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Professor Chas Bountra to lead innovation at Oxford



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Professor Chas Bountra, Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Affordable Medicines, has been named as Oxford’s new Pro Vice-Chancellor, Innovation.

Announcing the appointment, the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, said Professor Bountra would bring “a rare depth of experience in technology transfer to lead the University’s innovation activities at regional, national and international level”.

Professor Bountra trained at King’s College London and the University of Edinburgh before taking up a post-doctoral fellowship and college lectureship in Physiology at Oxford. He then worked for 19 years in the pharmaceutical industry, where he was involved in the development of candidate drugs for several diseases, including novel treatments for cancer chemotherapy and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

He returned to Oxford as Professor of Translational Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine and as an Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology. Professor Bountra is currently working with nine pharmaceutical companies, eight disease foundations and more than 100 academic labs to develop new drugs for a range of common and rare diseases.

Commenting on his new role, he said: “Oxford is full of extremely creative and exceptionally smart students and colleagues – many are building transformative technologies, processes, resources or treatment paradigms, to improve the lives of millions of people across the world.

“The university, with the amazing leadership of our Regius and the current Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, has achieved remarkable successes: built new innovation centres, established the largest innovation fund of any UK university, forged major links with infrastructures at Harwell and other national capabilities and resources, and last year alone established 25 new companies. We already have in our region a growing number of companies worth in excess of £1 billion.

“I aim to work with talent across the breadth of our university to build on these achievements, and in so doing create several multi-billion pound enterprises which serve all nations and offer exciting employment opportunities for local talent. Society, patients and government demand this of a great university like Oxford.”

Current Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, Professor Ian Walmsley, will leave Oxford in September to become Provost of Imperial College, London. The research and innovation components of the role are being separated, with Professor Patrick Grant, Head of Oxford’s Department of Materials, named as the new Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research.

Find out more about Professor Bountra's work: