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Government appoints GSK executive as new chief scientific adviser

New adviser Patrick Vallance is currently in charge of R&D at GSK

Ingrid Torjesen

Thursday, 09 November 2017

Dr Patrick Vallance (pictured), president, R&D, at GSK, has been appointed the UK government’s chief scientific adviser and head of the government’s office for science. He will be responsible for providing scientific advice to the prime minister and advising the government on aspects of policy on science and technology.

He will leave GSK at the end of March 2018 to take up his new role.

Dr Vallance joined GSK in 2006 as head of drug discovery, joined GSK’s executive team in 2010 and was appointed president, R&D, in 2012. He joined the Board in January 2017.

Dr Vallance said: “I am hugely excited about this opportunity to serve the UK government at a time when science has never been more important to the UK’s economy and future.”

Dr Sheuli Porkess, interim executive director of research medical & innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said: “At a time when UK science needs to come together to weather the post-Brexit landscape, Patrick Vallance’s appointment recognises the opportunity we have to here in the UK to connect world leading science with cutting edge innovation from global businesses.

“For our sector – drug discovery and research and development is increasingly shifting towards greater collaboration and more open innovation, so, Patrick’s expertise and insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by scientists and clinical researchers in both the public and private sectors will be invaluable.”

Professor Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, said: “Dr Patrick Vallance’s broad experience across both academia and industry makes him an excellent choice for the post, particularly as science and innovation sit right at the heart of the government’s industrial strategy. The science and innovation being done in our universities, research institutions and businesses are among our greatest strengths and it vital that we capitalise on this for the future.”

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said he was “truly delighted by the news that one of our founder fellows” is set to be the next chief scientific advisor. “With challenges such as Brexit, the ageing population and climate change, there’s never been a more important time for government policy to be underpinned by the best evidence. Patrick will bring a unique wealth of cross-sector experience and knowledge to the role. I extend my warmest congratulations to him and can sincerely say that we look forward to working with him in his new position.” 

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