The geneticist Professor Kay Davies FMedSci FRS (Chemistry, 1969) has been awarded the Royal Society’s Croonian Medal and Lecture 2019 for her work towards developing a prenatal test and developing therapeutic approaches for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle-wasting disease that primarily affects boys.
Dame Kay will be awarded the medal and £10,000 at the Royal Society in October. The medal also recognizes her work on characterizing dystrophin-related proteins. The dystrophin protein is needed for muscles to function properly and is either missing or found in very small amounts in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
The prize lecture, which is the Royal Society’s premier lecture in the biological sciences, will be delivered next year.
DMD affects 1 in 5000 male births worldwide, and patients generally go into a wheelchair by 12 and die in their twenties.
Dame Kay said: “I am absolutely delighted to be given this award. I have had many talented people in my team over the years working towards a therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and much progress is being made.
“There is currently no effective treatment and therefore there is a huge unmet clinical need.”