Press release

2012 Wellcome Trust Book Prize judging panel announced

The judging panel for the fourth Wellcome Trust Book Prize is announced today. Chairing the panel of judges this year is journalist, broadcaster and author Mark Lawson.

Mark will be joined on the panel by Dr Brooke Magnanti (research scientist, blogger and author); Henry Thomas Marsh (a leading British neurosurgeon and pioneer of neurosurgical advances); Sue Matthias (editor of the 'Financial Times Weekend' magazine); and Ruth Padel (a poet, writer and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Zoological Society of London).

The £25,000 Wellcome Trust Book Prize is open to works of fiction and non-fiction based around medicine. It celebrates books that explore ideas relating to this theme and aims to stimulate interest, excitement and debate about medicine and literature, reaching audiences not normally engaged with medical science.

Mark Lawson comments: "As someone who has both loved books and suffered from hypochondria for most of my life, I was thrilled to be asked to judge a distinguished literary prize that brings together these two preoccupations. I look forward - with the 2012 judges for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize - to exploring the fascinating subject of writing about the body and mind in both fiction and non-fiction. This is a unique book prize and the increasingly distinguished entries shows that it has found an important place in the literary prize calendar."

Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, comments: "The Wellcome Trust Book Prize continues to surprise and delight, with submissions that reflect the extraordinary diversity of writing exploring medical science. Last year, a novel won the Prize for the first time, and we look forward to a provocative and inspiring longlist and shortlist for 2012."

The winner of the 2011 Prize was Alice LaPlante for her debut novel 'Turn of Mind'. The book is written from the perspective of Dr Jennifer White, an eminent former surgeon in the final stages of Alzheimer's who comes under suspicion after the murder of her best friend. It was the first work of fiction to win the Prize.

The winner of the 2009 Prize was 'Keeper' by Andrea Gillies, and 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' by Rebecca Skloot won the 2010 award.

The winner of the 2012 Wellcome Trust Book Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in November 2012. Entries for this year have now closed.

To find out more about The Wellcome Trust Book Prize, please visit the Wellcome Trust Book Prize website.