Professor Peter Goadsby elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society

Peter Goadsby

Professor Peter Goadsby, Theme lead for Pain at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, has been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and the oldest academy in continuous existence.

Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 800 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship, in recognition of their exceptional contributions to science, engineering and medicine.

Professor Goadsby is the Director of the NIHR/Wellcome King’s Clinical Research Facility, and Professor of Neurology in the School of Neuroscience, King’s College London. In a career that has spanned four decades, he is one of the leading researchers exploring the science behind migraine and cluster headaches.

His work is a shining example of translational science that is at the heart of the work of NIHR Maudsley BRC. He has continually sought to understand the brain mechanisms behind migraine with the aim of taking research from discovery through to patient impact.    

Pioneering accessible drugs for migraine

Together with his team at the NIHR Maudsley BRC he identified a small protein, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which is released in sufferers during migraine attacks. Building on this discovery, his research focused on creating novel drugs to reduce the effect of CGRP and the likelihood of a migraine attack. These drugs have been developed commercially with different pharmaceutical partners and approved by both US and European regulatory authorities.

In 2021, Professor Goadsby was one of a group of four scientists awarded the Brain Prize - one of the world’s most prestigious awards in neuroscience – in recognition of his pioneering research that led to the development of entirely new and effective classes of migraine treatments. 

Innovative approaches to cluster headaches

Professor Goadsby has led research that is aiming to find a new treatment for cluster headache, which are excruciating attacks of pain in one side of the head. 

His team led a study into non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS), which involves a device that stimulates the nerve with electrical impulses. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of nVNS and this has contributed to its approval for treatment in the UK and the US.   

Professor Goadsby said:

“This is an amazing honour that has only happened with the help of many patients, collaborators, colleagues and students with whom I have worked. I am deeply grateful to everyone, and so pleased to be part of headache science coming of age and improving patients’ lives.”

Professor Matthew Hotopf, Director of the NIHR Maudsley BRC added:

“We are all delighted that Peter’s translational research, which has transformed the lives of thousands of people has been recognised in this way.”

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society said:

“It is an honour to welcome so many outstanding researchers from around the world into the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

“Through their careers so far, these researchers have helped further our understanding of human disease, biodiversity loss and the origins of the universe. I am also pleased to see so many new Fellows working in areas likely to have a transformative impact on our society over this century, from new materials and energy technologies to synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. I look forward to seeing what great things they will achieve in the years ahead.”

Tags: Pain - Pain and Addictions -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 10 May 2022, 13:04 PM

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