Middlesex University has poached a team of top researchers from a leading London medical school as part of its plans to develop a biomedical sciences department.
Ray Iles and two of his team were lured from Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, to Middlesex School of Health and Social Sciences in Enfield.
Professor Iles was director of the Williamson Laboratory for Molecular Oncology, which he set up at Barts in 1992, and non-clinical senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Middlesex offers two undergraduate BSc programmes in biomedical sciences.
Professor Iles will help deliver MSc courses in chemical pathology, molecular pathology, obstetric and gynaecological science and reproductive biology that will be offered from September next year.
The school has made four other new appointments: Mahmood Naase (molecular pathology) and Lucy Ghali (molecular cellular biology) - both of whom are from Barts - along with Frank Hills (clinical biochemistry/proteomics) and Anne Hills (biomedical sciences). A senior research fellow and a senior lecturer will also be appointed.
Professor Iles said: "I think the university has the potential to compete in the international bioscience arena. It's a great advancement for Middlesex as we will now offer all the important pathologies studied in medical schools and hospitals."
Celia Bell, chair of the human and healthcare sciences academic group, and Neville Hall, the group's curriculum leader, secured £800,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to develop biomedical sciences at Middlesex. They played a key role in convincing Professor Iles to join the university.
Biomedical sciences, which encompass aspects of biology that underpin the theory and practice of medicine and healthcare, compliment Middlesex's existing nursing and midwifery provision, which is offered at the Archway campus it shares with University College London.
A pilot project to offer joint teaching to nursing and medical students is also under way at Archway.