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BSMS researcher receives prestigious fellowship

BSMS > About BSMS > News > 2020 > BSMS researcher receives prestigious fellowship

BSMS researcher receives prestigious fellowship

A researcher has been awarded a prestigious national fellowship, recognising him as a rising star in his field.

Dr Simon Mitchell, Lecturer in Cancer Research at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), a joint venture between the Universities of Brighton and Sussex, has been awarded a £1.2 million UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leader Fellowship. 

Dr Mitchell, based in the Medical Research Building, will look to develop personalised medicine to treat the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that affects the immune system. Using ‘virtual lab’ simulations of patients’ bodies, he aims to predict the possible progression of the disease in each patient, and identify the most effective way to overcome treatment-resistant disease.

The UKRI Future Leaders scheme invests in early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential, helping them to develop their careers while tackling ambitious challenges. 

Simon Mitchell headshotDr Simon Mitchell, Lecturer in Cancer Research at BSMS.

Commenting on his award, Dr Mitchell says: “I am so excited to receive this fellowship from the UKRI and the research it enables us to do. This project is an ambitious interdisciplinary project, combining computing, mathematics and laboratory science to tackle the medical challenge of overcoming treatment-resistant lymphoma. My group will use simulations to understand how treatment-resistant lymphoma cells emerge, identify the Achilles heel of these cells, and find new ways to prevent treatment-resistance from developing in the first place. Only the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship enables me to pursue such an ambitious project and I can’t wait to get started. 

“Personally, since starting my PhD in ‘Systems Biology’ it has been my ambition to lead a research group using computational and mathematical approaches to tackle important medical problems. I also believe these approaches are key to unlocking the future of personalised medicine. This award lets me grow my group and focus on the research I am passionate about, while working towards a future where virtual lab simulations help people get the best treatments. I am most grateful to colleagues at BSMS, and the Universities of Sussex and Brighton, who have supported me and encouraged me throughout. I couldn’t ask for a better environment for my research.” 

Professor Malcolm Reed, Dean at BSMS, adds: “I am absolutely delighted for Simon in being awarded this extremely prestigious and highly competitive fellowship, which reflects the highly innovative nature and excellence of his work. This UKRI award follows hot on the heels of his John Goldman Fellowship, which confirms his status as a true rising star and future leader.” 

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, says: “Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with freedom and support to drive forward transformative new ideas and the opportunity to learn from peers right across the country. The fellows announced today illustrate how the UK continues to support and attract talented researchers and innovators across every discipline to our universities and businesses, with the potential to deliver change that can be felt across society and the economy.” 

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships, introduced in 2018, is a £900 million fund that is helping to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across UK business and academia. 

For more information, visit the UKRI website here >