Richard Sykes (biochemist)
|Sir Richard Sykes|
|Born||7 August 1942|
|Alma mater||King's College London
University of Bristol
|Thesis||Studies on the B-lactamases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (1972)|
Sir Richard Brook Sykes, DSc, FRS, FMedSci, FKC (born 7 August 1942) is a biochemist and former executive in a number of pharmaceuticals, most notably GlaxoSmithKline. He is the former rector of Imperial College, London, UK. Sir Richard was the Senior Independent Director and non-executive Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) until June 2011. Sir Richard Sykes is currently the Chairman of The UK Stem Cell Foundation and Non-executive Director of Lonza AG. Since December 2011, Sir Richard Sykes has been Chair of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Sir Richard Sykes holds a degree from the King's College London, and a PhD in Microbial Biochemistry from the University of Bristol in 1972 with thesis titled Studies on the B-lactamases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as well as number of honorary degrees, including ones from the universities of Birmingham, Brunel, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Hertfordshire, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Madrid, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield Hallam, Sheffield, Strathclyde, Surrey, Warwick and Westminster.
Until 2001, Sir Richard Sykes was chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1994, he was knighted for his services to the pharmaceutical industry and in 1999 he was awarded the Singapore National Day Public Service Star Award for his services to the economy of Singapore. In December 2007 he was appointed Independent Non-Executive Director at Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC). In October 2008, Sykes accepted Farad Azima's invitation to join the NetScientific Group as the non-executive Chairman. In 2009, Sykes accepted the position as executive chairman of Toumaz Technology Ltd.
Sykes's tenure was not without controversy.
- In 2004 he spearheaded an abortive attempt to merge Imperial College with University College London.
- He supported the lifting of the £3,000 cap on tuition fees and instead allowing the universities to set fees at anything up to £10,000, a proposal opposed by many student-representing societies. This was long before UK coalition government reforms that allow £9,000 fees to be charged from 2011.
- His predecessor at Imperial had brokered a merger with the University of London's agricultural college, Wye College. Sykes overturned a promise to keep Agricultural Sciences taught at Wye at the end of 2004. By 2005 Imperial announced plans to create a non-food crops and biomass fuels research centre, anchoring a major housing development on College land. The true extent of these plans, which would have seen the small academic village become a town, were kept secret from the public by Imperial, Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council. Plans collapsed in June 2006 after media leaks and loss of their potential industry partner, and Imperial then renounced all development aspirations for the campus and surrounding land. The Save.Wye campaign described Sykes as "...an avaricious businessman posing as an academic" after the full extent of the plans were revealed. A book by David Hewson  details the entire episode.
- In March 2006 his salary became the centre of attention amongst Imperial College staff and students after the students' union newspaper, FELIX, published a front page article highlighting how much he was paid. Sir Richard received a salary £305,000 a year, the second highest among university principals after Professor Laura Tyson, dean of the London Business School.
On 1 July 2008, he was succeeded as Rector of Imperial College by Professor Roy Anderson.
Sir Richard joined Adcurata Cultural Change Advisory Board in September 2012 to advise on the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets.
In April 2013 he has been appointed to be Brunel University's next chancellor.
- Biography — Sir Richard Sykes
- ENRC Management
- Sir Richard Sykes appointed new Chair at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
- NetScientific Group.
- Sir Richard Sykes: Rector 2001–08, Imperial College, London, UK.
- David Hewson. 2007. Saved; How an English village fought for its survival and won. Leicester: Troublador Publishing
- http://savewye.wordpress.com/2007/04/06/the-principal-players-where-are-they-now/#more-352 Savewye.wordpress.com, 7 April 2007.
- Randeep Ramesh (26 May 2010). "NHS London chief Richard Sykes resigns in care review row". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Retrieved 2011-02-11.
|Rector of Imperial College London