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Pharmacist leading coronavirus rapid test project elected as Fellow of Royal Society

Molly Stevens, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society based at Imperial College London, has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society for her “outstanding contributions to scientific understanding”.

molly stevens

Source: Courtesy of Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens, who has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society, is working on a rapid diagnostic test for patients with suspected COVID-19

A pharmacist who is currently leading a €600,000 project to develop a rapid test for coronavirus infection has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Molly Stevens, professor of biomedical materials and regenerative medicine at Imperial College London, and Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), was one of 51 new Fellows selected for their “outstanding contributions to scientific understanding”, the Royal Society said.

Stevens told The Pharmaceutical Journal that she was “hugely grateful to the fantastic team of post-docs, students and collaborators that have made our exciting research possible”, adding that “pharmaceutical sciences are a great foundation for interdisciplinary research”.

Heading up the Stevens Group at Imperial College London, her research focuses on regenerative medicine and biosensing.

Stevens’ current project aims to develop a rapid test which would detect ultra-low concentrations of SARS-CoV-2. She said that “an ultra-sensitive rapid point-of-care diagnostic test for COVID-19 is urgently needed, as the virus continues to spread.

“Our rapid test design is for point-of-care use to help us overcome the challenge of detecting asymptomatic carriers, as well as diagnosing patients much earlier and more quickly.”

Stevens graduated with a BPharm from the University of Bath in 1995, before going on to complete a PhD in biophysical investigations of specific biomolecular interactions and single biomolecule mechanics at the University of Nottingham. She joined Imperial College London in 2004, following a postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s chemical engineering department.

She has received more than 30 awards for her research, including the RPS’s Harrison medal — awarded every second year to a mid-career scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to pharmaceutical science. Stevens was presented with the Harrison medal in 2019, following her keynote lecture at the RPS Science and Research Summit.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20207980

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