Birmingham chemist wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Award

Professor Andrew Dove

Professor Andrew Dove, who works at the University of Birmingham, is the Royal Society of Chemistry Norman Heatley Award winner for 2018. He was born in Scunthorpe and raised in Spenborough and Heckmondwike.

Professor Dove’s work focuses on the area of degradable polymers (commonly known as plastics). These materials are preferred over non-degradable materials for biomedical applications as they naturally degrade in the body.

Most of the degradable polymers in use today are not well suited to medical applications. Professor Dove and his team are working to make degradable polymers that more closely match the tissues naturally present in the body, and that can be closely tuned to specific applications.

He said: “It is a complete honour to be recognised with this award. Working at the interface of chemistry and biology is something that I’ve been moving towards for a number of years as it enables us to really bring relevance to the chemistry that we do to make new materials and seek to translate them to medical applications. To be recognised as working at this interface is a great reward for the hard work that my team and I have put into this.”

The Norman Heatley Award is given for seminal contributions to the chemistry–biology interface through the design and study of novel degradable biomaterials for medical applications. Professor Dove receives £2000 and a medal, and will complete a UK lecture tour.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said:

“The chemical sciences are vital for the wellbeing of our world and chemical scientists help to change people’s lives for the better. That’s why we’re so proud to celebrate the innovation and expertise of our community through our Prizes and Awards.

“This year’s inspiring and influential winners come from a range of specialisms, backgrounds, countries and communities. Each has done their bit to advance excellence in the chemical sciences – to improve the lives of people around the world now and in the future.”

Our winners are recognised for the originality and impact of their research, or for their contributions to the chemical sciences industry or chemistry education. The Awards also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

An illustrious list of 50 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including 2016 Nobel laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa.