Wellcome centre to close

December 8, 2000

The Wellcome Trust Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Disease, based at Oxford University, is to be disbanded following a year of rows and inquiries.

The trust said a new director had not been found and, consequently, the WTCEID would no longer be a designated Wellcome Trust Centre.

A joint statement by Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust said current research projects would see out the terms of their funding and that scientists from the centre would be found positions at other Oxford University departments. There will be a transition period of up to two years and researchers will still be able to obtain further funding from the charity through its normal funding mechanisms.

The previous director, Roy Anderson, was a founder of the centre in 1993. He was also a governor of the Wellcome Trust and head of the department of zoology at Oxford. He was suspended from his post at the beginning of this year, pending an inquiry into comments he made about the promotion of Sunetra Gupta to a readership.

He resigned his Wellcome governorship, WTCEID directorship and Oxford University chair in May, before inquiries cleared him of financial impropriety but found regulations had been breached and criticised his management. He subsequently made a full apology to Dr Gupta and has moved to Imperial College, London to lead research at two new institutes.

Mike Dexter, director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "The university and trust were disappointed that we were unable to identify an individual under whom we could restructure the centre. We had an exhaustive search for a new director but agreed we would not proceed with an appointment."

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