Lorenzo Melchor

Founding President of SRUK/CERU

Lorenzo Melchor has a degree in Biology  from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2003) and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2008). His thesis focused on the molecular pathology of familial breast cancer at the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) in Madrid, with research visits at the University of Pennsylvani. From 2008 to 2015, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London (UK). In his research career, Lorenzo has authored 30 scientific papers (h-index = 21) and received funding from the Ministry of Education and Science (FPU), the Ramón Areces Foundation, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, the Myeloma Foundation (UK) and the CRIS Cancer Foundation. In October of 2015, he began working at the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) as a scientific coordinator at the Spanish Embassy in London, where he promotes scientific diplomacy, coordinates scientific programs such as “Ambassadors for Science” and organizes professional development workshops in science.

During 2011-2014, Lorenzo was the scientific promoter, founding member and first president of the Society of Spanish Resaerchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU). From January to September 2015, he was director of the Science Policy Committee of SRUK, coordinating and editing the Report of Recommendations for R&D in Spain for the General Elections 2015, which SRUK published in September that year. He is the author of two book chapters on science policy and has published opinion articles in some of the main Spanish journals, such as El País and Gaceta Médica, among others.

He has been an adviser for the formation of associations of Spanish researchers in other countries and of researchers of other nationalities in the United Kingdom. He organized conferences like ¨Destino en el Reino Unido¨ (2014) or CienciaUK (2015 and 2016) held in Madrid, as well as Science+ in Bilbao (2015). In recognition of all his work in the origins, conception and development of SRUK, and because of his  constant and disinterested support since 2011, on 10 July 2016, the general assembly of SRUK bestows the honorary title of Founding President of SRUK.

Alfonso Martínez-Arias has led a successful research career, recognized internationally. His personal track record has served every aim of the SRUK/CERU for over three decades, by being a ‘network hub’ for Spaniards in Cambridge, contributing to Science communication both at the professional level and to the layman, bridging the Spanish and UK research communities, as well as participating in the governance of scientific organizations. Furthermore, Martinez-Arias is actively promoting new models of science publishing and research career, very often with the early career researchers in mind. For all this, Alfonso Martínez-Arias was awarded with the SRUK Life Time Achievement Award 2016 in July 2016. Recipients of this award are honored to become Honorary Members of SRUK.

Alfonso Martínez-Arias

SRUK/CERU Life Time Achievement Award 2016

Prof. Martínez-Arias is an internationally renowned developmental biologist at the University of Cambridge. After obtaining his PhD at the University of Chicago, he moved to Cambridge to study developmental biology in Drosophila melanogaster at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Afterwards he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship in the University of Cambridge and in 2002 he formally joined this University, first under a Wellcome Trust University Award Scheme and since 2003 with a personal chair at the Department of Genetics. Prof. Martínez-Arias has made influential contributions in the molecular underpinning of cell fate heterogeneity and self-organization properties of cell behaviour during development. Prof Martínez-Arias is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization since 2007, and his standing as a developmental biologist crystalized in 2012, when he was awarded the Waddington Medal of the British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB). Only two non-British scientists have received this award so far.

Fidel López Álvarez.

Honorary Member of SRUK/CERU

Fidel Lopez Alvarez has a degree in Law and Political Sciences from Deusto University, and a master in International Relations from the Diplomatic School. He was Minister Counselor of Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Spanish Embassy in London between 2010 and 2015, being the first adviser in the world that changed the name to this office so that the word Science was included, honoring the denomination of its position . Throughout his professional life, Fidel has been an Ambassador to the International Development Organizations, the Global Fund, UNITAID and GAVI in Geneva (2008-2010), Lithuania (2004-2008) and Nicaragua (1992-1996). He has also been sent to the Spanish Embassies in Paris, as Deputy Head of Mission (1998-2003), in Washington, as Political Adviser (1983-1988) and in Prague, as Secretary of the Embassy (1976-1980), together with different responsibilities within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Madrid. Fidel currently holds the title of retired Spanish Ambassador.

During his years in charge of the Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs in London, Fidel at all times supported the beginnings of SRUK and its consolidation. From a personal point of view, he showed a special sensitivity for the initiative and the needs of Spanish researchers in the United Kingdom. From a professional point of view, from the Embassy, he worked in support of Science. In those initial years he forged a relationship of mutual respect, whose main objective was the collaboration, ensuring at all times the independence of SRUK, thus creating a exemplary relationship of collaboration between civil society and institutions.

Fidel was the first Minister Counselor willing  to contact with the Spanish scientists in the country and to open the doors of the Embassy to events of scientific caracter. From his position at the Embassy, he offered additional support: he facilitated contacts with institutions of both countries; he searched for lawyers to help in the registration as a non-profit association; he gave up the use of the facilities at the Embassy for our first meetings and events; and he provided the first contacts with the press. For all these reasons, on June 16, 2012, the general assembly of members appointed Fidel López Álvarez, Honorary Member of CERU.