We’re delighted to announce that the Director of the Oxford BHF Centre of Research Excellence, Prof Hugh Watkins, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. This is a very prestigious honour and one that recognises Hugh’s pioneering heart disease work and commitment to scientific research.

Hugh Watkins is a physician scientist whose work has helped reveal the genetic basis of inherited heart diseases and has led to new approaches to diagnosis and therapy with substantial benefit to patients. 

His work on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy showed that this common, life-threatening, heart muscle disorder is caused by mutations in the molecular motor proteins of the heart. These findings highlighted novel aspects of muscle physiology and cardiac energetics, opening the way to new approaches to therapy. He went on to develop direct genetic testing and show its clinical utility for identifying individuals at risk; adoption of genetic testing has transformed clinical care for affected families worldwide. 

The Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from or living and working in the UK and the Commonwealth. Hugh joins an impressive roster of researchers past and present.

Congratulations to Hugh on this well-deserved achievement. 

You can read more about this year’s elected Fellows on the Royal Society website.