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Judith Howard Lecture Prize


The Howard Lecture is an annual lecture which celebrates world-leading early to mid-career academics working in the biophysical sciences from anywhere in the world. Nominations can be made for researchers working in academia or in industry and we welcome nominations for those with unconventional career paths or with career breaks.


How to Nominate 

Please forward the name and institution link of nominees to Steven Cobb, BSI Director, at:

Self-nominations are also welcome. Please forward a brief biography and proposed title or theme to the BSI Director at:

Nominations are welcome from all areas of biophysical sciences. 

Closing Date: 31 May 2024


Professor Judith Howard

Professor Judith Howard CBE FRS  was one of the original founders of the BSI and was instrumental in establishing the Wolfson Laboratories on the top floor of the Chemistry Department, an interdisciplinary research hub home to many BSI researchers.

Judith joined Durham as a Professor of Crystallography in 1991 and became the first female head of a five-star chemistry department nationally. She has built instruments that allow scientists to apply techniques to prove theories experimentally and advance the field of X-ray crystallography. She developed low-temperature X-ray and neutron diffraction methods to explore electron density distributions, chemical bonding descriptors and magnetic properties in molecules more precisely. 

To mark her formal retirement from the University the Howard lecture was established in her name, and celebrates up-and-coming researchers in the biophysical sciences from all over the world.  


Past Howard Lectures 

Howard Lecture 2024

In late November 2023, we welcomed Dr Yuval Elani (Imperial College) to Durham to present the Judith Howard Lecture (image above). His talk "Building a new biology: design and construction of synthetic cells" was the latest in this series of lectures that celebrate world-leading early to mid-career academics working in the biophysical sciences from anywhere in the world. 

Dr Yuval Elani is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Lecturer (Asst. Professor) in the Department of Chemical Engineering, where he leads the Bioinspired Engineering Group. Yuval is an expert in synthetic biology, bio-membrane engineering, opto- / microfluidics, and molecular bioengineering.


Previous Lecturers 

2023: Dr Yuval Elani, Imperial College London

2021: Dr Rivka Isaacson, King’s College London

2020: Professor Silvia Marchesan,  University of Trieste 

2018: Professor Vijay Chudasama,  University College London 

2017: Dr Susan Cox, Kings College London 

2016: Professor Justin Benesch,  University of Oxford 

2015: Dr Sarah Veatch,  University of Michigan, US 

2014: Dr Arwen Pearson,  Universitat Hamburg 

2013: Professor David R. Nelson,  Harvard University, US