September 24, 2009

Stephen Minger, a renowned stem-cell researcher, has left academia to join GE Healthcare, a firm that specialises in medical imaging and diagnostic technology. The former director of King's College London's Stem Cell Biology Laboratory took up the post as head of research and development for cell technologies at the beginning of the month. He will lead efforts to research, develop and commercialise human embryonic stem-cell-based products to create new drug treatments. Dr Minger caused controversy earlier this year when he attacked the record of the UK's research councils on funding stem-cell studies using human-animal hybrid embryos, criticisms that led to an inquiry by MPs on the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee.

Two professors have received an accolade from the British Academy of Management (BAM). The Richard Whipp Lifetime Achievement Award has been given jointly to Cary Cooper, distinguished professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, and Derek Pugh, emeritus professor of international management at The Open University. The award recognises the impact their work has had on the field of management and organisation studies. The accolade is named in honour of the late Professor Whipp, management scholar and chair of the BAM, an academic who was instrumental in the formation of Cardiff Business School's research activities and infrastructure.

Dorothy Miell has been named the next vice-principal and head of the University of Edinburgh's College of Humanities and Social Science. She will take up the post in March next year. Professor Miell is currently based at The Open University, where she has been dean and director of studies at its social sciences faculty since 2005. David Fergusson will continue as acting head of the college until Professor Miell takes up the post.

A former BBC economics correspondent has joined City University London's Graduate School of Journalism. Steve Schifferes becomes the first Marjorie Deane professor of financial journalism at the institution. A graduate of Harvard University, Professor Schifferes was previously Knight-Bagehot fellow in economic journalism at Columbia University, and a BBC Reuters fellow at the University of Oxford. During his time at the BBC, Professor Schifferes interviewed some of the world's most influential financial figures, including Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve.

The University of Southampton has appointed Guy Poppy head of its School of Biological Sciences. Professor Poppy has been based at the school since 2001, first as a senior lecturer and then as head of its biodiversity and ecology division. He specialises in new methods to control pests, address food security and assess the impact of new technology on the environment.

An expert on the criminal underworld is joining the University of Hull's history department. Kelly Hignett, who specialises in the modern history of Central and Eastern Europe, has been made lecturer in 20th-century history. Dr Hignett, who has previously lectured at Keele and Manchester Metropolitan universities, is now working on a book about the evolution of criminal networks in Central and Eastern Europe. It will examine the history of the region's criminal underworld from the period of Leonid Brezhnev's presidency of the Soviet Union to the post-communist era.

Southampton Solent University's Mark Gaynor has commenced a two-year secondment with the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA). The principal lecturer in the visual and interactive arts at Solent will take on the new position of membership liaison at ELIA, which represents major arts-education institutions around the world.

A professor and her research team have been recognised for their contribution to the field of arts and mental health. Jenny Secker, professor of mental health at Anglia Ruskin University and the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, was presented with the Royal Society for Public Health's Arts and Health Award. The winning research, published as Mental Health, Social Inclusion and Arts: Developing the Evidence Base, was developed in collaboration with senior researchers from the University of Central Lancashire and people with experience of mental-health services.

Lancaster University's central services department has made several appointments following its recent reorganisation. Andrew Neal, former director of finance at the institution, has been named chief operating officer; Fiona Aiken becomes university secretary; and Clare Powne takes on the role of university librarian. New divisional directors have also been appointed at the institution: Tom Finnigan joins from Glasgow Caledonian University to become director of student-based services at Lancaster; Chris Thrush, former group director of human resources at Corporate Express NV in the Netherlands, becomes director of human resources; and Anthony Marsella, who previously held marketing directorships at IBM and Samsung, has been named director of marketing and external linkages. Sarah Randall-Paley, former deputy director of finance at the university, has been made director of finance, while Mark Swindlehurst, who was director of estates, is now director of facilities. Stephen Parkin has been appointed director of Lancaster's international office.

A professor at the University of St Andrews has been made a member of the Economic and Social Research Council. John Beath, professor of economics at St Andrews, was named secretary-general of the Royal Economic Society in 2008. He has previously held posts at the universities of Cambridge and Bristol, and has also been a visiting senior research fellow in economics at the Australian National University.

A German politician has been made a visiting professor at King's College London. Friedbert Pfluger joins the department of war studies and will give lectures and seminars on foreign policy, with a particular focus on European-American relations, Russia and energy security. He was foreign policy spokesman for Angela Merkel before she became Chancellor.

An emeritus fellow of St John's College, Oxford, has been recognised for his contributions to the field of Renaissance literature. Terence Cave, who has devoted most of his career to the study of early-modern French literature and thought, has won the 2009 International Balzan Prize for Literature. The accolade is worth SFr1 million (£594,000), half of which must be dedicated to research.

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