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We are pleased to announce that Prof Joel Tarning has been awarded the biennial Grahame-Smith Prize by the British Pharmacological Society for outstanding contributions to clinical pharmacology. Joel has headed MORU's Clinical Pharmacology Department since 2012. Since then, the Department has grown into large, productive group that conducts laboratory- and computer-based pharmacology research.

Profesor Joel Tarning in a laboratory. © 2020 MORU. Photographer: Gerhard Jørén

Prof David Grahame-Smith, after whom the award Joel was honoured with is named, was Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford for several decades,” said Prof Nick Day, MORU Director. “He taught me as a medical student, and both Nick White and I both worked for him as junior doctors. He was a wonderful man, very funny and deeply humane in his clinical practice. It is very fitting that Joel has won an award associated with such a giant in the field.”

Joel's research interests include infectious disease pharmacology and the use of novel pharmacometric methodologies to identify and optimise the dose in particularly vulnerable populations, such as children and pregnant women. His work on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of antimalarial drugs in young children with uncomplicated and severe malaria has already had a global impact, resulting in revised WHO Guidelines for the treatment of malaria. 

"David Grahame-Smith was a wonderful man," said Prof Sir Nick White. "Nick Day and I both worked for him. He was cheerful, positive, amusing and down to earth as well as being a world leading clinical pharmacologist and a very good physician. He was also an excellent jazz pianist. It is really nice for Joel to have deservedly won this award and, in doing so, to revive his memory."

As part of his award, Joel has been invited to give a prize lecture at a future, physical meeting of the Society. Please join us in extending your congratulations to Joel.

- Text by John Bleho