Jeremy Sanderson, who has managed the Bioimaging Facility at MRC Harwell since 2009, is the recipient of the 2023 Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) President’s Award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the work of the Society.
Jeremy joined the RMS in 1988 only a short time after first being introduced to microscopy through “An introduction to the optical microscope” by Savile Bradbury, while working as a histology technician in Bournemouth and then being mentored by Savile himself after moving to a job as a technician at the Department of Human Anatomy at the University of Oxford in 1987. Savile became one of three mentors at the RMS who helped direct Jeremy’s career: “I was very fortunate to have three good mentors at the RMS whom I informally call ‘The Three Wise Men’. They taught me all I know and gave me a good foundation to build upon later.”
In fact, Jeremy’s talent for microscopy was first recognised by the RMS only a few years after joining, when his Tech RMS project (a precursor to the RMS Diploma) was awarded a Student Medal in recognition of his outstanding exam paper and viva in 1991.
Over the last 35 years, Jeremy has become a well-known and highly respected member of the national and international microscopy community, and has contributed in many different ways to the work of the RMS, including through teaching the principles of light microscopy at the RMS light microscopy summer school, serving on the technology-focused Light Microscopy Section of the RMS from 2006–2009, and being appointed as a Trustee on the governing Council of the RMS from 2009–2012.
Jeremy has also published two books with the RMS: “Biological Microtechnique” in 1994 and “Understanding Light Microscopy” in 2019. The second of these took Jeremy 10 years to write and is described by the RMS as, “a substantial addition to the literature of unusual breadth and depth”!
Having worked for many years in Oxford, as well as in Dresden and Sheffield, Jeremy came to MRC Harwell in 2009 where he has built up a core facility that punches above its weight, while also making valued contributions to public engagement events, including attending careers fairs and hosting work experience students.
Jeremy received the award at the Microscience Microscopy Congress in Manchester from outgoing RMS President Grace Burke, who commented:
“Over the years, Jeremy has dedicated a huge amount of his time and expertise to a wide range of RMS activities, especially through his invaluable teaching and writing on the subject of light microscopy. He is an enormously popular figure within the microscopy community – renowned both for the seriousness and dedication he brings to his work, and the lightness and good humour he shares with colleagues. It is a great pleasure to announce Jeremy as recipient of the RMS President’s Award.”