Royal Society of Edinburgh award Mary Sommerville Medal to DDU

Outstanding scientific research at the University of Dundee has been honoured by Scotland’s national academy.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh has presented the Drug Discovery Unit with its prestigious Mary Somerville Medal, for team work and collaborative endeavour which has led to real world impact. Six compounds on which the DDU has worked have entered human clinical studies. In addition, their work has helped to enable the formation of six spin-out companies and nine exciting discoveries licenced to pharmaceutical companies .

The DDU has been recognised by the RSE as being one of the largest academic drug discovery team in the world. The Society has also noted its multi-disciplinary, tightly coordinated, and large-scale translational research, and the real-world impact of its work.

This includes the DDU’s work in neglected infectious diseases, for which the University is a recognised global leader. This includes diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, cryptosporidiosis and tuberculosis. The DDU also works to develop novel drug targets in a variety of disease areas, including oncology and neurodegeneration.

The RSE also noted the DDU’s work, which has been published in the world’s leading journals, as bringing significant reputational benefit to both the University and Scotland.

Professor Iain Gilbert, Head of the DDU, said, “I am incredibly proud of the unit and our achievements over the last 18 years. Our success is due to the skilful and dedicated team of scientists who work together in a highly integrated manner. We also would like to acknowledge a large group of collaborators from across the globe from academia, industry and product development partnerships and funding agencies. Drug discovery is an incredibly complex process, and these collaborations are vital for our work.

A large group of the people working for the DDU.



















Professor Sir John Ball, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh said,

Nominated by RSE Fellows, the prestigious medals of the RSE recognise remarkable accomplishment. Working in diverse fields, this year’s recipients join a distinguished cohort of trailblazers whose contributions advance our knowledge and positively impact lives worldwide. Their accomplishments underscore the depth and breadth of research talent in Scotland. I extend my warmest congratulations to all of them.