Cambridge University Reporter

Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Professorship of Molecular Pathology

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

1. The responsibilities of the Molecular Histopathology Division of the Department of Pathology are in research and teaching and in provision of a diagnostic service to the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and the Eastern Region. The diagnostic service of the Division provides abundant material for translational and clinical research. Current research in the Division is supported by substantial external grant funding, over £1m a year, focused largely on cancer. There are good examples of collaboration with the Departments of Oncology and Haematology and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute. However, a significant part of the clinical workload also derives from patients with diseases of infection and immunity and from transplantation recipients; in these areas, research opportunities are not being fully exploited.

2. The Department of Pathology has now proposed the establishment of a Professorship of Molecular Pathology. The person appointed will be expected to provide leadership in research, through application of molecular biology to problems in disease pathogenesis. Research experience in any area falling within this broad remit will be regarded as appropriate, and candidates experienced in the study of infection and immunology (areas identified above in which research opportunities are currently not fully exploited) are particularly welcome. The new Professor will be required to attract substantial grant funding and assist in the training of young scientists, including clinician scientists. He or she will also participate in teaching within the courses for which the Department of Pathology is responsible and contribute to the delivery of diagnostic histopathology services to the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

3. In order to meet the costs of the Professorship, the Department of Pathology has proposed that the University Lectureships vacated by Dr Gareth H. Williams (on 3 April 2002) and Dr Sathia Thirunavukkarasu (on 30 September 2006) be held in abeyance. The Council of the School of Biological Sciences have approved the proposal and have confirmed that the full costs, at Clinical Consultant level, can be met from within the existing level of resources. The General Board have accepted the proposal for the establishment of the Professorship on this basis. They have accordingly agreed that, if the recommendations of this Report are approved, they will hold the aforementioned University Lectureships in abeyance for the period of tenure of the Professorship.

4. The Board recognize the current need to further develop expertise within the Molecular Histopathology Division of the Department in the molecular analysis of disease, and in particular disorders of infection and immunity and are satisfied that an appointment at this level will be likely to attract a strong field of applicants. They are assured that suitable accommodation is available in the Department of Pathology for the Professor, and the Department have undertaken to provide research support and other necessary facilities. The Board have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board of Biology that 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 title of the Professorship.

5. The General Board recommend:

That a Professorship of Molecular Pathology be established for one tenure in the University from 1 April 2009, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Pathology.