Sheffield Scientist Receives Prestigious Honour For Fertility Research

A fertility expert from the University of Sheffield has been recognised for his exceptional contributions to pioneering research over the past 30 years.

Professor Allan Pacey is only the 38th Honorary Member of The British Fertility Society in its 50 year history. The prestigious award recognises his life-changing research on infertility, as well as his influential voice in the field through radio, film, television, and live events.

Previous recipients of the award include the late Professor Robert Edwards, who won a Nobel Prize in 2010 for the development of in vitro fertilisation.

Professor Allan Pacey, who is Head of the Departments of Oncology and Metabolism and Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Sheffield, said: “It is such an honour to receive this award – I am over the moon. My association with the British Fertility Society has been an absolute joy and I hope that I have managed in some small way to move the field forward during my career.”

Dr Raj Mathur, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: “Professor Pacey is a pre-eminent figure in Andrology and Fertility, whose contributions range from a wide portfolio of research to training of healthcare professionals and improved public understanding of the science of male reproduction. He has been a mentor to several researchers and clinicians and, as a previous Chair of the British Fertility Society, represented the entire fertility sector in the UK at a national and international level. We are delighted to be able to award him Honorary Membership of our Society as a mark of our esteem and gratitude for his work.”

Last month Professor Pacey published a scientific study which found that less than four in 100 men who apply to be sperm donors reach the end of the process and have samples frozen and released for treatments, despite there being a sperm donor shortage.

Additionally, last year he was part of an international study which for the first time discovered a new protein which helps sperm fuse with an egg and could improve fertility treatments in the future.

Professor Pacey first came to Sheffield in 1992 as a postdoctoral research assistant, after obtaining his PhD from the University of St. Andrews and working at a laboratory of the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie. He was appointed as a Lecturer in 1997, Senior Lecturer in 2001 and subsequently promoted to Professor in 2015.

He has appeared on countless TV series, radio shows and in newspapers to explain the science behind human reproduction and infertility.

Previously, Professor Pacey has been recognised by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists who awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in 2014, and in 2016 he was also awarded an MBE by the late Queen Elizabeth II for his services to reproductive medicine.