Award-winning Sheffield neuroscientists honoured at Buckingham Palace reception

  • The University of Sheffield has been presented with a Queen's Anniversary Prize Medal at a Buckingham Palace reception
  • The prize is the highest national honour recognising outstanding work by UK universities and colleges demonstrating quality and innovation in their areas of research
  • Sheffield has been recognised for innovative approaches to improving patient outcomes for people living with neurodegenerative diseases

Queen's Anniversary Prize ceremony at Buckingham Palace

Neuroscience research at the University of Sheffield has been recognised for the real benefits it is delivering to the public in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace (Thursday 20 February 2020).

The University was presented with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize (QAP) medal and scroll by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.

The prize is the fifth awarded to the University of Sheffield, and recognises the work that the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) at the University does to improve patient outcomes for people living with some of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases.

Achievements highlighted by the award included:

  • a new orthotic device, ‘HeadUp’, developed for patients living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) who suffer from muscle weakness in the neck
  • groundbreaking stem cell clinical trials for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients
  • the discovery of a first biomarker linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease which has the potential for earlier diagnosis and has sparked the development of new therapies
  • new drug discovery programmes to develop new treatments for Parkinson’s Disease
  • new gene therapy treatments for patients with Motor Neurone Disease
  • The prize is unique in the UK honours system, as it is only bestowed upon a UK college or university which demonstrates new and unique innovative approaches to its research.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Director of SITraN and the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre, said: “This prize recognises the University of Sheffield as a centre for excellence in neuroscience research and teaching, where our researchers are making life-changing discoveries and progress in treating some of the most devastating neurological diseases, making a real difference to patients’ lives.

“As well as making life-changing discoveries today, we are also nurturing the next generation of talented neuroscience students, whose research will lead to pioneering treatments for those living with neurological diseases in the future.

“We hope this award will help inspire confidence in patients and their families, research partners and donors, as we continue to make discoveries that deepen the understanding of neurological diseases and open up the potential for new treatments and therapies.”

SITraN’s vision is to harness the rapidly emerging, exciting developments in neuroscience to translate into new treatments and improved quality of life for patients with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, MND, Alzheimer’s Disease, MS and Dementia.

The centre - considered a world-leader in neuroscience research - will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. Its work forms part of the University of Sheffield’s Neuroscience Institute, which aims to bring academics together from across medicine, science and engineering to translate scientific discoveries from the lab into pioneering new treatments.

Sir Damon Buffini, Chairman of the Royal Anniversary Trust, said: “It has been fantastic to celebrate the 13th Round of Prize-winners at Buckingham Palace alongside TRH Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The Royal Anniversary Trust showcased the exceptional, innovative and impactful work of our colleges and universities throughout the UK. We look forward to seeing how the work develops and progresses over the coming years!”

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


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Rebecca Ferguson
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