UCL News


Professor Sir Cyril Chantler appointed Chair of UCL Partners

12 November 2008

Professor Sir Cyril Chantler will become the first Chair of UCL Partners, Europe's largest academic health science partnership, it was announced today.

Sir Cyril, who has served as Chair of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH) for eight years, will serve as the UCL Partners Chair for an initial period of one year from 1 February 2009.

The creation of UCL Partners was announced in August 2008, when five of Britain's world renowned medical research centres and hospitals declared their intention to come together to create Europe's leading health research powerhouse.

By pooling resources and expertise, UCL Partners, which together treat over 1.5 million patients every year, will be able to produce more world-class research in key areas, including cancer and heart disease, and deliver the benefits more rapidly to patients. The organisation will support over 3,500 scientists, senior researchers and consultants, with a combined annual turnover of around two billion. Its primary aim is to deliver real improvements in health for patients in London, and around the world.

The founder members are:

* UCL (University College London), which is one of the world's top 10 universities, and rated the best UK university for health research;

* Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH), the world-class children's research hospital, which has the broadest range of paediatric specialists under one roof anywhere in the UK;

* Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which, together with the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, is one of the world's leading partnerships for eye health;

* Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, whose clinical transplant unit is one of the most diverse in Europe and

* University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which together with UCL forms one of the largest partnerships for biomedical research in Europe.

Speaking about his appointment, Sir Cyril said:

"I am delighted to be taking up the position of Chair of UCL Partners. It has been a huge honour and pleasure to have had the opportunity to serve GOSH for the last eight years and I am immensely proud of the work that goes on there and of all the staff.

"I am very glad that, in my new role, I am still connected to GOSH and in a position where I can help to realise the aims of UCL Partners. The five founder partners will work closely together to bring about the tripartite mission of world-class excellence in teaching, clinical care and research. They all have extraordinary talents as individual organisations, which in combination make them a formidable partnership that I am sure will be very successful."

Alongside his Chair at GOSH, Sir Cyril also serves as Chair of the King's Fund, the Beit Memorial Fellowships Board and the Clinical Advisory Group for NHS London. In addition, he is a trustee of the Dunhill Medical Trust, a member of the Council of Southwark Cathedral and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

UCL Partners will focus initially on eight areas of research, each of which poses a major health challenge: child health, women's health, ophthalmology, diseases of the nervous system, cardiovascular disease, cancer, infection, and transplantation.


Notes for Editors

1.) For further information, please visit the UCL Partners website at www.uclpartners.com or contact Neil Goodwin, Project Director, UCL Partners, on +44 (0)7831 886 834 or at neil.goodwin@uclh.nhs.uk

2.) An image of Sir Cyril Chantler is available from Ruth Metcalfe in UCL Media Relations, tel: + 44 (0) 20 7679 9739, email: r.metcalfe@ucl.ac.uk

3.) The establishment of Academic Health Science Centres was one of the major reforms recommended in Health Minister Professor Lord Darzi's review, 'Healthcare for London: a framework for action', published in July 2007 by NHS London. It sets out how London needs to change in order to meet Londoners' health needs over the next ten years. More recently, Lord Darzi reaffirmed the importance of Academic Health Science Centres as a central plank of NHS reform in his 'NHS Next Stage Review Final Report - High Quality Care for All', published on 30 June 2008. The report recognizes that "the potential of AHSCs to deliver research excellence and improve patient care and professional education is tremendous."

4.) As measured by citations in academic publications monitored by the independent ISI Essential Science Indicators service, UCL and its partners are world-class in a number of fields:

- Neuroscience - top in Europe and 2nd in the world

- Clinical Medicine - top in Europe

- Immunology - second in Europe

UCL is the most highly cited University in the UK overall.