Newcastle University Researchers Recognized for Groundbreaking Chemistry Discoveries

Professor Akane Kawamura and Dr James Dawson

(IN BRIEF) Newcastle University researchers, Professor Akane Kawamura and Dr James Dawson, have been awarded prestigious prizes by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Professor Kawamura received the Jeremy Knowles Award for her innovative work in developing technologies and chemical probes to study and manipulate important biological processes. Dr Dawson was honored with the Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize for his contributions to understanding ion transport and interfaces in energy materials. These prizes recognize their exceptional achievements and their significant impact on scientific advancements.

(PRESS RELEASE) NEWCASTLE, 13-Jun-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Two exceptional individuals from Newcastle University, a UK public research university and a member of the Russell Group, have been awarded prestigious accolades by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Professor Akane Kawamura has been honored with the Jeremy Knowles Award, while Dr James Dawson has been recognized with the Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize.

Professor Akane Kawamura, Knowles Award

We are proud to announce that Professor Akane Kawamura has been selected as the recipient of the esteemed Jeremy Knowles Award by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This distinguished prize is awarded to Professor Kawamura in recognition of her groundbreaking research and implementation of advanced technologies and chemical probes to study and manipulate crucial biological processes with therapeutic significance.

Additionally, Professor Kawamura will receive a £3,000 grant and a medal in acknowledgment of her outstanding contributions to the field. Her exceptional work lies at the intersection of chemistry, biology, and medicine, focusing on unraveling the molecular mechanisms of enzymes and proteins associated with diseases, particularly cancer. Through the development of innovative chemical tools, Professor Kawamura aims to enhance our understanding and control of their functions.

After receiving the prize, Professor Kawamura said: “I am absolutely thrilled and deeply honoured to receive the Jeremy Knowles Prize. The prize is also a testament to the talented team and my many collaborators with whom I have worked with over the years.”

Professor Kawamura’s research group employs a wide array of techniques, ranging from biochemical and biophysical methods to cell-based approaches. Furthermore, they specialize in designing peptide and small molecule-based chemical tools. Notably, the group’s investigations concentrate on proteins regulating epigenetic modifications on histones and DNA, shedding light on their mechanisms and their influence on gene expression in cancer. Moreover, they also tackle challenging biomedical protein-protein interactions related to cancer targets, chemokine signaling, and inflammation.

Dr James Dawson, Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize

We are delighted to announce that Dr James Dawson has been honored with the distinguished Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This accolade recognizes Dr Dawson’s exceptional contributions to advancing our understanding and modeling of ion transport and interfaces in energy materials.

Dr Dawson will also be awarded a £5,000 grant and a medal in recognition of his outstanding achievements. His research group focuses on computational modeling to improve the fundamental understanding and performance of materials used in energy storage, conversion, and generation technologies. By leveraging computational methods, including modeling and simulation, Dr Dawson’s group aims to enhance the capabilities and efficiency of batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, and other vital energy-related devices.

After receiving the prize, Dr Dawson said: “I am truly honoured to receive this prestigious prize, especially given some of the previous winners and what they have gone on to achieve. I am incredibly grateful to both my nominator and the RSC, and would like to thank all my research group and collaborators for their tremendous support in recent years.”

Addressing Global Challenges

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “The chemical sciences are at the forefront of tackling a range of challenges facing our world. From fundamental chemistry to cutting-edge innovations, the work that chemical scientists do has an important role to play in building our future.

“The RSC’s prizes programme enables us to reflect on and celebrate the incredible individuals and teams whose brilliance enriches our knowledge, advances our understanding, and brings new ideas and technologies that benefit society as a whole. We’re very proud to recognise the contributions of our winners today.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s prestigious prizes have celebrated excellence in the chemical sciences for over 150 years. In 2019, the organization underwent a significant overhaul of its prize portfolio to better reflect the modern scientific landscape and culture.

The Research and Innovation Prizes serve as a platform to honor exceptional individuals from both industry and academia. These awards encompass various stages of career progression in general chemistry, specific fields, interdisciplinary research, and distinct roles.

For further details about the Royal Society of Chemistry’s revised prizes portfolio, please visit

Press release with thanks from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Media contact:

Ivan Lazarov
Media Relations Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 191 208 7850

SOURCE: Newcastle University



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