Professor Sir Robert Lechler announced as new Academy President

Professor Sir Robert Lechler FMedSci will become the new President of the Academy of Medical Sciences from 4 December 2015 when Professor Sir John Tooke PMedSci demits office after four years in the position.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler FMedSci said: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead such a prestigious and influential organisation. The Academy has achieved much in its short history and I look forward to working with the Fellowship and staff to continue to build its national prominence and influence.

“This is a challenging period for medical science, but there are many opportunities to be realised. In my role as Academy President I will strive to promote innovation and collaboration and to ensure that the Academy continues to represent excellence in medical science in its broadest sense.”

“I look forward to continuing the great work Sir John Tooke has done in his term.

Professor Lechler is the Vice-Principal (Health) at King’s College London and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000 and has twice been elected by the Fellowship to serve on the Academy’s Council.

Responding to the election of Sir Robert, Academy President Professor Sir John Tooke FMedSci said:

“Robert possesses both the experience and commitment to ensure that the Academy will go from strength to strength during his Presidency. He is well placed to represent the broad interests of the Academy’s Fellowship, having championed fundamental and clinical research as well as population health.”

Professor Moira Whyte OBE FMedSci, Registrar, Academy of Medical Sciences said:

“I welcome the election of Sir Robert as the next President of the Academy and look forward to working with him. Having served with Robert on the Academy’s taskforce on the representation of women within the Academy’s Fellowship, I am sure he will be a strong advocate for action to improve diversity and the representation of women in the biomedical workforce.”

Professor Martin Humphries FMedSci, Vice President (non clinical) and Chair of the Search Committee said:

“Sir Robert is an outstanding scientist with a significant track record of achievement. He is an inspiring leader who can exert influence at the highest levels.”

Professor Anne Dell CBE FRS FMedSci, Treasurer, Academy of Medical Sciences said:

“I welcome the fact that Sir Robert has been active in both the basic and clinical sciences. This will stand him in good stead to engage with the Academy’s Fellowship. I look forward to seeing him develop the Academy’s ability to inspire and inform both expert and public audiences.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies FRS FMedSci, Academy Fellow and Chief Medical Officer, welcomed the election of Sir Robert. She said:

“I am delighted that Sir Robert Lechler has been elected as the next President of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Robert has a wealth of experience that will allow him to lead the Academy with authority and influence across academia and government as well as in clinical and healthcare settings.”

Sir Robert qualified in medicine in Manchester in 1975 and completed a PhD in transplantation immunology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler FMedSciAfter a period of training at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda in the USA, in 1986 he returned to the UK as a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. During his career he became Head of the Department of Immunology of the school and later Dean of the Hammersmith Campus and Head of the Division of Medicine at the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine.

He moved to King's College London to become Dean of the School of Medicine in 2004 and the following year was appointed Vice-Principal (Health) in charge of the five Health Schools of King’s. He was also Vice Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust between 2004 and 2009. In 2009 he was appointed as Executive Director of King’s Health Partners.

In 2012, Sir Robert received a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to academic medicine.

The current President, Professor Sir John Tooke retires on the 3 December 2015 after completing a very successful four year term. He joins former presidents Professor Sir John Bell FRS FMedSci HonFREng, Professor Sir Keith Peters FRS FMedSci and Professor Sir Peter Lachmann FRS FMedSci.


For further information, please contact:

Giorgio De Faveri, Senior Press Officer, Academy of Medical Sciences.

020 3176 2180

Notes for Editors

  1. Election process. The process for electing the Academy President is governed by the Academy’s standing orders. The post is open to all Ordinary Fellows of the Academy. Formal nominations opened in January and closed on 31 May 2015. A Search Committee was convened to oversee the process, chaired by Professor Martin Humphries FMedSci, Vice President (non clinical). The conclusions of the search committee are presented to Council in June and members formally elect the new President.

  2. The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Our mission is to promote medical science and its translation into benefits for society. The Academy’s elected Fellows are the United Kingdom’s leading medical scientists from hospitals, academia, industry and the public service. We work with them to promote excellence, influence policy to improve health and wealth, nurture the next generation of medical researchers, link academia, industry and the NHS, seize international opportunities and encourage dialogue about the medical sciences.



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