October 28, 2010

University of Florida

Robert Hromas

A scholar who delights in the "detective work" of medicine has been appointed to chair the University of Florida's department of medicine. Robert Hromas is currently head of the division of hematology/oncology at the University of New Mexico and deputy director of the university's Cancer Center. He said he decided to specialise in oncology while studying at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. "I did not want to deal with easy problems," he explained. "I wanted to deal with problems where life and death hung in the balance." His first fellowship and residency was at the University of Iowa, which he followed with more study at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. From there he joined the faculty at the Indiana University Cancer Center, where he stayed for 13 years. Professor Hromas said that his initial interest in medicine grew out of his frequent visits to the doctor as a child troubled by sinus and ear problems. "It was almost personality-driven as the doctor there had such joy in what he did," he remembered. "I feel that same joy now." He said that the "legends" he had worked with had played a huge role in his career: "These mentors dared me to be creative and take risks." In his new role, he will continue to work on cancer treatments. "We have made all the easy discoveries. It's time to work on the harder stuff," he said.

Queen's University Belfast

Colin Kidd

"A bit of a mouthful" is how historian Colin Kidd describes his new role at Queen's University Belfast. Professor Kidd has joined the institution as professor of intellectual history and the history of political thought from the University of Glasgow, where he was professor of modern history. He said he had a lifelong interest in the subject: "Not quite as a toddler, but as far back as I can remember I've had a fascination for history. It's something that's been there since I've been conscious of the world." Professor Kidd took his first degree at the University of Cambridge. He held a visiting Choate fellowship at Harvard University in 1985-86, and from 1987 to 1994 held prize and postdoctoral fellowships at All Souls College, Oxford before joining Glasgow in 1994. He is a visiting professor at the University of Paris VII and is a Fellow of All Souls College and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His research interests span the period between the late 17th century and the present. "I'm interested in problems rather than periods," Professor Kidd explained. "I try to trace problems across periods and, as far as possible, across space as well."

Durham University

Clare Bambra

The new deputy director of Durham University's Wolfson Research Institute is an academic who believes that healthcare is the "ultimate measure" of inequality. Clare Bambra, who is currently professor of public-health policy at Durham, studied political science at the University of Birmingham and comparative public policy at the University of Manchester before moving into public-health research with a postdoctoral post at the University of Liverpool. "It was an area I'd not looked at before: I'd looked at healthcare but not public health," she said. She soon became convinced that healthcare was a true measure of social equality. "If you have rich people living seven to 10 years longer than poor people, that's the ultimate measure of injustice and that's what drives my research." She spent a year as a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University before moving to Durham in 2005. She was promoted to reader in 2009 and awarded a chair this year. In her new role, she hopes to encourage interdisciplinarity. "We already try to look at health over different disciplines, and we're going to try to do a similar thing at an institutional level," she said. "So we draw people from, say, the arts and humanities, the social sciences as well as the natural and medical sciences to try to answer questions together that will improve population health."

University of International Business and Economics, China

Peter Buckley

Peter Buckley, professor of international business at the University of Leeds, has been awarded the Cheung Kong Scholar Chair professorship at the University of International Business and Economics in China. Although his research interests now lie in business, Professor Buckley originally trained in economics when studying as an undergraduate at the University of York, for a master's degree at the University of East Anglia and for his doctorate at the University of Lancaster. He said that he became interested in economics after taking an A level in the subject and that it remained at the core of his thinking: "I think about Alfred Marshall having a picture of a poor man on his desk to give him inspiration; that's what economics is about." He has been based at Leeds since 1994, when he was headhunted to lead the university's Centre for International Business. Professor Buckley's new role will require him to travel to China twice a year, but that will not inhibit his work in the UK. "I don't want to give the impression that I'm leaving Leeds," he said. "That would be very sad indeed."


The University of Stirling has appointed two professors of sport. Kevin Tipton has been awarded a chair in sport, health and exercise science, and Leigh Robinson a chair in sport management. Professor Tipton joins from the University of Birmingham, while Professor Robinson joins from Loughborough University.

The University of Cumbria has appointed four new senior managers. Sandra Jowett will take up the post of pro vice-chancellor (academic), moving from the University of Chichester, where she was pro vice-chancellor (external relations, research and employer engagement). The new dean of the Faculty of Education is Sam Twiselton, currently associate dean of the faculty. Janet Whitworth has been appointed director of human resources; she was previously director of human resources for two primary care trusts in Lancashire. And Michael Berry is Cumbria's new director of estates and IT, coming from Robert Gordon University where he was director of estates and property services.

John Bachtler, director of the University of Strathclyde's European Policies Research Centre, has been presented with the Sir Peter Hall Award by the Regional Studies Association in recognition of his contributions to regional policy and development in Europe.

The University of the Arts London has named Stephen Reid deputy rector for strategic development. He joins from Imperial College London, where he was project programme director.

Nick Miller, professor of motor speech disorders at Newcastle University, has been named a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Robin Simmons has been promoted to reader in post-compulsory education at the University of Huddersfield, where he has worked since 2004.

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