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Honorary Degrees Awarded at the University of Bristol – Wednesday, 29 January

Professor Steve Kay

Professor Steve Kay Ede and Ravenscroft

Dr Jacqueline Cornish OBE

Dr Jacqueline Cornish OBE Ede and Ravenscroft

Press release issued: 29 January 2014

Bristol University is awarding honorary degrees to Professor Steve Kay and Dr Jacqueline Cornish OBE at degree ceremonies taking place today in the Wills Memorial Building.

Professor Steve Kay will receive a Doctor of Science as a result of his services to biological science.

He graduated from Bristol University with a degree in Biochemistry, followed by PhD research on circadian rhythms – which control behaviour patterns in our bodies such as sleeping and metabolising cholesterol.

Professor Kay’s research has focused on circadian phenomena in plants, humans and microbes and he has made a number of ground-breaking discoveries which has led to the journal Science categorising his results as ‘scientific breakthrough of the year’ on three occasions.

He has authored more than 200 scientific papers, 40 of which were published in leading scientific journals.  In 2008, Professor Kay was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Alongside his research, Professor Kay is a dedicated educator, seeing it as a responsibility to educate the next generation about his research.

Doctor Jacqueline Cornish OBE will receive a Doctor of Science for her services to medicine.

Dr Cornish qualified as a doctor from Bristol University in 1972 and began her career in the area, specialising in childhood cancer and leukaemia.

She was influential in setting up the Paediatric Stem Cell Transplant unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children – one of the largest units in Europe – and was responsible for working to develop new techniques as well as setting national and international safety and quality standards.

Following this success, she became the Head of the Division of Women’s and Children’s Services at University Hospitals Bristol, managing 2,000 clinicians and 30 services.

In 2003, she was honoured with an OBE for services to paediatrics, and last year was appointed to the position of National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and the Transition to Adulthood – advising the government on improving paediatric healthcare across the NHS.

An honorary degree is a major accolade, awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the University’s mission.

Further information

The official photographs and speeches delivered by the public orators at each ceremony are available to the media on request from the University's Press Office.