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RVC Professor among new Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship appointments

6 September 2012

Professor John R. Hutchinson, Professor of Evolutionary Biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), is one of only seven leading academics to have been awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship this year.

Professor John HutchinsonThe fellowships cover all areas of the life and physical sciences; excluding clinical medicine; and are designed for scientists who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching and administrative duties. The scheme reimburses the employing institution with the full salary cost of a teaching replacement.

The Fellowship will enable Professor Hutchinson to fully devote his time to a new research direction, taking an evolutionary, modelling and experimental perspective on sesamoid bones, which are small, mysterious bones that tend to form in the tendons of various animals, including humans, for reasons that are still poorly understood.

Professor Hutchinson, said: “This a fantastic opportunity and I’m very grateful for the fellowship. It will enable me to steer away from becoming just a manager of research to pursuing my own fun and important study-- answering why birds have kneecaps (called patellae), what they use them for, and how they evolved, particularly as their dinosaurian ancestors all lacked them.”

“Scientists need periodic breaks from their teaching and administrative duties in order to renew their commitment to the awe and wonder of basic research, and in these times of economic austerity the funding to take such sabbatical breaks is all too hard to come by.”

See also: Professor John Hutchinson interviewed on the Planet Earth Podcast

Notes for editors

  • The Royal Society is a Fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. royalsociety.org
  • The Royal Veterinary College is the UK's first and largest veterinary school and a constituent College of the University of London. In the most recent (2008) Research Assessment Exercise the RVC ranked as England’s best school in the Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science unit of assessment, for institutions whose research is exclusively veterinary related, with 55% of its submitted academics viewed as producing ’world class’ and ’internationally excellent’ research. The College provides support for veterinary and related professions through its three referral hospitals, diagnostic services and continuing professional development courses. www.rvc.ac.uk

Further Information

To request further information or an interview please contact:

The Royal Veterinary College

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Established in 1791, the RVC is the UK’s longest-standing veterinary college—with a proud heritage of innovation in veterinary science, clinical practice and education.

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