The neuroscientist Alastair Compston, Professor of Neurology at the University of Cambridge and member of the Leopoldina, has been eelcted Fellow of the Royal Society. Compston is known in particular for his contributions to research and treatment of the disease multiple sclerosis. Along with Compston, two members of the Leopoldina, the mathematician Gerd Faltings and the geneticist Svante Pääbo, have been elected Foreign Members of the Royal Society.
Alastair Compston earned his Ph.D. in medicine from the University of London in 1979. From 1982 until 1989 he worked at the University of Wales, first as Consultant, then as Professor of Neurology. Since 1989, he has been Professor of Neurology, Head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and co-chair of Cambridge Neuroscience in the University of Cambridge.
Compston has made seminal contributions to the knowledge of the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and to strategies for treatment of this particular disease leading to the introduction of Alemtuzumab as a highly effective treatment. Since the 1970s and, since 2002, as partner of the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium that he co-founded, he has identified numerous multiple sclerosis susceptibility genes. Compston is a member of the Leopoldina in the section Microbiology and Immunology since 2008.
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