The Sir Roger Bannister Prize competition rewards undergraduate medical students who excel in the study of neuroscience. Sir Roger, as well as being known for completing a mile run under four minutes, was also a neurologist. His academic work was mostly concerned with the autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular physiology, and multiple system atrophy.
The prize is held annually in memory of Sir Roger's lifetime of work. This year saw six sixth-year medical students who had excelled in the study of neurosciences in their fifth year compete in viva voce interviews with an independent panel. The viva focused partly on Sir Roger's work, and partly on measuring autonomic functions and also the use of AI in neurology. This year's judges were Isabel Leite and Sanjay Manohar.
The winner was Desson Au-Yeung (Jesus), with George Shaw (Exeter) as proxime accessit.
Desson commented: 'I found the viva tough but very interesting and it was a privilege to engage in discussions about neuroscience with Dr Leite and Dr Manohar. It's an honour to be selected as this year's winner, so thank you to everyone involved.'
George said: 'I found the viva a great opportunity to discuss different aspects regarding the future of neurology and also as a chance to discuss Sir Roger's work. It was a lovely "full-circle" moment to tell the panel how I met Sir Roger at our college, Exeter, during my first year of studying as well and the short conversation we had about medicine at Oxford.'