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UK scientist and children's author wins EMBO Award for Communications 2004

Fran Balkwill, Professor of Cancer Biology at the Barts & The London, Queen Mary's Medical School, is the 2004 winner of the EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences. Balkwill receives the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to science communication for children.

The cancer researcher has authored 13 children's books that take a novel look at a range of topics from genetics to HIV and AIDS.,Balkwill is also the Director of the Centre of the Cell, an exciting new,interactive bioscience centre in London's East End. The EMBO Award for Communication is presented annually to a practising life scientist in Europe who has made significant contributions to public understanding of science. The award highlights the exceptional efforts made by many scientists to combine science communication activities with a full-time research career. Winners of the EMBO Communications Award are also put forward for the European Commission's Descartes Prize for Science Communication. The International jury applauded Balkwill for her spectacular work in,communicating important scientific concepts to the young and her,untiring efforts to bring critical science and health messages to deprived communities. The prize of Euro 5,000 and a handcrafted gold and silver medal were presented to Fran Balkwill on November 5, 2004 at the EMBL/EMBO Science & Society Conference, "Time and Aging Mechanisms and Meanings" in Heidelberg, Germany. Frances Balkwill said: "I am delighted to receive this award, but I don't look on it as an individual achievement. Without illustrator, Mic Rolph, the books would never have been a success and there are numerous other people in the UK, Europe, South Africa and the US, who have helped and inspired me. The award is a great honour and I hope it will help stress the importance of science education for the young and bring attention to the plight of children at risk of HIV in Africa today." The deadline for the 2005 EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences is on 31 May, 2005. Further information about Frances Balkwill and her work can be found on http://www.embo.org/press/comm_award_2004.html You may also contact: EMBO,Lindsay Johnson,Communications Officer,EMBO,Postfach 102240 ,D-69012 Heidelberg ,Germany Tel: 0049 6221 8891 108,Fax: 0049 6221 8891 200 ,Email: Lindsay.Johnson@embo.org Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry,Sally Webster,Deputy Head of Press & PR,External Relations & Communications Department,Queen Mary, University of London,Mile End Road,London,E1 4NS,England Tel: 0044 20 7882 5404,Email: s.webster@qmul.ac.ukAbout EMBO,The European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) promotes,biosciences in Europe. Through initiatives such as fellowships, courses,and workshops, EMBO supports transnational mobility, training and,exchange at all stages of the scientific career. The organisation was,founded in 1964 and an example of its early impact was the,establishment of the well-known laboratory, EMBL. EMBO elects new,members annually on the basis of proven excellence in research. Today the organization has approximately 1200 European members and 100 associate members worldwide including some 38 Nobel Laureates. Website http://www.embo.org About the Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry Created from two historic medical schools: St Bartholomews Hospital Medical College (Barts, established in 1843) and the Royal London Hospital Medical College (The London, Englands oldest medical college established in 1785), the School of Medicine and Dentistry moved into a new phase in 1995 with the merger of these famous clinical schools with Queen Mary, University of London. The School has a strong tradition of providing high quality, state-of-the-art undergraduate education and an acclaimed reputation in clinical, medical and health research. ,Website: http://www.qmul.ac.uk