November 27, 2008

As part of plans to become a "research-intensive" institution, London Metropolitan University has appointed George Ellison director of its graduate school. The school has been charged with doubling the number of postgraduate research students studying at the university and enhancing research activity. Professor Ellison, who joins from St George's Medical School, is a specialist in interdisciplinary research with previous academic posts spanning the natural and social sciences.

Jose-Rodrigo Cordoba-Pachon has been appointed senior lecturer in information management at Royal Holloway, University of London. Previously based at the University of Hull's Business School, he was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship by the Economic and Social Research Council. Dr Cordoba-Pachon is a founding member of two research groups at Hull that deal with issues of local governance and knowledge transfer.

A professor at the University of Bristol has been elected a foreign associate of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in the US. George Davey Smith, professor of clinical epidemiology, was selected in recognition of his expertise in public health issues and his professional achievements, including his role as scientific director of Bristol's influential "Children of the 90s" study of parents and children. The Institute of Medicine is a non-profit organisation that provides science-based advice and information on biomedical science, medicine and health to policymakers in the US.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has been appointed visiting professor of journalism at the University of the West of England. A regular columnist for The Independent and the Evening Standard, she is also a radio and television broadcaster and author of several books. Ms Alibhai-Brown has won several press awards, including the Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy award for best print journalist for her column in The Independent. She is also vice-president of the United Nations Association UK. Jane Arthurs, head of UWE's department for culture, media and drama, said: "Yasmin represents the questioning and radical spirit that needs to inform journalism education, and will be a great inspiration to our students."

History UK has appointed two professors: Jackie Eales, of Canterbury Christ Church University, and Ann Hughes, of the University of Keele. They will take over from Virginia Davies and Anne Curry as co-convenors of the independent organisation, which promotes and monitors history as a discipline. Professor Eales said: "Undergraduate numbers in history are buoyant while the wider public has a huge appetite for history. Historians, like their colleagues, eagerly await the results of the research assessment exercise, and we will be monitoring its effects on the discipline."

A criminologist is to take up a chair of sociology at the University of Hull. Majid Yar joins from Keele University, where he was director of the centre for criminological research. He has previously researched and taught at the universities of Kent and Lancaster, and is internationally known for his studies of crime and the regulation of online behaviour. Another new face at Hull is Keith Tester, who joins from the University of Portsmouth as professor of sociology. Professor Tester is also a visiting fellow at the Thesis Eleven Centre for critical theory at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

Ian Underwood, professor of electrical displays at the University of Edinburgh, has joined the Scottish Science Advisory Council. Professor Underwood, who is also the co-founder of a successful technology company, MicroEmissive Displays, will help the council to provide expert independent advice to the Scottish Government on science, engineering and technology. Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for education, said: "With his strong and successful track record in business, I am sure he will provide valuable additional expertise."

The winner of the third annual Trevor Blackburn Award, presented by the British Veterinary Association for work that has contributed to animal health and welfare in a developing country, is Sarah Cleaveland. Dr Cleaveland, who recently moved from the University of Edinburgh to take up a readership at the University of Glasgow, won the award for her work on zoonotic livestock and wildlife diseases in East Africa. The dog vaccination programme that she designed and implemented has saved hundreds of animals and humans from contracting rabies, the BVA said.

Cranfield University has announced three new chairs in strategic management: Thomas Lawton joins from Imperial College London, where he was senior lecturer and director of joint honours programmes; Patrick Reinmoeller joins from the Rotterdam School of Management, where he was associate professor in the department of strategy and business environment, and Cliff Bowman returns to Cranfield from Ashridge Business School, where he held the post of director of research.

A new director has been appointed to head the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research. Jim Smith, a developmental biologist, is currently director of the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute in Cambridge. His research has focused on how cells of the early vertebrate embryo develop into different tissues. He was elected to the fellowship of the Royal Society in 1993, was a founding fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998, and is a member of the Academia Europaea. In another development at the Medical Research Council, Science Minister Lord Drayson has announced the appointment of seven new members. They are: Michael Arthur, vice-chancellor of the University of Leeds; Richard Henderson, from the MRC's laboratory of molecular biology; Sally Macintyre, honorary director of the MRC's social and public health sciences unit; Michael Schneider, head of cardiovascular science at Imperial College London; Jeffrey Almond, vice-president of discovery research and external research and development at vaccine producer Sanofi Pasteur; Annette Doherty, vice-president of Pfizer Global Research and Development; and Naren Patel, chancellor of the University of Dundee.

Steven Crawford, director of Missenden Abbey conference centre at Bucks New University, is to become the new chair of the Conference Centres of Excellence. He will succeed Tim Willows, finance director at the Wilton Park conference centre in Sussex, as leader of the consortium of 36 conference halls across the UK. Mr Crawford is a member of the Institute of Hospitality and of the Royal Society of Health, and has been at Missenden Abbey for six years.

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