Damehood for Sheffield Professor of Neurology

Published 2nd January 2014 at 1:45pm

A world-leading University of Sheffield academic who is at the forefront of research and treatment into devastating debilitating diseases has been named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Professor Pamela Shaw (pictured below), Professor of Neurology, is one of only 16 figures across the country to be given a Damehood in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to neurosciences including revolutionary research in pioneering treatments for Motor Neurone Disease (MND).


She is one of a number of leading figures from the University to receive gongs in the honours list.

Professor Shaw, also a consultant neurologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, is the director of the University’s Sheffield Institute for Translational Neurosciences (SITraN), an £18m research facility bringing together 150 international clinicians and scientists to fight crippling diseases such as MND.

She said her award had come as a “wonderful surprise” adding: “The honour and prestige associated with the DBE award shines a beacon on to the work being done in SITraN and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. Our vision is to harness the tremendous advances in neuroscience and translate these into benefits for people afflicted with motor neurone disease and related neurodegenerative conditions.

“I hope that I will be able to deploy this beacon of recognition to help with our work and that 2014 will bring a significant positive breakthrough to benefit patients and families facing these devastating conditions.”

Also celebrating an award is former University of Sheffield Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Emeritus Professor of Town and Regional Planning, Tony Crook. Professor Crook has been awarded a CBE in recognition of his outstanding commitment to work on housing research and policy, as well as his public service as the Chair of the National Housing and Homelessness Charity, Shelter.

As an academic, Professor Crook specialised in the private rented housing sector and the use of the planning obligations to secure affordable housing. His work received research grants of over £3m and he produced over 150 publications including books, research reports and journal articles.

Professor Crook also served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield from 1999 to 2008, leading major areas of change within the University including academic planning, human resources and capital projects. Responding to the news of the honour, Professor Crook said: “This honour reflects the excellence and commitment of all those I have worked with to making a real difference to peoples’ lives, whether through research or engagement with public policy.”

Professor Kate Gerrish, from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, has been given a CBE in recognition of her unique contribution to nursing. Since 2000 Professor Gerrish has held pioneering joint posts between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Hallam University, and has been at the forefront of developing national clinical academic training programmes helping nurses, midwives and allied health professionals gain skills and expertise in research.

Professor Kate Gerrish said: “This is a huge privilege, and a very humbling one, too. I’m thrilled to have received such an honour in recognition of the vital role nursing education an research have in professional practice.”

Professor Moira Whyte, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, was

also given an OBE for services to Respiratory Medicine.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: “It is great to see so many of our academics awarded in recognition of their outstanding scholarship and dedication to their field. I am delighted that their hard work has been recognised.
Congratulating Professor Shaw on her DBE, Sir Burnett added: “Professor Shaw continues to act as an inspiration to colleagues across the world who rightly hold the work of SiTraN in the very highest respect.

“The most important honour of all lies in the difference Professor Shaw and her colleagues make to the health and well-being of men, women and children suffering some of the most debilitating diseases we know.

“As a University we are proud of all Professor Shaw has achieved, and I am personally delighted.”