Norman Heatley Award
The Norman Heatley Award is to recognise and promote the importance of inter- and multi-disciplinary research between chemistry and the life sciences through independent work.
Dr Judy Hirst, The Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge
Rules and Criteria
- Run annually
- Candidates are NOT permitted to nominate themselves
- Candidates must be in their early career, i.e. aged 40 or under. The age specified is intended to guide nominators and selection panelists; appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken career breaks or followed different study paths
- Name and contact details of two referees required should be provided by the nominator. After the RSC office has acknowledged receipt of nomination, the nominator is responsible for informing the two referees that they must provide reports by 31 January. RSC will contact nominators and referees of candidates with outstanding references one week after close of nominations on 15 January once only. Referees may not include the candidate's post-doc or PhD supervisor
- One page CV for the candidate which should include their date of birth, website URL, summary of education and career, a list of 5 relevant publications which should emphasise the independent work of the nominee, total numbers of publications and patents
- A one page supporting statement addressing the selection criteria, which can be viewed through the link on this page
- Nominations open on 1 September 2012
- Nominations close on 15 January 2013
- Prize winner will be chosen by the RSC Chemistry Biology Interface Division Awards Committee
- Award winner receives £2000, a medal and a certificate
About Norman Heatley
© Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford
Norman Heatley graduated from St John's College Cambridge with a degree in Natural Sciences, he then undertook a PhD in Biochemistry, also at Cambridge, after which he moved to Oxford to work at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.
Although Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, he did not realise it's full potential. It was Professor Florey and his team at Oxford who recognised that penicillin could combat bacterial infection. Heatley played a key role in developing culture methods for the penicillium mould and in extracting and purifying the active 'penicillin' from the cultures in order to test it on animals and eventually on humans also. He designed the specially commissioned ceramic 'bed pans' to grow these cultures on a larger scale.
© Oxford and County Newspapers
The major drug companies in wartime Britain were already overstretched and so could not be persuaded to attempt to mass produce penicillium cultures. Florey and Heatley flew to the USA where they persuaded several of the largest pharmaceutical companies to collaborate in the research to find better strains of penicillium and better methods of culture, extraction and purification. By 1943 mass production had begun and casualties in the second world war could be treated. The full potential of penicillin then became clear. It really appeared as a 'miracle drug'.
Florey was advised by University lawyers and the MRC that he should not take out patents on his team's discoveries, although subsequently the Americans did patent some of the methods developed in the USA.
Whereas Fleming received a Nobel prize and more than 160 public honours for his part in the discovery and development of penicillin, the world's first antibiotic, Heatley received one honorary degree, a DM from Oxford, the first awarded to a non-medic, and two honorary fellowships and an OBE from the nation for his work.
2009 - present
Make a Nomination
Includes nomination requirements, selection procedure and timeframe information on making a nomination for an RSC Award
Selection criteria to be addressed in the supporting statement