Previous winners

The Furness Prize for Science Communication celebrates the outstanding work of trainees involved in public engagement and the College's commitment to promoting the work pathologists do. 

Past Winners of the Furness Prize

  • Dr Hamzah Farooq


    Hamzah has been involved in a wide range of activities throughout the year, in the UK and abroad, and the judges were particularly impressed by his commitment to delivering pathology-related training to undergraduates, postgraduate trainees, healthcare workers and members of the public, including giving a talk on ‘getting into combined infection training’ and developing educational videos on whole genome sequencing.

    He also delivered tutorials on virological conditions to medical students and taught the basics of microbiological and virological laboratory techniques to postgraduate trainees. In addition, Hamzah has helped to raise awareness of infectious diseases and laboratory diagnostics. He presented several posters on infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and also delivered talks entitled ‘introduction to HIV resistance and clinical cases’.

    Here's what Hamzah had to say when he found out he had won this year's prize: "I feel very privileged to have been awarded this prize and aim to use this motivation to continue honing my skills and deliver further science communication activities in the future. Pathology is a field in which one works with a variety of multi-disciplinary teams and a diversity of patients. Communication between teams is vital in pathology for patients, healthcare workers and for members of the public to fully understand the pathological and diagnostic process. Only by communicating effectively and working together, can we aim to reduce the burden of disease and improve the quality of life of patients and the general public."

  • Navin Mukundu Nagesh and Bogdan Chiva Giurca


    2018 was the first year that undergraduates could be awarded the Furness Prize for Science Communication, and it was also the first time two nominees were awarded the prize.

    Navin and Bogdan first engaged with the Royal College of Pathologists by attending the annual Pathology Summer School run by the College in 2016. They were inspired by the public engagement session delivered by Suzy Lishman and decided to get involved in National Pathology Week (NPW). They’ve organised activities for NPW ever since, and have, to date, engaged with over 1,750 members of the public and 500 school/college students across Devon and Cornwall. Their initial event in 2016 has inspired numerous students from across the UK to get involved in organising and supporting NPW over the years. One example is a series of events organised by students at UCL, who collaborated with Navin and Bogdan to raise awareness of careers in pathology across London. They were subsequently invited to deliver the “Public Engagement” session at the Pathology Summer School in 2017 where they shared experiences and offered support to attendees.

    The two students have been involved in numerous other science communication activities including “Talk Cancer” which involved working with a local cancer charity to produce a book for cancer patients, written by cancer patients with honest reflections, monologues, poems and artwork to portray the range of emotions and thoughts during a cancer journey. A story was covered by ITV news charity Fixers and a short piece was recently aired. These are only a few examples of the huge range of high quality science communication projects and events these two inspiring students have developed and supported.

  • Michelle Muscat


    Not only was Dr Muscat in the final stages of a PhD that had a strong focus on the communication of pathology, but she had also published a novel where the main character was a Chemical Pathologist. Michelle developed and delivered numerous school workshops that explored a range of chemical pathology topics including blood tests, high cholesterol and diabetes.

    Dr Muscat has also created teaching resources, writing a number of scientific publications on the best methods to communicate and teach pathology. Her very creative approach also enabled her to reach diverse audiences through poetry, theatre and social media. Overall, Michelle impressed the judges both with the quantity and quality of the science communication work she undertook. 

  • Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green


    I’ve been involved in science communication for almost ten years as part of my role as a healthcare scientist. It's always felt particularly important for me, as I work in a paediatric hospital, to communicate with my patients and members of the public about science and healthcare. I have been fortunate enough to run activities with individuals from all ages and backgrounds and to be inspired by their enthusiasm.  

    When it was suggested to me that I should nominate myself for the Furness Prize I was initially reticent, as I was nominating myself. I’m so glad that I did however as it has allowed me to talk about how important it is to be able to communicate science to patients and the public, as well as something I have found to be immensely personally rewarding.


  • Dr Jacqueline McDermott

    Furness Prize for Science Communication Winner 2014

    "My colleague suggested that I apply for the Furness Prize for Science Communication. I was a bit unwilling because I have never won a prize before so imagine how delighted I was to be the 2014 recipient! I know that public engagement is very important to the College so I consider it to be a great achievement that they thought my work at Centre of the Cell and with Fruit Fly Collective was outstanding and important. Winning this prize has given me even more motivation to carry on encouraging young people to get into science and to help improve communication within families affected by cancer."


  • Katy Heaney

    Furness Prize for Science Communication Winner 2013

    "I was delighted to be nominated for The Furness Prize to celebrate a year of great success for Lab Tests Online-UK and in recognition of public engagement work I have done since beginning my NHS career. Since winning the prize, I have recruited 3 members to the promotional and marketing team at Lab Tests Online-UK and recently attended the National Association for Patient Participation conference to speak directly to Patient Participation Group representatives about how we can support their GP practices. I am really excited to be planning our 10 year anniversary celebrations in October and look forward to being part of National Pathology Week and working with the college team."


  • Helen Turner

    Furness Prize for Science Communication Winner 2012

    "I agreed to be nominated for The Furness Prize as I felt it would be a great way of highlighting the range of public engagement events I have been involved in over the past few years, and how enjoyable public engagement can be. The events have ranged from small hospital displays, to open days, all of which have given me the chance to interact with the public about pathology. Since winning the prize, I have continued my involvement in public engagement. The prize has opened up new areas of public engagement, such as the Aberdeen May Festival 2013, and building links with Aberdeen University. I'm very grateful to the College for the support they have given to public engagement over the last few years, and hope it continues well into the future."

  • Dr Vanessa Wong

    Furness Prize for Science Communication Winner 2010

    The winner of the 2010 prize was Dr Vanessa Wong for her involvement in a range of public engagement activities, including events organised by the College.

  • Dr Chris Smith

    Furness Prize for Science Communication Winner 2009

    The inaugural prize was awarded to Dr Chris Smith for founding The Naked Scientists radio show, podcast and website.