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Bristol professors and alumnus awarded honours by King Charles III

The five who have been recognised include two university professors, two University alumni, and a former member of staff.

By Maud Humphries, News Digital Editor

Five University of Bristol professors, alumni and members of staff feature on the King’s New Year Honours list.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Evelyn Welch said: "On behalf of the University, I extend my warmest congratulations to Sir John, Professor Hutton, Sir Gregory, Sandy Mitchell and Dr Mebrahtu on these prestigious honours in recognition of their remarkable contributions to their respective fields.

“Their achievements exemplify the University’s core values of making a positive impact to society through the advancement of knowledge and education of future generations. They also serve as an inspiration to our academic and alumni community.”

The five who have been recognised for their significant achievements and contributions include two university professors, Professor John Iredale a clinical scientist, and Professor Ronald Hutton a historian. Bristol Univeristy alumnus, Gregory Doran and Sandy Mitchell who is also a current member of staff, and a former member of staff Dr Teame Mebrahtu, also feature on the honours list.

Professor John Iredale - image courtesy of University of Bristol

John Iredale, Professor of Medical Science has been awarded a knighthood for services to medical research, including supporting young scientific talent and his work in inflammation research.

 Sir John said: “I am surprised and humbled by this extraordinary honour. I have had the good fortune to work in great UK universities, our NHS and had the opportunity to contribute to both the MRC and charitable sectors. It has been hugely rewarding and exciting, but in all of these organisations, it has been my privilege to work with the most extraordinary teams and this award also recognises and reflects their outstanding work. Science is a team sport.”

Sir John has recently returned to the university, having joined the University in 2016, Sir John Professor of Medical Science at Bristol, Sir John is Chair of the Board of the Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute, Chair of the Lister Institute and was previously President of the Medical Research Foundation, a Trustee of the British Heart Foundation.

A clinical scientist, Sir John was at the forefront of inflammation research for over twenty years, advancing the understanding of solid organ fibrosis by identifying that it is, at least in part, reversible and that macrophages are essential to both the development and resolution of tissue scarring. For many years he has focussed on developing the next generation of scientists. 

Professor Ronald Hutton - - image courtesy of University of Bristol

A CBE has been awarded to Professor Ronald Hutton from the History Department of University of Bristol for services and contribution to history.

Professor Hutton said: “This is a tremendous honour, and I am delighted above all to bring a little further distinction to the university in which I have spent most of my working life.

Professor Hutton joined the History Department at Bristol in 1981 and is a leading authority on the history of the British Isles in the 16th and 17th centuries, ancient and medieval paganism and magic, British folklore, and the global context of witchcraft beliefs.

During his career he has written 18 books and had his own documentary series, Professor Hutton’s Curiosities in 2013. He was also one of the experts to feature in the BBC’s Cunk on Britain where he was interviewed by the satirical and disingenuous Philomena Cunk (played by Diane Morgan) on subjects ranging from Paganism, James I, and life in the Stone Age. 

Gregory Doran (BA 1980), a Bristol Univeristy alumni, has received a knighthood on this year's King’s Honours List.

Sir Gregory came to Bristol in 1977 to study Drama and English before training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He began his career with the RSC as an actor in the 1987-88 season, becoming an Assistant Director in 1989. Sir Gregory stepped down in April 2022, after 35 years with the RSC including the last ten years as Artistic Director.

Alumnus, emeritus member of staff and Chair of the Trustees of Lockleaze Sports Centre Sandy Mitchell, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to sport in Bristol.

Mr Mitchell graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Bristol in 1962 and was subsequently awarded an MSc in Aeronautical Engineering. He then joined the University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering. Mr Mitchell retired from the University in 2006 but continues to lecture and conduct project work.

Whilst at university he played rugby for Churchill Hall and then for Bristol Saracens. For the past ten years in a project to build a sports facility in Lockleaze, Bristol and is currently President of the Bristol & District Rugby Football Combination. 

Former member of staff, Dr Teame Mebrahtu has been awarded an OBE. He was Bristol's first black magistrate, an international advocate for peaceful integration and former University academic from the School of Education.

When his life came under threat in Ethiopia during the Mengistu regime, he applied and was granted refugee status followed by UK citizenship and came to Bristol to study for an MEd in 1972 and a PhD in 1980. 

His service to the Bristol community was recognised by an invitation in 1984 to become a Bristol magistrate, thus being the first black member of the Bench in the city.

Featured image: Ferdinand Stöhr: Unsplash

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