University Researcher Receives Prestigious Award

A University of Liverpool researcher is the recipient of a Biochemical Society award. Following a record year of nominations, Professor Sonia Rocha is the first female recipient of The Sir Philip Randle Lecture.

Each year, the Biochemical Society presents a series of prestigious awards that recognise excellence and achievement in both specific and general fields of science. Winners of the 2025 Awards represent a cross-section of the molecular biosciences, ranging from redox biology and plant-microbe interactions to mechanochemistry and virology.

Professor Sonia Rocha, Executive Dean of the Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool said: "It is an honour to receive this award, especially as the first female recipient. I would like to thank all the members of my team past and present, the scientific community in areas we work in, and all my mentors throughout my career. This award highlights our work into how cells change in response to reduced oxygen availability, a master regulator of metabolism. We will continue to investigate this response, which is so important for health and disease across all multicellular organisms."

Professor Steve Busby, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham, and Chair of the Biochemical Society's Awards Committee, says: "The list of the 2025 Biochemical Society award-winners is impressive and, of course, we have a wonderful mix of awardees, since each prize is targeted to a different section of our community. This is due to great foresight by the Society's managers and funders, over many, many years. As well as congratulating the winners, I want to say thanks for all the hard work put in by nominators, supporters, Biochemical Society staff, and the Awards Panel during the current round, this scheme could not work without you, and your efforts made my job easy!"

More about Professor Rocha

Sonia Rocha, originally from northern Portugal, earned her Biology degree at Porto University, with emphasis on plant physiology. She then completed a PhD at the ETH-Zurich in Switzerland, focusing on ionizing radiation-induced apoptosis in the group of Prof. Martin Pruschy and Prof. Kasper Winterhalter. She conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Dundee, Scotland, exploring tumour suppressor interactions with NF-kappaB transcription factors in the group of Prof. Neil Perkins. In 2005, she started as a Tenure Track Principal Investigator at the University of Dundee, delving into hypoxia research. Recognised with Tenure in 2010 and a Cancer Research-UK Senior Research Fellowship in 2011, she later became deputy director of the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2013, before being promoted to full Professor in 2016. In 2017, she assumed leadership of the Biochemistry department at the University of Liverpool, eventually becoming Executive Dean for the Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology in May 2020. Sonia actively engages in teaching, mentoring, and public outreach, while also contributing to scientific committees, academic journal editing, and conference organization.

More about the Biochemical Society awards

Biochemical Society award candidates are nominated by their peers and the winners are agreed by a judging panel of respected scientists from across a range of different scientific backgrounds.

These winners will receive their prize and deliver an award or medal lecture in 2025. All of the awards and medal lectureships carry prize money and winners will be invited to submit an article to one of the Society's journals.

Founded in 1911, the Biochemical Society

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