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Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Professorship of Clinical Microbiology

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. Infectious diseases are a major area of importance in national and international health. On the international front, established infectious diseases (such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV) remain problems of global importance, and new challenges are presented by emerging infectious diseases. Within the UK and other developed countries, hospital-acquired infections and increasing antimicrobial resistance present major problems for the NHS. The discipline of Clinical Microbiology is concerned with the laboratory diagnosis of human infectious diseases, and the identification and study of the microbial agents which cause them. There are new opportunities for advances in laboratory diagnosis and understanding microbial virulence, particularly consequent on the ability to rapidly sequence microbial genomes and apply novel molecular techniques to diagnosis.

2. The School of Clinical Medicine, particularly in its Department of Medicine, has existing research strengths in Infection and Immunity, both in the Division of Infectious Disease in the Department of Medicine (which provides much of the Infectious Disease clinical service in the hospital) and in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR). There are related research interests in other University Departments - particularly the Departments of Pathology and Veterinary Medicine, and in the nearby Institutes - particularly the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre, which offer the opportunity to forge collaborative links in translational research.

3. In Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHFT), the diagnostic microbiology service is contracted to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) which provides a service for CUHFT and Papworth Hospitals, and for the Primary Care Trusts, and a wider Regional Laboratory service for the Eastern Region. This service works closely with the academically led Infectious Disease service in CUHFT. Teaching of clinical microbiology and infectious disease to clinical medical students is currently shared between the HPA staff and staff in the Department of Medicine.

4. The Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine consider that it would be appropriate, in order to strengthen academic links between the University and the Health Protection Agency, to establish a Professorship of Clinical Microbiology. This Professorship would complement the existing Professorships in the other major clinical diagnostic laboratory disciplines (Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology), which provide academic leadership for those disciplines. The HPA and CUHFT are strongly supportive of the proposed Professorship and would offer an honorary consultant contract to an appropriate appointee.

5. The General Board have accepted the case made by the Faculty Board; they have agreed to propose the establishment of the Professorship from 1 March 2009. The Board are assured that the proposed Professorship will attract a strong field of well-qualified candidates; they have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board that an election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors and that candidature should be open without limitation or preference to all persons whose work falls within the general field of the title of the Professorship. The Faculty Board will provide support and facilities for the work of the Professor from within existing resources.

6. The General Board recommend:

That a Professorship of Clinical Microbiology be established in the University, for a single tenure from 1 March 2009, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Medicine.

24 December 2008 ALISON RICHARD, Vice-Chancellor TOM BLUNDELL RICHARD HUNTER
 A. P. BAGSHAW W. BORTRICK D. W. B. MACDONALD
 NICK BAMPOS WILLIAM BROWN J. RALLISON
 GRAEME BARKER PHILIP FORD PATRICK SISSONS
 JOHN BELL RICHARD FRIEND I. H. WHITE

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Cambridge University Reporter 07 January 2009
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.