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Board biographies

Dame Ruth Carnall DBE, was appointed as Chief Executive of NHS London in April 2007. Prior to that, since 2004, Ruth worked as a freelance consultant in NHS London and government departments including the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and the Home Office. Ruth was a non-executive director at the Cabinet Office until 2010 and until April 2007 was a non-executive director at Care UK plc and Chair of Verita, a small private company who undertake investigations and enquiries in the public sector.

Prior to 2004 Ruth worked in the NHS for over twenty-five years. During this time, she has undertaken senior leadership positions at local, regional and national levels. Her career began in finance holding various posts in a number of NHS organisations before taking the position of finance director at Hastings Health Authority in1987. In1992 Ruth became Chief Executive at Hastings and Rother NHS trust. She was Chief Executive of the West Kent Health Authority for six years before she moved to the civil service to take the position of Regional Director, South East and then Director of Health & Social Care for the South. From April 2003 until the end of September 2004 Ruth served as Director of the Departmental Change Programme at the Department of Health.

Ruth lives with her husband and two teenage sons. She was awarded her CBE for services to the NHS in 2004 and later received a DBE in 2011.

Robert Lechler
Robert Lechler qualified in Medicine in Manchester in 1975. Thereafter, he undertook four years of junior hospital doctor training in general medicine and nephrology before embarking on a PhD in transplantation immunology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. Following the PhD, he returned to full-time clinical work for two years and completed his scientific training at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA. He returned to the UK to a Senior Lecturer Post at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in 1986 and became Head of the Department of Immunology in 1994. He became Dean of Hammersmith Campus at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine in 2001 and Head of the Division of Medicine in 2003. He moved to King’s College London as Head of the School of Medicine at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals in September 2004 and was appointed Vice Principal (Health) at King’s College in October 2005. In June 2009 he was appointed as Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. In 2012 Robert received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He continues to direct a research group in transplantation immunology and his research group has three major interests:
(1) Defining and exploiting the mechanisms of transplantation tolerance
(2) Regulating coagulation as a mechanism to inhibit inflammatory and adaptive immune responses
(3) Defining the “fingerprint” of clinical transplantation tolerance

Professor Jonathan Weber BA, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCP, FRCPath, F MedSci
Deputy Principal (Research), Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare Trust
Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases and GU Medicine

Jonathan Weber qualified from Cambridge in 1979, and after general medical training was a Wellcome Trust clinical training fellow at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, a Wellcome Trust lecturer in cell and molecular biology at the Institute of Cancer Research and then clinical senior lecturer in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. In 1991, he established the Department of GUM and Communicable Diseases at Imperial College London, endowed by the Jefferiss Trust , which includes retroviral laboratories and a dedicated clinical research facility for HIV and HTLV patients. The department was heavily involved in the clinical development of combination antiretroviral therapy for the treatment of HIV infection from 1991-96. He currently leads the Wellcome Trust funded “UK HIV Vaccine Consortium”, which is producing GMP DNA, Adeno, modified pox and env gp140 protein bearing the identical HIV-1 clade C CN54 gag-pol-nef-env inserts for the D-A-M-P trial of multiple prime-boost immunisation to induce heterotypic neutralising responses.

Howard Freeman
Dr. Howard Freeman has been a General Practitioner in South West London since 1981.  He has developed his practice into a very large multi site practice and has formed an overarching partnership with six other practices which together form approximately one third of his PCT’s population.  They hold one PMS contract and work collaboratively with other local practices as part of a Commissioning Group.

He has been involved for over twenty years in medical politics.  He chaired his LMC in the early 1990’s.  He represented his Region on the BMA Council for many years.  He helped to found and has been an Executive Member of the National Association of Primary Care since its inception.

Since the middle 1980’s he has worked part time as an NHS Manager.  He has worked for a Health Authority, for the London Implementation Group and for the Primary Care Support Force.  He was Joint Chairman of a PCG which went on to become a first wave PCT.  He has been Joint Chair of the Professional Executive Committee of the PCT since 2000. He is currently NHS South West London Joint Medical Director and Joint Associate Medical Director, Primary & Community Care for NHS London.  He is Chair of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group.

Professor Sir John Tooke

MA MSc BM BCh DM DSc (Oxon) FRCP FRCPI FRCGP (Hon)  FAcadMed (Hon)  PMedSci

Professor Sir John Tooke is Vice Provost (Health) and Head of the Medical School at UCL and Academic Director of UCL’s Academic Health Science Centre, UCL Partners.  Sir John is President of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the immediate past Chair of both the Medical Schools Council and the UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee (UKHEAC).  He is a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Advisory Board and the Health and Education National Strategic Exchange (HENSE).  His clinical and research interests focus on diabetes and its vascular complications and he is a recipient of the European Association of Diabetes Camillo Golgi Award.  He is former Chair of Diabetes UK Professional Section and former President of the European Society for Microcirculation.  The University of Exeter was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for his work on the pathogenesis of diabetic microangiopathy.  In addition to more fundamental work on the complications of diabetes his research has embraced screening and service delivery and organisational issues and the patient’s perspective.  In 2007 he led the Inquiry for the Secretary of State for Health into Postgraduate Medical Educating and Training, culminating in the final report, Aspiring to Excellence.  In the same year he led a high-level group for the CMO on Barriers to Clinical Effectiveness, the report of which led to the creation of CLAHRCs (Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care).

Professor David Fish
Managing Director UCL Partners Academic Health Science Partnership

David took up the post of Managing Director of UCL Partners in June 2009.  UCL Partners (UCLP) is one of England’s five academic health science centres.  The partnership has grown to include HEIs and NHS providers across NEL, NCL, South &West Herts, South Beds, South, West and Mid Essex –serving 6m people, as well as 9 HEIs. The Partnership brought together the combined skill and expertise of its clinicians and researchers to focus initially on several major programmes of work covering : infectious diseases; neurological disorders; eyes and vision; cardiovascular; child health; women’s health; cancer; immunology and transplantation; liver and digestive health; mental health and wellbeing; population health; and ENT.

UCLP is currently bidding to also become one of 14 designated Academic Health Sciences Networks across the UK. This will see a greater emphasis on earlier diagnosis of cancer, prevention of cardiovascular disease, mental health, women and children’s services and the care of patients with multiple morbidities. Collectively these account for >80% of amenable mortality and likewise >80% of NHS spend. He has been chair of the interim North central and east London LETB during is development – now handed over that role to Chris Beasley who has been appointed substantively.

David was previously Medical Director Specialist Hospitals Clinical Board at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 9 years. This was a full-time clinical leadership role in the NHS at a first wave foundation trust.  He previously worked as an academic clinical neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery. 2008 – 2011 David also held the post of Chair of the Medical Advisory Group supporting Monitor.

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