Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, has been nominated as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.Subject to the approval of the Regent House, the University’s governing body, Prof Leszek Borysiewicz will succeed the present Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alison Richard, at the end of her seven year term on October 1 2010.
The Vice-Chancellor is the full-time, resident head of the University and its most senior academic officer. The role dates back to 1412 and Professor Borysiewicz will be the 345th office-holder. The nomination is the culmination of an international search which the University Council’s Advisory Committee began earlier this year.
Professor Frank Kelly, Master of Christ’s College, Cambridge, who oversaw the search, said:
"The University has a history of academic excellence, built upon first-class teaching and research within its distinctive collegiate system, and is in the top flight of research-led Universities world-wide.
“In its 800th anniversary year the University has had much to celebrate from its past achievements and its transforming effect on lives and society, and it looks to the future with confidence and ambition.
“Professor Borysiewicz's wide experience and outstanding personal qualities equip him superbly to lead Cambridge as a world-leading centre for education and research."
Prior to joining the MRC, Professor Borysiewicz was Deputy Rector at Imperial College London, having joined in 2001 as Principal of the Faculty of Medicine.
Previously he had been a Lecturer in Medicine at the University of Cambridge, as a member of Wolfson College where he is now an Honorary Fellow, before moving to the University of Wales as Professor of Medicine.
He grew up in Wales and was educated at Cardiff High School.
Professor Borysiewicz was knighted in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List for his research into developing vaccines, including a vaccine to prevent the development of cervical cancer.
Professor Alison Richard said: “Professor Borysiewicz is an outstanding scholar with an impressive record of achievement and leadership at the highest level. I wish him the very best in the role and will hand over the Vice-Chancellorship next October confident that Cambridge can look forward to continued success as he leads it into the future.”
Professor Borysiewicz said: “I am delighted to be nominated for the position of Vice-Chancellor and excited by the opportunity to build on Cambridge’s strong tradition of academic excellence in both teaching and research. I will be sad to leave the Medical Research Council but I am proud to have helped the MRC write the next chapter in its long and successful history of improving human health through the impact of its excellent research.”