Friday, February 26, 2010

What has the 3rd medical school got to do with GSK and the H1N1 pandemic?

A strange nexus seems to have developed between the much anticipated 3rd medical school and happenings with respect to GSK and the H1N1 story.

As we all have been told the planned for 3rd medical school was supposed to be a tie up between Tan Tock Seng Hospital, NTU and Imperial College. One of the champions of the proposed tie up was apparently the past rector of the Imperial College, Professor Sir Roy Anderson. Sir Roy is a pretty influential person and has been listed as a VIP on the Board of GSK. But he apparently has a bit of checquered past. In July last year he was in the middle of a controversy about his role in the British SAGE (Strategic Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), a 20-strong task force drawing up the action plan for the H1N1 virus, while holding a highly paid position with the drug and vaccine manufacturer, GSK. Earlier he had been in another series of controversies which led to his resigning from Oxford University. You can read the details here.

In November last year, he abruptly stepped down as Rector for Imperial College. The reasons for his departure is unclear and there have been a number of speculations. His departure has however created a bit of a hiatus in leadership for Imperial College. Sir Keith O’Nions, the Director of Imperial’s Institute for Security Science and Technology, took over as Acting Rector. It is also not clear if the new leadership is as enamoured with the tie up with NTU/TTSH for the 3rd medical school. I hear in the grapevine that the vibes are not that positive. Which means the 3rd medical school is now left in a bit of a lurch and scrambling to find a suitor.

So ....a right royal mess......


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I hope this issue gets resolved soon!