Wadham honoured for outstanding scientific achievement

16th December 2013


MP’s, peers and senior members of the scientific community have voted Wadham College a site of outstanding scientific achievement.

  • Dr Stephen Goss, Ken Macdonald QC, BPS President Phil Routledge, Andrew Miller MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP

    Dr Stephen Goss, Ken Macdonald QC, BPS President Phil Routledge, Andrew Miller MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP

  • British Pharmacological Society

    An early meeting of the British Pharmacological Society (Photo from Wellcome images).

At an announcement at a special parliamentary reception on Monday 16 December, 2013, Wadham’s Warden, Ken Macdonald QC and Fellow, Dr Stephen Goss, accepted a trophy from Andrew Miller MP on behalf of the British Pharmacological Society. The British Pharmacological Society was formed in 1931, at a meeting of 19 pharmacologists at Wadham College. The Society aims to promote and advance pharmacology, including clinical pharmacology.

The ballot was organized by the British Pharmacological Society as part of the campaign 'Putting UK Pharmacology on the Map', raising awareness of the UK’s achievements in the discovery and development of new medicines.  
Ken Macdonald QC commented: “Since it was founded in 1610, Wadham College has seen many exceptional and world-changing scientists pass through its gates, including those famous seventeenth century polymaths who went on to found the Royal Society. We are delighted to have hosted the first meeting of the British Pharmacological Society back in 1931, and we continue to promote excellence in science and medicine through our talented students, our teaching and our research.”

Three other sites of special scientific interest linked to discoveries and contributions in pharmacology won recognition in the vote.

•    AstraZeneca, Alderley Park: Important advances made at Alderley Park during its 40-year history, include anti-cancer treatments and the first successful beta-blocker discovered by pharmacologist and Nobel Prize winner Sir James Black
•    The James Black Foundation, King’s College London: In 1988, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, Sir James Black established his own laboratory, primarily concerned with the development of drugs which inhibit the hormone, gastrin
•    The University of Strathclyde: Two groups at Strathclyde developed new muscle relaxants, which have since been used extensively in anaesthesiology: one led by pharmacologist Bill Bowman, working in collaboration with Organon Laboratories; the other led by chemist John Stenlake, in collaboration with Wellcome Research Laboratories

“Tonight’s sites of special pharmacological interest have made outstanding contributions to the discovery and development of medicines, and undeniably also to the health and economy of the UK,” commented Professor Philip Routledge, President of the British Pharmacological Society.

“Putting UK Pharmacology on the Map was kick-started by more than 3,000 members of the British Pharmacological Society, who nominated many locations across the country for recognition. Tonight’s winners are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the achievements of UK pharmacology. They also demonstrate that life-saving innovations have been accomplished by industrial, academic and NHS sites – and often through partnerships across these three sectors.”

The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) is the primary UK learned society concerned with research into drugs and the way they work. Its members work in academia, industry, regulatory agencies and the health services, and many are medically qualified.

Clinical pharmacology is the medical speciality dedicated to promoting safe and effective use of medicines for patient benefit. Clinical pharmacologists work as consultants in the NHS and many hold prominent positions in UK Universities.

Wadham was chosen from a shortlist of fifteen sites including Aston University; CPU, University of Cambridge; Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge; GlaxoSmithKline; MHRA ; Regional Poisoning Treatment Centre, Edinburgh; Royal College of Surgeons, London; Royal Postgraduate Medical School of the University of London, Hammersmith; University College London; University of Aberdeen; and the University of Oxford.