorary Fellows and Fellows of the BTS
The British Toxicology Society is delighted to announce that a further 2 distinguished Toxicologists have been appointed Honorary Fellows of the BTS (17 in total). Their biographies appear below. Also, an additional 9 Senior Toxicologists have been appointed Fellows of the BTS. The Society is fortunate to have the support of such widely recognised and highly influential scientists.
- Dr Diane Benford
- Professor Ian Kimber
- Dr Fiona Sewell
- Dr Emma Marczylo
- Dr David Mason
- Dr David Woolley
- Dr Carl Westmoreland
- Dr Juliana Beirrie
- Dr Jason Gill
- Professor Rob Chilcott
- Dr John Jenner
A full list of Honorary Fellows and Fellows of the BTS can be found in Member Resources (BTS Log in Required).
Dr Diane Benford
Dr Diane Benford is a toxicologist with particular expertise in chemical risk assessment. She worked for many years at the University of Surrey and then at the UK Food Standards Agency from 2000 to 2017, ultimately becoming head of the Risk Assessment Unit. The Unit had overall responsibility for advice associated with all types of chemicals in food and of microbial contamination, but much of Diane’s work focussed on chemical contaminants, food additives and natural toxicants. Her role also included acting as scientific secretary to the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and part of the joint secretariat to its sister committees on Mutagenicity (COM) and Carcinogenicity (COC). In a personal capacity Diane was a member of the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 2005 to 2015, acting as chair of the panel for the final 3 year term of office. She is now a member and vice-chair of the EFSA Scientific Committee. She has participated in meetings of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) since 2001, firstly as a WHO Temporary Advisor and since 2013 as a member, including acting as chair or vice-chair on several occasions. Diane retired from the Food Standards Agency in 2017 but is still kept busy by her work with EFSA and JECFA. Over the years, Diane has served on the BTS Scientific Subcommittee, including several years as Abstracts Editor, and separate terms on the Executive Committee, including the roles of treasurer and General Secretary.
Professor Ian Kimber
Ian Kimber is currently Emeritus Professor of Toxicology in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester. He also served as Associate Dean for Business Development from 2009-2016. He has previously held academic positions in cancer biology and immunology, and senior positions in a number of companies (ICI, Zeneca, AstraZeneca and Syngenta)
He has broad research interests at the interface between toxicology and immunology, with a particular focus on immunotoxicity, allergy (food, skin and respiratory allergy) and inflammation. He also has interests in skin biology and toxicology, risk assessment, hazard characterisation, Adverse Outcome Pathways, and the development of alternative approaches to safety assessment.
Professor Kimber holds, and has held, a variety of positions on national and international expert and scientific advisory committees. Currently these include the following: Member UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Devices Expert Advisory Committee (and various MHRA Expert Advisory Groups), Programme Advisor Food Standards Agency Food Allergy and Intolerance Research Programme, member Scientific Advisory Board National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, member Medical Research Council Translational Research Group, Council member Laboratory Animal Science Association, and Chair of the CEFIC Long Range Research Initiative External Science Advisory Panel (ESAP).
Professor Kimber was previously: Deputy Chair of the MRC Physiological Medicine and Infection Board (2001-2003), President of the British Toxicology Society (2012-2014), and Chairman of the Board of the UK National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) (2008-2013).
Professor Kimber has published over 580 peer-reviewed research papers and review articles, over 100 book chapters, and 6 books. He has held awards and grants from the MRC, BBSRC, a variety of charities and from industry. He serves currently on the editorial boards of toxicology, immunology, dermatology and pathology journals.
Professor Kimber has received a number of awards and prizes. These include: the SmithKline Beecham Laboratory Animal Welfare Prize (2000) (jointly with David Basketter and Frank Gerberick), the 9th Robert A Scala Award in Toxicology (2001), the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation Prize for Realistic Animal Protection in Biomedical Research (2001), Society of Toxicology Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award (2003) (jointly with Frank Gerberick), and Society of Toxicology Immunotoxicology Lifetime Career Achievement Award (2005). In 2010 Professor Kimber received the Eurotox Bo Holmstedt Memorial Fellowship Award and Lecture at the International Congress of Toxicology in Barcelona.
In 2015 Professor Kimber received the Society of Toxicology Distinguished Toxicology Scholar Award. In the same year he was also awarded the Barnes Prize Lecture by the British Toxicology Society.
Professor Kimber was elected to membership of Academia Europaea in 2016.
In 2011 Professor Kimber was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to science.
Professor Ruth Roberts, PhD, ATS, FBTS, ERT, FRSB, FRCPath
Ruth is Director and Cofounder of ApconiX, an integrated ion channel and toxicology company, and is also Chair and Director of Drug Discovery at the University of Birmingham. Prior to this, Ruth was Global Head of Regulatory Safety at AstraZeneca (2004-2014) and Director of Toxicology for Aventis (2002-2004). Ruth is an established science professional bringing rigorous expert thinking to toxicology, drug discovery and drug development. With >140 publications in peer reviewed journals, her work focuses on science-based approaches to drug discovery and development and especially on reducing attrition attributable to safety and toxicity. A former president of the British Toxicology Society, former president of EUROTOX, former secretary to SOT and current President of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, Ruth was the recipient of the SOT Achievement award in 2002, the EUROTOX Bo Holmstedt Award in 2009 and the SOT Founders award in 2018 for outstanding leadership in toxicology.
Professor Lewis L Smith, BSc, PhD, FBTS, FRCPath.
Lewis began his career in ICI’s Central Toxicology Laboratory (CTL) where he became Section Manager of the Biochemical Toxicology Unit. He left CTL to become Director of the MRC Toxicology Unit (in Carshalton, then Leicester) and also Director of the MRC Institute for Environment and Health. He subsequently returned to Zeneca as Director of Zeneca CTL (then Syngenta CTL) before moving to Basel as the Head of Global Health and Environment, then Global Head of Development for Syngenta and Head of Regulatory Science.
Much of Lewis’s research has been focused on Mechanisms of toxicity with particular interest on Pharmaceuticals and Agro-chemicals. Lewis is a recipient of the EUROTOX “Young Scientist of the Year” award, the EUROTOX Bo Holmstedt Award Lecture, the BTS Paton Prize Lecture and the George Scott Award Lecture from the Toxicology Forum. Lewis is a past President of the BTS and of the HESI Organisation in Washington, DC. He has sat on numerous editorial boards of scientific journals and various UK Government Committees advising on chemical defence, drug licensing and other health issues. Although Lewis is now retired from full time employment, he continues to act as an independent consultant
Professor Faith M Williams, MA PhD FBTS
Faith is Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University. She was previously Professor of Toxicology in the Institute of Cellular Medicine and a Deputy Director of the Institute for Research in Environment and Sustainability. She also directed the Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology Research Group and was a research director at the Medical Toxicology Centre. Faith’s early career started with a degree in Biochemistry from Cambridge followed by a PhD in Forensic Medicine from London University, several years at RPMS Hammersmith Hospital and a Fellowship in Auckland New Zealand. Since 1980 she has been in Newcastle.
She has been recognised nationally and internationally for her research and expertise in toxicology: particularly dermal toxicology, human biomarkers of exposure and use of in vitro models in predictions. Faith with her research group and collaborators in academia and industry, in UK, EU and worldwide has been in the forefront of promoting the use of in vitro techniques.
Faith has been a member of the Executive Board and Scientific Subcommittee of the BTS and an active member of the Speciality sections. She was Chair of the Assessment Panel for the UK Register of Toxicologists and recognises the important role that both the BTS and UK Register have in developing and nurturing young toxicologists. In the public sphere of toxicology, she has been on many national and international committees such as the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT). She has also been a Toxicology advisor to the Health Protection Agency, the Department of Health, the Home Office and the MOD.
Professor Anne E Willis BSc, PhD, FBTS, OBE
Professor Anne Willis graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Kent and obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of London while working in the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories (now CRUK) on DNA repair with Dr Tomas Lindahl. She then moved to Cambridge to work with Professor Richard Perham in the Department of Biochemistry, where she also held a Junior Research Fellowship and then a College Lectureship at Churchill College Cambridge. Anne was appointed to a lectureship in Biochemistry at University of Leicester in 1992. In 2004, she was appointed Director of Cancer Research Nottingham and Chair of Cancer Cell Biology. In 2010 Anne became Director of the MRC Toxicology Unit, which will relocate to Cambridge in 2020. Anne’s research in the Unit is directed towards understanding the role of post-transcriptional control in response to toxic injury with a focus on RNA-binding proteins, regulatory RNA motifs and therapeutic RNAs. Anne was appointed as member of EMBO in 2014, awarded an OBE for services to biomedical sciences in 2015, and appointed Fellow of the British Toxicology Society in 2018.
Dr Frank M Sullivan, BSc, PhD, FBTS
Frank graduated in 1955 from the University of Edinburgh, with an Honours Degree in Pharmacology. He then spent the next 40 years as Lecturer in Pharmacology and Toxicology in Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, which merged in the last few years with St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, retiring in 1995. When the thalidomide disaster happened in 1959, he was already working on the effects of drugs on fetal development, and he subsequently led a research team investigating the mechanisms of action of teratogenic substances. He initiated interest in the reproductive hazards of industrial chemicals, writing a book on the subject with his colleague Susan Barlow. He collaborated with the National Poisons Information Service in Guys Hospital, to set up a Teratology Information Service (TIS) to give advice and collect data on pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to high doses of drugs and chemicals during pregnancy. On his retirement, the Service was transferred to Newcastle Poisons Service and continues today as the UKTIS
He served on several UK Government Committees as a reproductive toxicity expert covering pesticides, food, and consumer products, and was an advisor to the WHO. Frank was the UK Specialised Expert in Reproductive Toxicology to the EU, and chaired the committee which introduced the Classification for Toxicity to Reproduction in 1990. He was a founder member, and President, of the European Teratology Society and later the European Network of Teratology Information Services. He received the BTS Paton Prize in 2010.
Professor Alan R Boobis, BSc, PhD, FBPhS, FBTS, OBE
Alan Boobis graduated with a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Glasgow in 1974. He was then a Fogarty Visiting Fellow at the US National Institutes of Health, studying genetic and developmental factors on P450 expression and activity. In 1976 he was awarded an MRC research training fellowship in the department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, and was then appointed lecturer and subsequently Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology, at what is now Imperial College London. He retired in June 2017 and currently has a part-time position at the college as Professor of Toxicology. Current research interests include drug metabolism, mechanistic toxicology, chemical carcinogenesis and the application of this knowledge in risk assessment. He has published over 250 original research papers. He is a past member of several scientific advisory committees, including the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, the Committee on Carcinogenicity, the EFSA Panels on Plant Protection Products (PPR) and on Contaminants in Food (CONTAM). He is currently a member and past chair of the FAO/WHO JECFA (veterinary drugs) and JMPR. He currently chairs the Committee on Toxicity (COT). He has previously served as chair of the BTS and president of EUROTOX. Prof Boobis received an OBE for his work on the risk assessment of pesticides in 2003. He is an Honorary Member of EUROTOX, Honorary Fellow of the BTS and a Fellow of the BPS. He has been recipient of the EUROTOX Merit Award, the BTS John Barnes Prize Lecture the RSC Toxicology Award and the Arnold J Lehman award of the US Society of Toxicology.