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Royal recognition for excellence at Cardiff University

14 February 2008

Her Majesty the Queen this morning presented Cardiff University’s Institute of Medical Genetics with one of the most prestigious prizes in UK higher education.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are awarded every two years for excellence in the higher education sector. The Institute of Medical Genetics won for its work discovering the genetic causes of numerous diseases and developing diagnostic tests, counselling and treatments for patients with those diseases.

The Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Dr David Grant, and Institute Director Professor Julian Sampson were at Buckingham Palace to receive, respectively, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize medal and the certificate from Her Majesty. The Cardiff party also included the University’s President, Lord Kinnock, the Chair of Council, Professor Sir Keith Peters, the Dean of the Medical School, Professor David Wynford-Thomas and five students working at the Institute.

Professor Sampson said: "It was a great honour to receive the award from Her Majesty this morning. The students and staff at Cardiff University’s Institute of Medical Genetics are all delighted that our work in developing new diagnostic tests and treatments for patients with genetic conditions has been recognised in this way."

The Institute of Medical Genetics, based at the University’s School of Medicine, was set up in 1987. Its achievements have included identifying the genes linked to bowel cancer, Huntington’s Disease, muscular dystrophy, tuberous sclerosis and polycystic kidney disease. The Institute has developed tests for these and other disorders which are now used in the NHS and abroad, allowing earlier and more accurate diagnosis and increasingly more effective treatments. The Institute is now increasingly turning its attention to treatments for genetic disease. Trials are under way of a new treatment for the disfiguring disease tuberous sclerosis, which is already proving successful in reducing the size of tumours in patients.

This is the third Queen’s Anniversary Prize to be won by members of Cardiff University staff. Professor Tony Campbell won a Prize in 1998 for his application of bioluminescence to clinical diagnosis. The Manufacturing Engineering Centre won a prize in 2001 in recognition of its contribution to the economy.


Notes to Editors:

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education (THE).

2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883.

Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

Cardiff School of Medicine

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The school’s 800 staff include 500 research and academic staff who teach more than 2,000 students, including 1,110 postgraduate students.

The School is an international leader in basic and clinically applied research activities and scored highly in the most recent Government Research Assessment Exercise. School of Medicine researchers annually win tens of millions of pounds in research awards to work with Government, the healthcare industries and the charitable sector on the most pressing issues of human health.

Further Information:

For further information, please contact:

Stephen Rouse,

Public Relations Office,

Cardiff University.

029 2087 5596