Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer joins Institute

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer joins Institute

January 23, 2014

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer joins the University of Strathclyde and International Prevention Research Institute

The University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health at iPRI (SIGPH@IPRI) has announced the arrival of a recognized leader in public health. Sir Harry Burns, currently the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, will be joining Prof. Peter Boyle as co-director. “I can think of no one more fitting than Harry Burns for the Institute. Sir Harry brings indispensable experience. As Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer he confronted multiple public health challenges and crises. It is one thing to write policy, it is another to have a positive impact on people’s health,” says Prof. Boyle.

The Institute was co-founded by Strathclyde University in Glasgow and the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon to bring a missing vision to global public health education. The Institute will fill this gap by developing new and collaborative research programmes and a two-year, full-time Masters curriculum to tackle major diseases, while also looking at technological solutions to improve public health in the world’s most disadvantaged countries. Indeed, SIGPH@IPRI goes well beyond the policy dimension, unlike most public health institutes where policy is their sole focus.

Welcoming the appointment, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, says: “We are absolutely delighted that Sir Harry has chosen to continue his vital work in public health here at Strathclyde.“

“He is joining a leading international technological institution which is striving to tackle the global challenges surrounding health through our programmes in science, engineering, technology and policy.”

Sir Harry BurnsSir Harry believes that after eight years as Chief Medical Officer, he has developed a deep and abiding interest in the way health is created by society at large. He now looks forward to, in his words, “sharing this knowledge with graduate public health students, especially those from lower resource countries.”

“The Institute for Global Public Health is the perfect opportunity to pursue my public health journey both in the interest of Scotland and the global community. The work that the Institute is doing in this area is incredibly exciting and the opportunity to play a part in the impact that Strathclyde and iPRI are having in so many fields will be extremely satisfying.” Sir Harry continues, “It has been a privilege working with the Scottish Government but it is the time to hand over to a new Chief Medical Officer.”

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “I would like to thank Sir Harry for the significant contribution he has made to health across Scotland. Over the past eight years, Sir Harry has provided leadership in a range of areas, from leading the response to the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009, to providing health advice about Legionnaires disease. In particular, Sir Harry has brought a renewed focus to the issue of health inequalities within Scotland, and I am delighted that his new role will enable him to continue his focus in this area. It has been a pleasure working with Sir Harry and I wish him every luck for the future.”

In addition to his role in SIGPH@IPRI, Sir Harry will be working closely with iPRI in Lyon bringing his expertise to iPRI’s global health initiatives including the upcoming World Prevention Summit at the National Press Club in Washington DC, 10-11 November 2014.

Without doubt, there is an urgent need for superior global public health research and education. The leadership team of Sir Harry Burns and Prof. Peter Boyle, both from Glasgow, facilitated by the resources of the University of Strathclyde and the International Prevention Research Institute will most definitely make an impact in Scotland, in Europe and around the world.

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