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Congratulations are in order for Professor Dame Frances Ashcroft who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medical Science from Cambridge University, her alma mater, for her achievements including discoveries about the function and structure of ion channels and the role which certain channels play with insulin secretion and type 2 diabetes. 

The reward is the highest accolade that the University can bestow and the University has been conferring honorary degrees for some 500 years. One of the earliest recorded was in 1493, when the poet John Skelton was honoured.

The day of the Honorary Degree Congregation is a 'scarlet day', so called because doctors wear scarlet instead of black gowns.   Flags were flown to mark the occasion and the bells of the University Church rang out as processions walked around Senate-House Yard.

Here is the 'Ode to Ion Channels' in Latin (and it's English translation!), given by the Cambridge University Orator Rupert Thompson, when Fran received her award. 

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Below is Fran walking with the Mistress of Girton College, of which Fran is a Fellow.

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