In the News: Brian Spratt

January 12, 2001

Public concern about the possible health hazards associated with the use of depleted uranium in munitions has led Brian Spratt to chair the Royal Society's working group on depleted uranium.

The 53-year-old professor of biology is reviewing what is already known about the effects of depleted uranium rounds, and his group will carry out its own estimates of exposures, doses and the health effects.

The working group is due to report back this summer.

Professor Spratt is currently based in the Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease at the University of Oxford, where he works alongside his second wife, Jiaji Zhou, researching the population and evolutionary biology of bacterial pathogens.

However, the team of researchers is due to move to Imperial College, London, in the near future. The move follows a dispute last summer in which the centreÕs former director, Roy Anderson, falsely accused senior academic Sunetra Gupta of having a relationship with a professor to gain her post.

Professor Spratt supported Professor Anderson during the dispute. It ended when Dr Gupta received an undisclosed sum of money, her legal costs and a full apology from Professor Anderson, who has since resigned his position and has now moved to Imperial.

Professor Spratt was educated at Tonbridge School. He went on to University College London, where he obtained his degree and PhD, before becoming a research fellow at Princeton University in the United States.

He also worked at Leicester University and Sussex University - where he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, before moving to the University of Oxford in 1998.

He has two sons, one from each of his marriages.

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