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Last Updated: Friday, 10 June, 2005, 23:51 GMT 00:51 UK
Female medics receive top honours
Professor Carol Black
Professor Black becomes a Dame
Two leading female medical experts have been made Dames in the Queen's birthday honours list.

As president of the Royal College of Physicians, Professor Carol Black has worked to improve collaboration between doctors and patient representatives.

She is also an international authority on the rheumatic disease systemic sclerosis (scleroderma).

Professor Nancy Rothwell, based at the University of Manchester, is a leading light in the field of neuroscience.

Over the last decade her research has contributed toward major advances in the understanding and treatment of conditions such as stroke and brain injury.

Her most recent work has focused on the discovery of a protein which damages cells in the brain following trauma caused by stroke, head injury or brain haemorrhage.

Brown fat

She is also credited with the discovery of the importance of a small tissue called 'brown fat', which in contrast to other fats found in mammals, burns off calories and helps animals to stay slim.

Professor Nancy Rothwell
Professor Rothwell is an advocate for women in science

Dame Nancy also helps to raise the profile of science by writing a monthly column in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

She is particularly committed to encouraging girls and young women to pursue a career in science.

"It's something I am really passionate about," she said.

"There is still an image of women scientists in tweeds and brogues, as well as the idea that being a woman is a horrendous impediment.

"What a lot of girls want to know is - is it possible? Can you be a woman in science and be normal? I'm there to let them know they can."

Dame Carol's work has fuelled significant advances in the treatment of scleroderma, a painful, debilitating and disfiguring disorder of the immune system.

Her unit at the Royal Free Hospital has become the major centre for clinical care and research in Europe and is internationally renowned.

Commenting on the honour, she said: "I am delighted to receive this honour, not just personally but because it truly reflects the part of this college in improving the health and medical care of people in this country."

New knights

The honours list also includes knighthoods for two leading figures in health and medicine.

Professor Andrew Haines, dean of the world-renowned London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has been recognised for his services to medicine.

Dr Jonathan Michael, chief executive of Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust in London, has been recognised for services to the health service.

Julietta Patnick, the director of NHS Cancer Screening Programmes has been awarded a CBE.

Among the MBEs are Helen Tees, one of the new breed of modern matrons in the NHS, working at University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, and Grace Witcomb, a cleaner at Salisbury Hospital.



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