New Executive Committee Members Announced

Following our AGM we are excited to announce the new changes to our governing Executive Committee.

Dr Peter O’Toole from the University of York has been appointed as Vice-President of the Society and Professor Maddy Parsons has become the new RMS Honorary Secretary for Biological Science.

As Vice-President, Dr O’Toole will be supporting the current President Professor Michelle Peckham in forming the strategy for the RMS and managing our ongoing activities. With over 1600 members worldwide and activities including an annual calendar of around 25 conferences, meetings and training courses, a scientific journal and an active Primary School scheme reaching thousands of children each year, this is a big responsibility to undertake.

Dr Peter O'Toole heads the Imaging and Cytometry Labs within the Technology Facility at the University of York which includes an array of confocal microscopes, flow cytometers and electron microscopes. His research is currently focused on both technology and method development of novel probes and imaging modalities. He has ongoing collaborations with many leading microscopy and cytometry companies and his group also provides research support to many academics and commercial organisations. Dr O’Toole is also heavily involved with teaching microscopy and flow cytometry which includes organising and teaching on both the RMS Light Microscopy Summer School and the RMS practical Flow Cytometry courses.

RMS President Professor Michelle Peckham said “I’m really pleased that the Society has elected Dr O’Toole as the new Vice-President. Dr O’Toole has done an excellent job of co-chairing the mmc-series as well as emc2012 when we hosted the European Congress in Manchester. I believe that his passion for teaching and his work as an advocate for Imaging Facility Managers will make him a really great leader for the Society and I look forward to working with him further over the next 3 years.”

As Honorary Secretary for Biological Science, Professor Parsons will be championing life sciences in the activities of the RMS as well as acting as Life Sciences Chair for the mmc-series, the next event being mmc2019.

Professor Parsons is Professor of Cell Biology at King’s College London. Maddy was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2005 to establish her own group within the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King’s College London. Professor Parsons has established collaborations with developmental biologists and clinical researchers to study adhesion receptor signalling in skin blistering, wound healing, inflammation and cancer. She works closely with physicists, biophysicists and other world-leading cell migration groups in the field to develop and apply new imaging technologies to dissect spatiotemporal cytoskeletal signalling events in live cells, tissues and whole organisms. As a result of her interest and applications of advanced microscopy, Professor Parsons developed a strong working partnership with Nikon, which subsequently led to the establishment of the state-of-the-art, world-class Nikon Imaging Centre at King’s College London of which she is Director. Professor Parsons also currently works alongside other biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop and apply advanced imaging approaches to basic mechanisms that underpin drug discovery. 

Allison Winton, Chief Executive of the RMS said “Professor Parsons has been an active member of the RMS Life Sciences committee for many years and has helped to organise both our Frontiers in BioImaging and Abercrombie meetings identifying key emerging topics and developing valuable links between the Society and many eminent scientists working in the field. Professor Parsons’ proactive and approachable nature as well as her vast knowledge and experience in the field will make her a great representative for biological science in the Society.”

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