Lez Fairbairn was a scientist at the Cancer Research UK Paterson Institute in Manchester who died suddenly, aged 46, of a heart attack following a cricket match in 2005. His career was focussed on using gene therapy approaches to protect bone marrow stem cells from chemotherapy and he was a leading light in the formation and early development of BSGT. He was the Conference Chair of the 2nd BSGT meeting, which was held in Manchester in 2005, and had agreed to be put forward as the next President.

The Fairbairn Award was set up in memory of Lez. The competition is now open to UK-based PhD students or researchers who have completed their PhD within the last 3 years and is awarded for the best presentation during the annual conference. Applicants can apply for the Fairbairn multiple times as long as within the criteria for age/experience.

Winners of the award to date:
2019 – Alex Baker (Cardiff University)
2018 – Helena Lund-Palau (Imperial College London)
2017 – Michael Paul-Smith (Imperial College London)
2016 – Joanne Ng (University College London)
2015 – Christos Georgiadis – (UCL, Institute of Child Health)
2014 – Rachel Dakin – (University of Edinburgh)
2013 – Ben Mead (University of Birmingham) and Runner Up – Juliette Delhove (Queen Mary, University of London)
2012 – Sara Ghorashian (UCL) and Peggy Sung (Institute of Child Health, UCL)
2011 – Margaret Duffy (University of Glasgow)
2010 – Stuart Martin (University of Warwick) and Natalie Ward (Institute of Child Health, UCL)
2009 – Ryan Cawood (University of Oxford)
2008 – Veronique Bachy (King’s College London)
2007 – Susannah Bailey (Institute of Child Health, UCL)
2006 – Ian Pringle (University of Oxford)