M. Madan Babu, until recently a Group Leader in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division, now the Endowed Chair in Biological Data Science and Director of the Center of Excellence for Data-Driven Discovery at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tennessee, USA has been elected into the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
The Academy is an independent UK body which seeks to advance the translation and implementation of health research to benefit society, by recognising and representing a diverse spectrum of medical science. Fellows are elected from a variety of disciplines, including laboratory science, clinical academic medicine, medical and nursing care, alongside professions analogous to medical science such as ethics, social science and the law. Fellowship elections are predicated on exceptional advancement to medical sciences, either through an outstanding, original discovery, or sustained contributions to scholarship.
Madan’s research focuses on deciphering the molecular basis of human diseases caused by regulatory dysfunction. He has developed novel computational and experimental methods to study regulation of cellular systems at three different levels of organisation: molecules, processes, and genomes. Notably, his recent work on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) – a family of proteins commonly targeted by drugs – illuminated a previously unknown layer of complexity in GPCR signalling, which could explain differentiating responses to drug treatment. This research holds vast implications for the development of precision medicine and personalised drug development, which may one day provide a more effective treatment of diseases such as cancers.
“I am honoured for our work to be recognized by the Academy of Medical Sciences. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to do my research at the LMB for 14 years, and now at St Jude for the last year. The collaborative environment and long-term support for fundamental research have made it possible for us to push the boundaries in the field of biomedical data science. I am most grateful to my mentors, colleagues, as well as past and current group members,” commented Madan.
Madan first arrived at the LMB in 2001 to complete his PhD in Computational Genomics under the supervision of Sarah Teichmann. He left to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship with L. Aravind at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA before returning to the LMB as a Group Leader in 2006. He moved to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in July 2020. He has previously been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the EMBO Gold Medal in 2019, the Royal Society’s Francis Crick Medal in 2015 and the Biochemical Society’s Colworth Medal in 2013.
Madan is the 21st LMB scientist to be honoured with election to the Academy of Medical Sciences since its formation in 1998.