BMA foundation for medical research awards ceremony 2016

Celebrating medical research at the BMA

Every year we host an awards ceremony to celebrate the grant winners of the BMA foundation for medical research. The BMA foundation is a not-for-profit funding body that awards grants and prizes for basic and clinical medical research, all funded by bequests.

The awards ceremony, held on 22 November 2016 at BMA House, was an excellent chance to celebrate the success of the grant winners and the BMA’s continued support for medical research of the highest quality.

The event was attended by over 180 guests, including potential donors, philanthropists, key members of the medical research community, parliamentarians and charity sector leaders. An after-dinner speech was delivered by BBC Radio 4’s co-presenter the Reverend Richard Coles and we invited back some of our past winners to talk about the impact their BMA research grant has had on their academic field and medicine.


Apply for a BMA foundation grant

Don't miss your chance to apply for funding  applications open on 05 December 2016 and will close on 03 March 2017.

Find out how to apply


  • Gallery and about the 2016 winners

  • A wonderful evening

    Read one attendee's account of the event... 

    Having borrowed shoes from my teenage daughter and checked with the BMA that my dress would be OK, I arrived at BMA House last night feeling rather nervous.

    Although one of the few without a medal, I was greeted by a beaming smile from Dr Andrew Dearden and put at ease immediately. The atmosphere was wonderful, with a harp playing in the corner and everyone relaxed.

    I sat next to Lady Masham at dinner, who when I asked her where she lived replied dryly ‘Masham’.

    Chatting to Derek Bell I noticed a man to my right looking rather lonely. Bright and breezy as always, I introduced myself and asked his name and how he came to be here. ‘I’m Terence Stephenson and I’m Chair of the GMC’, he replied. Choking on my champagne I couldn’t stop myself replying ‘and do you enjoy doing that?’ It was truly amazing to have his attention all to myself for the next 10 minutes, and I took full advantage.

    I sat next to Lady Masham at dinner, who when I asked her where she lived replied dryly ‘Masham’. As a Baronette and Countess it was wonderful to be able to ask her about her life and experiences in the House of Lords. Equally impressive was her ability to park her car in the quadrangle at BMA House. She has given me her card and offered to invite me to a meeting, and I will certainly take her up on that.

    On my right was Professor Adrian Hill. Probably one of the cleverest people I’ve ever met he was able to explain the research for which he was receiving an award simply enough for me to understand. I was delighted to hear my MD research might be coming back into fashion and to meet someone who was as interested as me in Mycobacterium paratuberculosis.

    With a full NHS day today I left at 10 but the experience was wonderful and I am very grateful to those who organised the event that they invited me.

  • Previous grant successes

    "Winning the Doris Hillier Grant fostered my development as a clinical researcher and enabled me to succeed in obtaining clinical research fellowship."

    Dr Venkat Reddy

    The BMA foundation for medical research has had a significant impact on the careers of grant winners and on the many areas our grants fund. When we surveyed past grant winners, 92 per cent said that winning a BMA foundation grant contributed to their career progression.

    At this year’s ceremony, we invited two past grant winners to present to us on the benefits of securing grant funding from the BMA research grants.


    Dr Doris-Eva Bamiou winner of the Helen Lawson grant 2012

    Dr Doris-Eva Bamiou is a reader at the University College London (UCL) Ear Institute and consultant in audiological medicine at the University College Hospital, London and Great Ormond Street. She was awarded the Helen Lawson grant in 2012 to investigate hearing evaluation and rehabilitation for stroke patients (HEARS).

    Dr Bamiou said:

    "I was awarded the Helen Lawson in 2012 to investigate means of auditory rehabilitation for stroke patients whose hearing and communication needs when they are not aphasic tend to be overlooked. It was an important first step towards direct, tangible patient benefit and for me personally of great help in my academic research career."


    Dr Venkat Reddy winner of the Doris Hillier grant 2013

    Dr Reddy is as a senior research associate at University College London and a consultant rheumatologist at the University College Hospital, London. He was awarded the Doris Hillier grant in 2013 to investigate why some patients with rheumatoid arthritis do not respond as well to treatment with the biological agent Rituximab.

    Dr Reddy said:

    "The Doris Hillier Grant awarded in 2013, supported vital research into understanding key resistance mechanisms to rituximab, a B-cell removing agent, used to treat patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and, laid platform for further research that resulted in identifying the potential of an alternative B-cell removing agent, Obinutuzumab, currently in clinical trials in systemic lupus erythematosus.

    "Winning the Doris Hillier Grant fostered my development as a clinical researcher and enabled me to succeed in obtaining clinical research fellowship and, also helped build foundations of an academic profile. Thus, Doris Hillier Grant provided a lifeline for sustaining my pursuit of an academic career".


  • Fundraising

    Funding for the BMA foundation for medical research is made possible through generous donations and gifts in wills.

    By celebrating the important research funded by the BMA foundation, and the success of the grants over the years, we hope others will be encouraged to support the foundation. Every gift makes a real and lasting difference to medical research.

    If you have any questions about the BMA foundation, or are thinking of giving a gift to medical research, please contact the BMA foundation team at or telephone 020 7383 6341.

    Find out more