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Leading neuroscientist Baroness Greenfield becomes Doctor of Science

13th July 2015

Baroness Susan Greenfield has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Northumbria University, Newcastle, for her ground-breaking research into Alzheimer’s disease.

The leading neuroscientist, writer and broadcaster heads up a multi-disciplinary research group exploring brain mechanisms linked to neurodegeneration.

She is also the founding director of a company developing a novel approach to both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and has written a book exploring how young people's brains are affected by modern digital technologies.

Baroness Greenfield is a big supporter of the role of science in education. She holds an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and is a member of the House of Lords, having been granted a non-political life peerage.

Awarded a CBE in 2000 for her contributions to the public understanding of science, Baroness Greenfield has received both L’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur from the French Government, and the American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate award.

As well as campaigning to encourage more women to become scientists, Baroness Greenfield’s priority is to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and she is currently working hard in her Oxford lab to develop an anti-Alzheimer’s drug.

Baroness Greenfield firmly believes that just 20 years from now, drugs could be readily available that will significantly slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, or perhaps even eradicate it entirely.

At school, the Baroness did the entrance exam in Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Maths; going on to read Classics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.  She soon, however, switched to philosophy and psychology, and finally to neuroscience. 

Whilst at Northumbria, the Baroness was given a tour of the University’s Health and Life Science facilities, including a visit to the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre. She was awarded her honorary degree with students from the University’s Engineering and Environment courses, cementing her views on the importance of education in science subjects.

Baroness Greenfield said: “I feel that being recognised by this award is recognising women in science and I hope that this will send out strong signals for anyone considering a career in science. I hope that this is the start of an ongoing relationship with Northumbria University.

“I’ve seen two different techniques for imaging the brain that are extremely user-friendly here at Northumbria. They are fascinating when compared to other imaging techniques, such as MRI machines.

“The University’s strength in health and life sciences means its students have chosen an area of huge importance. Now, technology gives us the chance to live longer; one-in-three people live to be 100 and so the study into health and nutrition has never been as important.”


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