Madeleine Ennis

Madeleine Ennis was awarded a B.Sc. in Chemistry from UCL in 1974 and a PhD in Biological Chemistry (supervisor Charles Vernon) in 1978. Her thesis was entitled “Some Studies on Nerve Growth Factor and its Antiserum” and provided important information about the mechanism of immunosympathectomy. She then spent three years carrying out postdoctoral work with Fred Pearce and together they established the mast cell group in the Chemistry Department at UCL. Her main interests were “Calcium and Histamine Release” and “Mast Cell Heterogeneity”. This was a most productive period and resulted in twenty five publications, one of which became a mini-citation classic and another an EHRS Milestone Paper. Madeleine then spent two years in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in Hammersmith before joining Wilfried Lorenz in the Institute for Theoretical Surgery in Marburg. Her main interest in Marburg was “Adverse Allergic and Pseudoallergic Drug Reactions”. This period in Germany consolidated Madeleine’s scientific reputation and she moved in 1989 to a lectureship in Clinical Biochemistry at Queen’s University, Belfast. Thereafter, she was rapidly promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996 and to Professor of Immunopharmacology in 1999. Madeleine’s current research interests span the role of infection, inflammation and inflammatory markers in all of the major, non-malignant lung diseases. Madeleine consolidated these interests by founding the Respiratory Research Group at Queen’s and she is now Director of the Respiratory Medicine Research Cluster and widely recognised as one of the United Kingdom’s leading experts in the pathogenesis of respiratory disease. She has supervised a huge number of research students all of whom hold her in universal affection. She also carried out some rigorous research into the basis of homeopathy which attracted enormous publicity and led to an appearance on the BBC television programme “Horizon”. Madeleine has also found time to serve on the Women’s Forum Committee at Queen’s and to chair the Mentoring Sub-Group of that Committee. She is the Mentoring Champion at the University. This is a hugely important initiative designed to promote equality of opportunity for women in academic life and contributed to the granting to Queen’s of the Athena Silver SWAN award for excellence in Science, Engineering and Technology employment in Higher Education. Madeleine has given fantastic formal service to the EHRS. She has served on its Council and acted as a Member of the Organising Committees for its meetings for many years. She has acted as Publications Secretary and Editor for the proceedings. Most importantly, Madeleine was elected President of the EHRS in Lyon in 1999 and served until 2006. She brought great charisma to the role and also did wonders to modernise and raise the profile of the Society.