Honouring Professor Sir Patrick Sissons

Honouring Professor Sir Patrick Sissons

The untimely death of Professor Sir Patrick Sissons in 2016 has prompted medical and academic circles in Cambridge to recognise his contribution with a lasting memorial.
Professor Sir Patrick Sissons

Professor Sir Patrick Sissons

Thanks to the initiative of the University of Cambridge and Darwin College, this is now taking form as a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the areas of immunology, inflammation and infectious disease: funding has been granted by the Evelyn Trust for the first three years. Recruitment has begun for the first post-holder who will start in October 2018.

Professor Sissons was a gifted physician and clinical scientist who conducted pioneering research into kidney disease and infectious illness; he was Regius Professor of Physic at the University and a Fellow of Darwin College. The Sissons-Sinclair laboratory – named also for Professor John Sinclair – has developed over the last 25 years to become a centre of excellence for research into virus latency and reactivation. Patrick contributed to medical science both nationally and on the international stage: he was a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, served on the Medical Advisory Board of the Gairdner Foundation in Canada and was a Distinguished Visitor of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

Bill Pike, Charity Director of the Evelyn Trust, explains why the trust was keen to support this new fellowship,

“We were lucky enough to work with Patrick as chair of our Medical Advisory Committee for many years. This group of expert researchers offers invaluable advice to the trustees on the merit and potential of medical research grant applications, so Patrick’s expertise and wisdom was invaluable to inform the tough decisions about which applications to support.

“We wanted to honour Patrick’s contribution, but also one of our goals is to develop young or newly-established researchers, so the suggestion of a postdoctoral fellowship funded initially by the Evelyn Trust ticked several boxes with the trustees.”

The fellowship is open to applications from talented biomedical researchers from around the world who can show they are addressing an important biomedical research question, want to undertake a guided period of research and have the potential to lead their own independent research at a future date. 

“The Sir Patrick Sissons Evelyn Trust research fellow will join the international, interdisciplinary, and informal community that is Darwin College.  We will be excited to welcome a new fellow to deliver really ground-breaking biomedical research in infection and immunity. Critically, the new fellow will take part in the full life of Darwin College, mixing with scholars from all disciplines, avoiding research silos and taking advantage of those interactions across faculties that break down barriers and promote collaboration. That kind of approach will be key to the next leap forward in this area of research,” comments Professor Mary Fowler, the Master of Darwin College.

To find out more about the career of Professor Sir Patrick Sissons, visit https://www.medschl.cam.ac.uk/professor-sir-patrick-sissons-1945-2016/