Cambridge University Reporter

Report of the General Board on the re-establishment of a Professorship of Medical Genetics

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

1. The field of medical genetics is concerned with the application of genetic principles to medicine, with the care and management of inherited disease in extended families, and with teaching and research in the diagnosis and prevention of genetic disorders. Following the remarkable advances in molecular biology generally and recent successes in mapping and sequencing the human genome especially, molecular genetics has become of major importance. This applies not only to research, where it is one of the principal research themes in the School of Clinical Medicine, but also for the teaching of medical students. In 1995, the first Professorship of Medical Genetics was established for one tenure and assigned to the Department of Medical Genetics, which was established at the same time. Grace 5 of 10 December 2003 re-established the Professorship for one tenure from 1 October 2005 and Professor James Lupski was elected to the office.

2. The work undertaken by the Professor of Medical Genetics has been fundamental to the significant developments in the Clinical School in teaching and research in this important area. These activities will be further enhanced by the imminent completion of the University's Institute for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism (CIDEM) in a new building on the Addenbrooke's Site. This will enable the Department of Medical Genetics to be co-located with a new elective care block for Addenbrooke's Hospital and will bring together those whose expertise lies in the field of diabetes but who are presently dispersed throughout the Clinical School.

3. Professor Lupski subsequently resigned on 31 August 2006, thus causing the Professorship to lapse. The Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine have advised the General Board, however, that the re-establishment of this Professorship is fundamental to both the School of Clinical Medicine and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where it is expected that the holder of the Professorship would take part in the provision of services for medical genetics and hold an honorary clinical contract. The Faculty Board have therefore proposed that the Professorship be re-established for a further tenure, from 1 January 2007. The General Board have agreed to this proposal on the understanding that the full costs of the Professorship will again be funded from the NHS Clinical Academic Consortium. In the event of any shortfall in this NHS funding, the Faculty Board have agreed to meet the full cost of the office from within their existing resources.

4. The General Board accordingly propose that the Professorship of Medical Genetics be re-established for a further tenure in the University from 1 January 2007 and assigned to the Department of Medical Genetics. The Board are assured that an appointment at this level will attract a strong field of well-qualified candidates; they have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine that an election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors, and that candidature should be open to all persons whose work falls within the field of the title of the Professorship.

5. The General Board recommend:

That a Professorship of Medical Genetics be re-established in the University for one tenure from 1 January 2007, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Medical Genetics.

8 November 2006 ALISON RICHARD, Vice-ChancellorM. J. DAUNTONROGER PARKER