Biennial Award for outstanding contributions to medical science in Scotland
The award for 2022, in the fields of ‘acute and intensive care medicine, has been made to Professor Kenneth Baillie from the University of Edinburgh. Professor Baillie is a global pioneer in translating understanding of the genetics underpinning diseases into new therapeutic interventions. In the Covid pandemic, he identified a signalling pathway leading to severe disease and proposed a new drug (baricitinib) to manage this pathway. Subsequent clinical trials proved the benefits of the drug and it soon became part of routine therapy, one of few examples of genetic understandings leading directly to new treatments.
He also played a lead role in researching an unexplained outbreak of acute hepatitis in children. All of this research has been undertaken while working as a full-time intensive care consultant in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
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