A SCOTTISH university department is one of just 12 across the UK to receive a prestigious Regius professorship to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last year.

The Cabinet Office announced that Dundee University would receive a professorship in the life sciences from the Queen to recognise its excellence in research and teaching.

Regius professorships are traditionally created when a university chair is founded or endowed by a royal patron. They come with no extra funding, but enable universities give the title to an existing professor or appoint a new one.

Loading article content

Professor Pete Downes, principal of Dundee University, welcomed the award as an "affirmation" of the institution's world-class standing in life sciences.

And he announced that the first Regius Professor in Life Sciences at Dundee would be Professor Mike Ferguson, the Dean of Research in the College of Life Sciences.

"We also have a strong cohort of dynamic young scientists and rising stars in their fields, who will help carry the excellence of Life Sciences at Dundee into the future," he added.

Mr Ferguson, who is a world expert on the biochemistry of parasites that cause human tropical diseases, said: "This is a great accolade for Life Sciences at Dundee – to all those who have built it up to what it is today and to those who will sustain it in the future."

Before this award, only two Regius professorships were awarded in the past century, both at the University of Cambridge.