Reporter 416, 9 March 1998

New medical school Dean ready to operate

A Leeds graduate and internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, Professor Pierre John Guillou, has been appointed Dean of the School of Medicine.

Currently Professor of Surgery at St James’s University Hospital, Professor Guillou will take over from the current Dean, Professor Brian Jewell, on April 1, 1998.

Professor Guillou will oversee the activities of the School, which has 450 academic staff and just under 1,000 undergraduates. The School has an annual income of £26m, with more than £10m from research grants.

The Dean is responsible for undergraduate medical education, research activities, managing the School’s resources, ensuring an appropriate level of taught postgraduate courses and research degrees, working with other parts of the University, developing partnerships with the NHS and planning the strategic development of the School.

Professor Guillou has pursued a career in research and surgery since graduating from the University in 1967. His research interests include the molecular and genetic basis of tumour cell growth and the use of molecular markers for residual or recurrent colorectal cancer. He has been involved in pioneering research into a gene which appears to identify cancer patients with reduced chances of survival. The gene also appears to be an indicator of future risk of recurrence of cancer.

“This is a critical new appointment for the University,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Wilson. “I am delighted that we have been able to attract someone of Professor Guillou’s reputation and proven ability. With the creation of a new unified acute Trust in Leeds in April, Professor Guillou will have a vital role to play in building further on the very effective relationships with the NHS that the University enjoys.”

Professor Guillou is also a member of various boards of the Medical Research Council, the United Kingdom Coordinating Committee on Cancer Research and the Scientific Committee of the Yorkshire Cancer Research Campaign.

“It never crossed my mind as a student at Leeds that one day I’d be Dean of my own medical school – it’s an enormous privilege,” said Professor Guillou. “The coming changes will make the largest single Trust in the country and it’s a wonderful opportunity to make this a top-class school of medicine.” He will continue some of his clinical activity. “You can’t just stop being a surgeon, but of course I will have to cut down,” he said.

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