University of Dundee University of Dundee
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26 March 2009

Professor Peter Downes appointed Acting Principal and Vice-Chancellor at University of Dundee

Professor Peter Downes has been appointed Acting Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee.

Professor Downes has been a Vice-Principal of the University and Head of the College of Life Sciences for the past three years. He is a highly distinguished biochemist who has played a key role in developing life sciences in Dundee to its current position as an internationally-recognised centre of excellence.

Professor Downes will act as Principal and Vice-Chancellor while the University continues the recruitment process to find a successor to Sir Alan Langlands, who is moving to a new role as Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

“We are delighted that Professor Downes has agreed to step into the role of Acting Principal and Vice-Chancellor and are absolutely confident he will give the University dynamic leadership in the period while we are recruiting someone to the position full-time,” said John Milligan, Chair of the University Court.

“Professor Downes has served as a Vice-Principal of the University and is well known across the whole campus, not just in Life Sciences.

“The recruitment process for the Principal and Vice-Chancellor is well underway and we look forward to interviewing candidates in the near future.”

Professor Downes will continue his own research while fulfilling his role as Acting Principal. Interim arrangements are in place for the management of the College of Life Sciences.

Professor Downes joined the University in 1989 as Professor of Biochemistry. He is among the UK's most cited scientists and his scientific contributions over the years have been recognised with various awards including the Colworth Medal of the Biochemical Society. He was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Biochemical Society 2001-04 and is a member of the Council of the Biosciences Federation. He was honoured by the Queen with an OBE in 2004.

He is co-director of the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy at Dundee, a major collaboration with five leading pharmaceutical companies which has attracted funding of over £30million over the past ten years and won the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2005.


Roddy Isles
Head of Press
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN.

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