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Collaborative team including Fellow in Medicine Prof Peter Robbins awarded RSC Horizon Prize

7 June 2022

The College warmly congratulates Fellow in Medicine Prof Peter Robbins who is part of the Molecular Flow Sensor Team which has won the Royal Society of Chemistry's prestigious Horizon Prize. The prize celebrates the most exciting science taking place today.  The team has developed a novel device for lung function measurement using a molecular flow sensor for non-invasive breath analysis to provide measurements of respiratory disease and cardiac output.   

The multidisciplinary team, a collaboration between chemists, physiologists, computer modellers, clinicians, and the NHS Trust, receives a trophy, individual certificates, and a professionally produced multimedia pack showcasing the prize-winning work and its importance. The team’s work uses a combination of optical, mechanical, signal processing and computational techniques to construct a small instrument called a Molecular Flow Sensor which can make highly precise, non-invasive measurements of breath gases. The sensor has been used as a tool in several respiratory medical studies, including measuring the lung function of asthma and cystic fibrosis sufferers as well as for investigations into long COVID. All the results point to the effectiveness of the sensor in early diagnosis and management of lung disease.

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:

“Some of the most incredible work in chemical science is carried out by teams and collaborations who use their diversity of thought, experience and skills to deliver astonishing results. These synergies are often at the very forefront of expanding our understanding of the world around us, and why our judges have such a difficult job selecting winners for our Horizon Prizes.

“Although we are in the midst of negotiating a particularly turbulent and challenging era, it is important to celebrate successes and advances in understanding as genuine opportunities to improve our lives. The work of the Molecular Flow Sensor Team is a fantastic example of why we celebrate great science; and we’re very proud to recognise their contribution today.”

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image of person measuring lung capacity