Sir Patrick Vallance to become Honorary Chair at The University of Manchester
23 May 2023
Sir Patrick Vallance FRS FMedSci FRCP HonFREng, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser who played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been appointed an Honorary Chair in Biological Sciences in our Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
"We are delighted to welcome Sir Patrick to the Faculty," said Vice-President and Dean Professor Graham Lord. "We are looking forward to a long and fruitful association with our biological sciences community and more broadly in the Faculty and University."
Patrick stepped down from his role as Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Head of Government Science and Engineering Profession and National Technology Advisor after six years in April. His personal research was in the area of diseases of blood vessels and endothelial biology.
He was President, R&D at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from 2012 until 2017. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice-President, Medicines Discovery and Development. He joined the company in May 2006 as Head of Drug Discovery. He was a member of the GSK Board and the Corporate Executive Team. During his period as head of R&D, many new medicines were approved for use worldwide, for diseases ranging from cancer and rare diseases in children, to asthma and HIV.
Prior to joining GSK, he was a clinical academic, Professor of Medicine and led the Division of Medicine at UCL. He has many years’ experience of basic science and clinical research, and was a consultant physician in the NHS. His research spanned from work on medicinal chemistry and structural biology, through to cellular work, studies in humans and use of large electronic health record databases.
He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999 and to the Royal Society in 2017. He was on the Board of the UK Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) from 2009 to 2016. He is an Honorary Fellow at UCL and holds honorary degrees from Imperial College London, Glasgow University, University of York and St George’s, University of London. He was a non-executive director and board member for UK Biobank and a non-executive board member for Genome Research Limited but stepped down in taking up the Government Chief Scientific Adviser role.
Knighted in 2019 for services to open clinical science, in 2022 he received a higher honour being made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, the government’s assessment of research quality, our University's research was ranked in the top 10 in all Unit of Assessment categories for Life Sciences and Health, with Biological Sciences ranking fourth nationally. The integration of discovery biology, clinical application and patient care within a single Faculty, particularly in a region with notable health inequality, provides the University with a real opportunity to have a significant and positive impact on people’s lives.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Having known Patrick for many years, and worked closely with him as co-chairs of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, I am delighted that he will be taking up an Honorary Chair with us.”
Sir Patrick said: “I am pleased to be joining Manchester as an Honorary Chair and look forward to working with the great scientists, engineers and scholars in the University.”