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Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Professorship of Nuclear Medicine

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

1. Medical imaging plays a fundamental role in medical diagnosis, forming a vital link with the work of the National Health Service and with much clinical research. In recent years major developments in medical imaging, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have provided new opportunities for research. Meanwhile in Nuclear Medicine, which involves the use of radio-labelled compounds to identify and treat disease, rapid advances have been made, particularly in the field of positron emission tomography (PET). These are leading to new approaches in preventive and therapeutic treatments. There is every possibility that, as a result of such developments, Nuclear Medicine will become the pre-eminent technique for tumour diagnosis and treatment.

2. The Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine attach a high priority to teaching and research in medical imaging; a Professorship of Radiology was established in the Faculty of Clinical Medicine in 1977, and there is now a strong team of University and NHS staff, with excellent radiological equipment at their disposal. In 1984 the Herchel Smith Professorship of Medicinal Chemistry was filled by an appointment in the field of magnetic resonance imaging. In the Department of Radiology there have been important developments in nuclear medicine in close collaboration with the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in particular the establishment of the Positron Emission Tomography Unit. Within this collaborative framework, several innovative procedures have been developed, providing excellent opportunities for teaching and research.

3. In addition to the Department of Radiology, many other members of the University staff, in the Clinical School and in cognate Departments, require sophisticated radionuclide imaging. Similarly, the Addenbrooke's NHS Trust has a need for a strong Department of Nuclear Medicine, both for its service work and to support numerous research projects. Following a review of the present provision for supporting nuclear medicine, the Addenbrooke's NHS Trust and the Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine have agreed to support the creation of a joint facility, which would be in a position both to undertake research of international standing in the Clinical School and to meet the service requirements of the Trust.

4. The Faculty Board have concluded that the establishment of a Professorship of Nuclear Medicine in the Department of Radiology, together with the support provided by a University Lectureship, would offer a firm basis for the development of this joint facility. The Board believe that the establishment of the Professorship would strengthen existing programmes of teaching and research, as well as increasing the level of research grants and other external funding, and would complement other strategic developments in the Clinical School. Funds have been made available by the Addenbrooke's NHS Trust to meet the full cost of the two offices, at Consultant level, for a single tenure. In the event of any shortfall in this NHS funding, the Faculty Board have undertaken to meet the cost of the offices from within their existing resources. The Addenbrooke's NHS Trust has agreed to award Honorary Consultant contracts to the Professor and the University Lecturer and to provide access to the appropriate clinical facilities.

5. The General Board have accepted the case made by the Faculty Board; they have agreed to approve the establishment of the University Lectureship from 1 October 1998. 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. The General Board accordingly propose that a Professorship of Nuclear Medicine should be established in the University for a single tenure from 1 October 1998 and assigned to the Department of Radiology.

6. The General Board recommend:

That a Professorship of Nuclear Medicine be established in the University for one tenure from 1 October 1998, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Radiology.

28 January 1998


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Cambridge University Reporter 5727, 4th February 1998
Copyright © 1998 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.