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George Sykes Memorial Award
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George Sykes MSc, FRIC, FIBiol, Honorary MPS died 4 April 1976

The George Sykes Award was inaugurated by The Parenteral Society (now PHSS) in 1986. It commemorates the work of the humble but influential George Sykes, formerly Chief Microbiologist at Boots, latterly Principal Inspector for the Medicines Inspectorate in the early 1970s, and renowned author and lecturer.

George Sykes was one of very few people to be a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Institute of Biology and an Honorary Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. He was the author of two editions of the seminal textbook Disinfection and Sterilization: Theory and Practice, published in 1958 and 1964 respectively, and was heavily involved in making sure disinfection and sterilization methods were included in the British Pharmacopeia Commission.


By the time of the Medicines Act in 1968 Mr Sykes was right at the top of his profession, having gained a great reputation within his field.

The Award was inaugurated in George Sykes’ spirit to acknowledge the patience, precision and proper explanation that are required when sharing best practice in the field of human medicine preparation. These are values upheld by the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Sciences Society to this day, so it is fitting that the Award continues to recognise research excellence from forerunners in the development of contemporary sterilisation and disinfection techniques. 

Describing Mr Sykes Parenteral Society founder Dr Gerry Prout said: “I met George Sykes a few times in the early days of my career as a microbiologist. He was a very decent man, who always had time to explain things.

“He was not so much an original pioneer in the field of sterilisation and disinfection, but a very good implementer. He took all the existing information on the topics and developed it further for the good of the industry.

“Mr Sykes gave his implicit support to the Parental Society and it is certainly true to say that the first people involved in the Society took his message on and developed it through their work.”


Submissions information

The Award is open for submissions from the last 4 issues of the European Journal of Parenteral and Pharmaceutical Sciences within the current year. They are issued quarterly.

To submit your entry send your paper to with title of the paper in the subject.

Previous winners include:

2014 Authors: Andy Sage, David Jones, Nadine Timas

Scientific paper entitled Determining incubation regime and time to results for automated rapid microbiology EM methods

2013 - Authors : Sarah J Hiom, Stephen Denyer, Catherine Talbot and Antony R Wilkes

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board , Welsh School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cardiff University

Scientific paper entitled Investigating rapid microbial detection methods as an alternative to total aerobic microbial counts for non-sterile bioburden assessments”

2012 Authors: Tim Sandle, Bio Products Laboratory, Mr R Vijayakumar and Mr C Manoharan

Scientific paper entitled A review on fungal contamination in pharmaceutical products and phenotypic identification of contaminants by conventional methods 

2011 - Authors: Bengt Ljungqvist , Berit Reinmuller

Scientific paper entitled Monitoring of air in clean environments – a comparative study with instantaneous microbial detection

2010 - Authors: John Sharp , Kay O’Hagan, Sebastian Brzozowski, Adam Bird

Scientific paper entitled “Contamination of cleanrooms by people


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