Nobel laureate Professor Sir John Walker has been awarded the Royal Society's Copley Medal for "his ground-breaking work in understanding what powers living cells".

First awarded by the Royal Society - the UK's national academy of science - in 1731, the Copley Medal recognises outstanding achievements in scientific research. Professor Walker joins a distinguished list of recipients that includes Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Of the award Professor Walker said, "I am greatly honoured by the award of such a prestigious prize. An accolade from fellow scientists is especially to be treasured".  

Based at the Medical Research Council's Mitochondrial Research Unit in Cambridge, Sir John's research into the role of the enzyme ATP synthase in the production of energy in cell mitochondria led to him being awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1997, alongside the American biochemist Paul D. Boyer. 

You can read more about the Copley Medal and Sir John's research by visiting the Royal Society's website

This is an archived news story, first posted in 2012.

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