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Five Cambridge academics have been elected to the Royal Society, a fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists.

The distinguished individuals are:

Professor Jon Crowcroft, Marconi Professor of Communications Systems, Computer Laboratory

Jon Crowcroft is distinguished for his many seminal contributions to the development of the internet. His work on satellite link interconnection techniques in the 1980s paved the way for rural broadband. His work on standards for video and voice on IP networks helped extend the internet to multimedia. He also founded the field of opportunistic networking.

Professor Gerard Gilmore, Professor of Experimental Philosophy, Institute of Astronomy

Gerry Gilmore leads efforts to understand the structure and origin of our galaxy. He led a revival of star-count analysis that first showed that the galaxy possesses a thick disc, and helped to show that this formed early in the galaxy's life. Our current understanding of how the masses of stars are distributed at birth was produced by Gilmore's team. In the early 1990s he obtained the still-standard estimate of the mass surface density associated with the discs. This study set the pattern of future work. He pioneered the use of spectral surveys to unravel the galaxy's history through its chemistry and established that stars in the halo of the galaxy are chemically distinct from stars in the galaxy's satellites, even though much of the halo must consist of stars stripped from satellites. In 1994 he discovered the galaxy's most important satellite after the Magellanic Clouds. As its leading UK proponent, Gilmore played a key role in selection of ESA's revolutionary Gaia mission. He is the driving force behind the ESO-Gaia survey, which has over 250 co-investigators and will obtain spectra designed to complement data from Gaia.

Professor Raymond Goldstein, DAMTP Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Raymond Goldstein is an internationally recognised leader in the fields of biological physics and nonlinear dynamics. He is distinguished for having made important mathematical contributions to those subjects as well as pioneering experimental discoveries. His broad-ranging contributions include classic work on the dynamics of pattern formation driven by long-range forces, the differential geometry of interfacial pattern formation, and the explanation for the shapes of stalactites. He has made seminal experimental contributions to the study of active matter, including developing a class of green algae as model organisms for the study of biological fluid dynamics, the physics of multicellularity, and the synchronization of eukaryotic flagella.

Professor Gillian Griffiths, Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, Professor of Cell Biology and Immunology and Director, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research

Gillian Griffiths has made key contributions to the fields of both cell biology and immunology, introducing important new concepts into both fields. She was one of the first to show that immune cells used specialised mechanisms of secretion, identifying the proteins and mechanisms controlling secretion from cytotoxic T lymphocytes by studying human genetic diseases and biochemical approaches. Her work has identified a new and unexpected role for the centrosome in exocytosis, and revealed that centrosome docking at the plasma membrane provides a focal point for exocytosis and endocytosis.

Professor Maria Grazia Spillantini, Professor of Molecular Neurology, John Van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Maria Grazia Spillantini studies the molecular neuropathological features of neurodegenerative diseases and how they relate to disease pathogenesis. She was the first to identify alpha-synuclein as the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neuritis, the defining neuropathological features of Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Her findings have opened up a new field, and these diseases are now often referred to as alpha-synucleinopathies. She identified one of the first mutations in the Tau gene as a cause for familial frontotemporal dementia, and has thus established that Tau dysfunction is sufficient to cause degeneration and dementia in diseases now known as tauopathies.


03 May 2013