Jean Beggs awarded a honorary degree by St Andrews University

Professor Jean Beggs of School of Biological Sciences was among nine distinguished individuals who have been honoured during the University of St Andrews summer graduation ceremonies last week.

Jean Beggs is the Royal Society Darwin Trust Research Professor in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh. Her laboratory combines biochemistry, molecular genetics and systems biology approaches to study RNA splicing and transcription in yeast. Jean graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry and PhD from Glasgow University. Then, as a Beit Memorial Fellow, she established a method for gene cloning in budding yeast, which was key to the development of yeast molecular genetics. She became a lecturer at Imperial College, London, then a Royal Society Research Fellow and Professor at Edinburgh. Her lab studies the mechanism and regulation of pre-mRNA splicing and its links to transcription and chromatin. She is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was awarded the Gabor Medal of the Royal Society, the Biochemical Society Novartis Medal and a CBE for services to science.

Other honorands are:

  • Mr Neil Gaiman – novelist, graphic novelist and screenwriter
  • Professor Herman Van Rompuy – Emeritus President of the European Council; Minister of State (Belgium)
  • Professor Rita Colwell – Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Professor John Dudley – Professor of Physics, University of Franche-Comté, France
  • Professor Emma Rothschild – Professor of History, Harvard University
  • Professor Louise Richardson – Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford; formerly Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews (from 2009 to 2015)
  • Professor Sir Geoffrey Lloyd – Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Peter Sarnak – Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University and The Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton