Dr Alec Bangham MD FRS, a leading haematologist who was known as the father of liposomes, died 9th March 2010, aged 88. A former member of Babraham staff (1952-82), Dr Bangham made groundbreaking discoveries in the chemistry and physics of lipid membranes. He developed methods to create artificial membranes and showed how they could be used to package other compounds in ‘liposomes’.
These have found applications not only in fundamental research but also in the clinic as delivery packages for medicines or therapeutic agents (e.g. Alec’s own work on the development of artificial surfactant for treating lung malfunction in premature infants) and also form the basis of many products in the world of cosmetics today. Alec put the UK on the map as leader in this field of chemistry. Alec was a cultured man with many interests but his love and enthusiasm for science always stayed with him.
The Guardian 31 March 2010
The Scientist 2 April 2010
Dr Claire Cockcroft
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Notes for Editors:
The Babraham Institute is an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) located near Cambridge, undertaking international quality research to support the biomedical aspects of the BBSRC’s mission. The Institute’s research is focused on understanding the biological events that underlie the normal functions of cells and the implication of failure or abnormalities in these processes. The latest technologies are being used to study the basis of conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders, birth defects, cancer and diseases of the immune and cardiovascular systems. With a strategic focus on ‘healthy ageing’, novel approaches for tackling chronic diseases and public health concerns like obesity and inflammatory disorders are being discovered. (www.babraham.ac.uk)
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes. The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.
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