Sir Harry Burns joins Strathclyde teaching staff

Sir Harry Burns

By Kirsty-Louise Hunt, News Editor

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer will join the University of Strathclyde in a world-leading collaboration with the International Prevention Research Institute (iPRI), it has been announced.

Sir Harry Burns, who was appointed Chief Medical Officer by the Scottish Government in 2005, will take up the post of Professor of Global Public Health in the University’s Institute for Global Public Health at iPRI in Lyon, France.

iPRI is an independent research institute with experience in epidemiological research and macro health planning.

The Institute for Global Public Health, which was formally established in June 2013, is developing new and collaborative research programmes to tackle major diseases whilst also looking at technological solutions to improve public health in the world’s most disadvantaged countries.

Professor Sir Harry Burns said:

“After eight years as Chief Medical Officer, I have developed a deep and abiding interest in the way health is created by society at large.

“The Institute for Global Public Health is the perfect opportunity to pursue this in the interest of Scotland and the global community. The work that the University of Strathclyde is doing in this area is incredibly exciting and the opportunity to play a part in the impact that Strathclyde is having in so many fields will be extremely satisfying.

“It has been a privilege working with the Scottish Government but it is the time to hand over to a new Chief Medical Officer.

“I remain fully committed to working to help build a better public health landscape through a variety of means and to translate this to improvements in the health of populations living in countries which are less well-off than ours .This position allows me to do so.”

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

“The collaboration with iPRI adds a significant dimension to our work and Harry’s leadership, expertise and experience will also help to ensure the University’s work has the maximum impact on the global stage.”

Professor Peter Boyle, President of iPRI and one of the initiators of the Institute for Global Public Health, added:

“I am delighted that Sir Harry joins the new Institute as co-Director with me. Sir Harry has outstanding strengths in public health which he will continue to apply to the population of Scotland but will also now be able to apply to improving the health of less fortunate populations around the world.

“Sir Harry will have a central role in the Institute for Global Public Health as we develop international programmes of research and delivery. Our key aim is to integrate the outstanding science, engineering and technological strengths of the University of Strathclyde, recognised as UK University of the Year in 2012, with the global public health activities of iPRI.

“The focus in public health should now move from analysis to greater attention paid to action for change.”

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