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MRC confirms new chief

Imperial College vaccinologist to head UK biomedical research

Stephen Pincock
Leszek Borysiewicz, deputy rector of Imperial College London, was officially named today (September 28) as the next chief executive of Britain's troubled Medical Research Council, replacing Colin Blakemore who steps down this month.Borysiewicz is best known for his work on oncogenic viruses, including human papillomavirus. He was knighted in 2001 for his research into vaccine development, and has been deputy rector of Imperial College since 2004."There's no doubt he's an absolutely outstanding appointment and someone with an impeccable academic record," said Phil Willis, the chair of the all-party House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. But his appointment comes at a difficult juncture in the history of the MRC, the UK's main government funding agency for biomedical research. "The challenges that face him are really quite enormous," Willis told The Scientist.Perhaps the biggest challenge will be to "restore a level of confidence and cohesion to the MRC itself,"...

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