Professor Irene Tracey elected as Fellow of the Royal Society

The Royal Society has elected former Warden and Honorary Fellow of Merton, Professor Irene Tracey CBE, FMedSci., FRS (1985), as a new Fellow. The Fellows have been selected for their substantial contributions to the advancement of science in various fields.

Professor Irene Tracey is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Professor of Anaesthetic Neuroscience at the Nuffield Department Clinical Neurosciences. Irene and her team developed new approaches to uncover how the human brain constructs and modulates the perception of pain in health and disease. Pioneering the use of neuroimaging with novel paradigm designs, their work has given mechanistic insight into how injury, cognition, context and mood produce and influence the experience of pain in acute and chronic pain states. Their work conducted at WIN (formerly FMRIB) in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences has contributed to a fundamental change in how we view pain as an emergent experience that is not simply related to nociception and injury. Her team has also transformed our understanding of how anaesthetics produce altered states of consciousness. Their work spans discovery through translation to industry, the clinic and society. Irene is currently President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS).

Also among the new Royal Society Fellows is Irene’s husband, Professor Myles Allen CBE FRS, Professor of Geosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment and Department of Physics.

Professor Tracey said: 'It is a testament to Oxford’s scientific standing to see so many colleagues honoured in this way - congratulations to all the new Fellows as well as their research teams where relevant. Naturally, Myles and I are delighted to be elected in the same year. We look forward to celebrating with colleagues and our teams, as well as serving the Royal Society in its mission to promote science.'

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: 'I am delighted to welcome our newest cohort of Fellows. These individuals have pushed forward the boundaries of their respective fields and had a beneficial influence on the world beyond.

'Among this year’s intake are individuals who were at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic response, and those working on global challenges, from TB to climate change. They are pioneering scientists and innovators from around the world who have confounded expectations and transformed our thinking.

'This year’s intake have already achieved incredible things, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so. I look forward to meeting them and following their contributions in future.'

For more information, see the Oxford University News article.