The Hanbury Medal

Daniel Hanbury black and white pencil portrait

Awarded for "High excellence in the prosecution or promotion of original research in the Natural History and Chemistry of Drugs"

History of the Hanbury Medal

Following the death of British botanist and pharmacologist Daniel Hanbury in 1875, Daniel’s friends and colleagues resolved to honour a life dedicated to science by awarding a medal in his memory for 'high excellence in the prosecution or promotion of original research in the Natural History and Chemistry of Drugs.'

A fund was established in his memory to support the Hanbury Medal, a gold medal awarded every five years by the RPS to recognise an individual who has had a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical sciences. The award winner is invited to delivers the Hanbury Memorial Lecture on a subject relating to their work in the pharmaceutical sciences and is presented with the Hanbury memorial medal.

The first recipient of the Hanbury Medal was Daniel’s former associate, Friedrich Fluckiger, who received the medal in 1881 for his work on pharmacognosy and pharmacology. Frederick Sanger, who was awarded his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958 for his work on the structure of the insulin molecule, is one of the most influential recipients of the medal. It was for this work on the structure of insulin, as well as his work on polypeptides, that he was awarded the Hanbury Medal in 1976.

The most recent medallist was Professor Sandy Florence, a well-known figure in pharmacy for his research into drug delivery and government committee work. He is a notable pioneer in the pharmaceutical sciences who led research on topics such as surfactant systems, colloids, dendrimer and nanoparticle uptake, drug targeting, and nanotechnology.

Nominations for the 2025 Hanbury Medal open in Spring 2024.


Past Hanbury Medal winners

  • 2019 AT Florence
  • 2014 RC (Bob) Hider
  • 2006 Sir David Jack
  • 2001 JB Stenlake
  • 1996 Sir John Vane
  • 1991 Sir James Black
  • 1986 Lord Todd
  • 1981 Sir Derek HR Barton
  • 1976 F Sanger
  • 1974 AH Beckett
  • 1972 Sir Ernst B Chain
  • 1970 RB Woodward
  • 1968 MM Janot
  • 1966 EL Smith
  • 1964 A Stoll
  • 1953 G Edman
  • 1947 H Flück
  • 1945 HH Janssonius
  • 1943 Sir Henry Dale
  • 1941 H King
  • 1939 TE Wallis
  • 1937 R Wasicky
  • 1935 FL Pyman
  • 1933 G Barger
  • 1931 H Thoms
  • 1929 HH Rusby
  • 1927 TA Henry
  • 1922 E Perrot
  • 1917 HG Greenish
  • 1915 EM Holmes
  • 1913 FB Power
  • 1911 E Léger
  • 1909 A Tschirch
  • 1907 D Hooper
  • 1905 E Schmidt
  • 1903 E Collin
  • 1901 G Watt
  • 1899 A Ladenburg
  • 1897 JE De Vrij
  • 1895 AE Vogl
  • 1893 JM Maisch
  • 1891 JO Hesse
  • 1889 G Planchon
  • 1887 W Dymock
  • 1885 G Dragendorff
  • 1883 JE Howard
  • 1881 FA Fluckiger