Her Majesty The Queen presented the award to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Brink, and Professor Tom Kirkwood, Director of the University’s Institute for Ageing and Health, at an award ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The Chancellor of the University, Sir Liam Donaldson, Chairman of Council and Pro-Chancellor, Olivia Grant, and members of the ageing and health research team also attended the ceremony.
Professor Kirkwood, who is one of this country’s leading experts in ageing, said: “It is such a delight and honour that the work of the Institute for Ageing and Health has received this recognition. We have a fantastic team of talented and dedicated researchers, and the award reflects the efforts of the whole team. Going to Buckingham Palace is special in any circumstances, but to go to receive this award for the whole team effort is just brilliant. I am so pleased that we have the opportunity take some of our younger researchers and students to meet The Queen too.
Sir Liam said: “Professor Kirkwood’s work addresses one of the most important challenges facing modern societies. His team’s research is groundbreaking and of vital international relevance. The award recognises this and is an enormous honour for the University and the North East.”
The University’s entry in the 2009 Queen’s Anniversary Prizes competition charted the development of its research programme on ageing and health into its current form as a substantial Institute for Ageing and Health, a world-leader in its field, which is based on a unique and growing Campus for Ageing and Vitality.
Earlier this week, Professor Kirkwood and his team hit the headlines with the news of a scientific discovery that could provide the next step in fighting age related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Scientists used state-of-the-art laboratory techniques and sophisticated mathematical modelling to help crack the problem of why cells age.
In September 2009, Newcastle University launched a year-long programme of events on the theme ‘Changing Age’, which focuses attention on the challenges facing society as people live longer. Professor Brink, said: “Under the leadership of our Institute for Ageing and Health, we have adopted the topic of an ageing population as a societal challenge and an institutional theme. The Queen's Anniversary Prize is a welcome recognition of our work, and will strengthen our efforts to respond to this important topic.”
published on: 19th February 2010