Professor Philippa Saunders became Fellow ad eundem at the September 2015 Fellowship ceremony in London, England.
Professor Philippa Saunders is Professor of Reproductive Steroids and Director of Postgraduate Research at the University of Edinburgh.
She is one of the world’s leading reproductive biologists and one of the pre-eminent researchers in the field of reproductive health in the UK. Her research focuses on the actions of sex steroids on reproductive tissues.
Professor Saunders discovered the expression of oestrogen receptors in germ cells and extrapolated this to show that germ cells are a direct target of common environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and polyphenols, thus opening a new field of endeavour. She also demonstrated the expression of oestrogen receptors in vascular endothelial cells and revealed a novel splice variant over expressed in sex steroid-sensitive breast cancer cells, helping to stratify the therapeutic response. Recently she discovered that the human endometrium is unexpectedly a target for androgens and thus proposed the use of androgens/anti-androgens as therapies for infertility and other uterine disorders.
Professor Saunders led the successful bid for the first (and currently the only) MRC Centre for Reproductive Health in the UK, and was its inaugural Director.