Appointments - 21 February 2013

February 21, 2013

University of California, Los Angeles
Earl Freymiller

The inaugural Bob and Marion Wilson endowed chair in the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry has said that the accolade is “certainly the highlight of my academic career”. “Initially I was unable to find the words to adequately express my feelings about being given this immense honour,” Earl Freymiller said. “No other recognition will ever surpass…this endowed chair.” Mr and Mrs Wilson, UCLA alumni with a fortune made in real estate, “are exceptional people whose humanitarian contributions have made the world a better place”, he added. Professor Freymiller said he felt a “great responsibility” to continue the Wilsons’ philanthropic vision. “I hope that by involving UCLA dental students and residents in future humanitarian endeavours, I can plant a seed early in their careers to help them realise that they have been given knowledge and skills that can be used to make a significant difference in the lives of those less privileged,” he said. Professor Freymiller joined UCLA in 1989 as assistant professor in oral and maxillofacial surgery and has since served in many other roles at the institution. He holds an MD and a DMD from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, respectively.

David Parker, UK Space Agency

UK Space Agency
David Parker

The newly appointed chief executive of the UK Space Agency said that as a child of the Apollo era, he had been fascinated by space exploration from an early age. “I’m not sure if I remember Apollo 11,” David Parker said. “I definitely remember Apollo 12 because I recollect watching the fuzzy black-and-white images coming on the big Baird television in our school hall.” Dr Parker was made acting chief executive of the organisation in December, so has been able to hit the ground running in the new appointment, he said. He added that the agency had big ambitions for the British space sector, which it planned to grow into a £40 billion industry by 2030. “People ask why we have the space agency, to which my answer is always: ‘Well, why do we have the Highways Agency? Because we need roads’,” he said. “Space is part of the 21st-century infrastructure, so we have got to make sure we are developing it and using it in everyday life.” Dr Parker holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Southampton. His PhD is in aeronautics and astronautics.

Bryan McIntosh, Richmond, The American International University in London

Richmond, The American International University in London
Bryan McIntosh

For the new associate dean of postgraduate, business and economics at Richmond, The American International University in London, becoming an academic was a “complete accident”. “If someone had said to me all those years ago that this would happen, I would never have believed it,” Bryan McIntosh said. “I think most academics, most people in life, don’t know what they want to do. My dream was to become a schoolteacher, but at university I realised I could do certain things at a higher level. Once those doors are open to you, you never go back.” Dr McIntosh added: “It’s like when Liverpool reached Istanbul and won the European Cup. You’re never going to want to watch Brentford…once you see things at a higher level.” The scholar is one of four strategic appointments across the institution’s faculties of business and economics, and of humanities, social sciences and communications. They have been tasked with developing new programmes and investment in the university. “On a wider level there has been some pessimism about the future of smaller universities,” Dr McIntosh said. “However, not all is gloom and doom. With the differences between public, not-for-profit and private provision now becoming blurred, [we are] attracting a diverse range of students looking for value and an alternative to impersonal mass higher education. It would appear small is beautiful.” Dr McIntosh previously held positions at King’s College London, Edinburgh Napier University (where he gained his undergraduate and doctoral degrees), the University of Surrey and the University of Greenwich.

Bucks New University
Colin Martin

The newly appointed professor of mental health at Bucks New University is confident that his experience will allow him to drive the research agenda in his latest position. “I have helped to grow the research culture at the University of the West of Scotland and aim to have a similarly dynamic effect at Bucks New,” Colin Martin said. “I am very much looking forward to pushing the mental health research agenda…as well as aiming to provide an international presence.” Professor Martin joins Bucks New after five years at West of Scotland, where he held the equivalent position. As a registered mental health nurse, chartered health psychologist and scientist, he brings considerable practical experience to the position. Professor Martin holds a BSc and a PhD in psychology from Birkbeck, University of London and the University of Surrey, respectively. He is also an honorary consultant psychologist to the Salvation Army in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and has worked on formulating the organisation’s addictions policy in order to improve its clinical care and services.

Other changes

Hugh Collins, professor of English law at the London School of Economics, has been appointed Vinerian professor of English law at the University of Oxford. Professor Collins, who begins his role in October, will also become a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. The Vinerian professorship was established in the 1750s and is the oldest position of its type in any common law jurisdiction. Previous holders include Albert V. Dicey, who popularised the phrase “rule of law” in the 19th century.

Jonathan Knight, head of the University of Bath’s department of physics, has been appointed associate dean (research) in its Faculty of Science. Professor Knight, who is also a member of Bath’s Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials, will be responsible for promoting and coordinating research and knowledge-transfer activity within the faculty.

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry has appointed Janusz Jankowski assistant dean for research. Professor Jankowski has held posts at numerous institutions including the universities of California, Birmingham and, most recently, Leicester, where he was head of gastroenterology and consultant in gastroenterology at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. He is also Sir James Black professor of gastrointestinal biology, an ad hominem honour in memory of the late Nobel laureate, winner of the 1988 physiology and medicine prize for his pioneering work on receptor-blocking drugs. Sir James was friend and mentor to Professor Jankowski, with whom he worked on one of the world’s most common ailments, reflux oesophagitis (acid reflux).

The University of Roehampton has promoted Claire Ozanne, its deputy provost, to the position of professor of ecology. Professor Ozanne is an expert on insects in temperate and tropical forest canopies.

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