Richard Sykes (biochemist)

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Richard Sykes
Born Richard Brook Sykes
(1942-08-07) 7 August 1942 (age 72)
Fields
Institutions
Alma mater
Thesis Studies on the B-lactamases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa[citation needed] (1972)
Known for
Notable awards

Sir Richard Brook Sykes, DSc, FRS, FMedSci, HonFREng[9] (born 7 August 1942) is chairman of the Royal Institution,[10] Imperial College Healthcare[11] and Chancellor of Brunel University.[12] Sykes also chairs the UK Stem Cell Foundation and is Non-executive director of Lonza AG.[13] Previously, Sykes was an executive director at GlaxoSmithKline and rector of Imperial College London, UK.[14] 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.

Education[edit]

Sykes was educated at Queen Elizabeth College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology.[15] He went on to study for a PhD in Microbial Biochemistry from the University of Bristol in 1972 with thesis on B-lactamases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.[15][15][16][17][18]

Career[edit]

Until 2001, Sir Richard Sykes was chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. 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[19] as the non-executive Chairman. In 2009, Sykes accepted the position as executive chairman of Toumaz Technology Ltd.[citation needed]

Imperial College[edit]

Between January 2001 and July 2008, Sykes was the Rector of Imperial College London.[20]

Sykes's tenure was not without controversy.

  • In 2004 he spearheaded an abortive attempt to merge Imperial College with University College London.[6][7]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[21] The Save.Wye campaign described Sykes as "...an avaricious businessman posing as an academic" after the full extent of the plans were revealed.[22] A book by David Hewson [21] 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.[citation needed] Sir Richard received a salary £305,000 a year,[citation needed] 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.

Other activities[edit]

Sir Richard is chairman of the think-tank Reform. He is a trustee of the Natural History Museum, London[citation needed] and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[citation needed]

In September 2008, he was appointed Chair of NHS London, but resigned in May 2010 over the decision of the Cameron Ministry to halt planned hospital reorganisations in London.[23]

He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.[24]

Sir Richard joined Adcurata Cultural Change Advisory Board in September 2012 to advise on the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets.

Awards and honours[edit]

Sykes holds a 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. He was also appointed as a Honorary Fellow[25] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[26] in 1942.

Sykes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1997. His nominations reads

Sykes was knighted in the 1994 New Year Honours.[1] In 1999 he was awarded the Singapore National Day Public Service Star Award for his services to the economy of Singapore.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sir Richard Sykes DSc - 1994
  2. ^ Richmond, M. H.; Sykes, R. B. (1973). "Advances in Microbial Physiology Volume 9". Advances in Microbial Physiology 9. p. 31. doi:10.1016/S0065-2911(08)60376-8. ISBN 9780120277094.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  3. ^ Sykes, R. B.; Cimarusti, C. M.; Bonner, D. P.; Bush, K.; Floyd, D. M.; Georgopapadakou, N. H.; Koster, W. H.; Liu, W. C.; Parker, W. L.; Principe, P. A.; Rathnum, M. L.; Slusarchyk, W. A.; Trejo, W. H.; Wells, J. S. (1981). "Monocyclic β-lactam antibiotics produced by bacteria". Nature 291 (5815): 489–91. doi:10.1038/291489a0. PMID 7015152. 
  4. ^ Datta, N; Hedges, R. W.; Shaw, E. J.; Sykes, R. B.; Richmond, M. H. (1971). "Properties of an R factor from Pseudomonas aeruginosa". Journal of bacteriology 108 (3): 1244–9. PMC 247211. PMID 4945193. 
  5. ^ Sykes, R. B.; Bonner, D. P.; Bush, K; Georgopapadakou, N. H. (1982). "Azthreonam (SQ 26,776), a synthetic monobactam specifically active against aerobic gram-negative bacteria". Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy 21 (1): 85–92. doi:10.1128/aac.21.1.85. PMC 181833. PMID 6979307. 
  6. ^ a b Opposition ends Imperial and UCL merger dream, The Guardian 2002-11-18
  7. ^ a b GlaxoSmithKline -- Lessons of a Failed Merger: Matthew Lynn
  8. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  9. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  10. ^ New chair for science institution BBC News 2010-09-16
  11. ^ Sir Richard Sykes appointed new Chair at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  12. ^ Sir Richard Sykes appointed Chancellor of Brunel University
  13. ^ ENRC Management
  14. ^ Biography — Sir Richard Sykes
  15. ^ a b c "SYKES, Sir Richard (Brook)". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  16. ^ Sykes, Richard Brook (1972). Studies on the B-lactamases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PhD thesis). University of Bristol. [citation needed]
  17. ^ Bush, K.; Freudenberger, J. S.; Sykes, R. B. (1982). "Interaction of azthreonam and related monobactams with beta-lactamases from gram-negative bacteria". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 22 (3): 414–20. doi:10.1128/AAC.22.3.414. PMC 183759. PMID 6982680. 
  18. ^ Richard Sykes from the Scopus bibliographic database.
  19. ^ NetScientific Group.
  20. ^ Sir Richard Sykes: Rector 2001–08, Imperial College London, UK.
  21. ^ a b David Hewson. 2007. Saved; How an English village fought for its survival and won. Leicester: Troublador Publishing
  22. ^ http://savewye.wordpress.com/2007/04/06/the-principal-players-where-are-they-now/#more-352 Savewye.wordpress.com, 7 April 2007.
  23. ^ Randeep Ramesh (26 May 2010). "NHS London chief Richard Sykes resigns in care review row". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  24. ^ "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  25. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  26. ^ "List of Fellows". 
  27. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue EC/1997/33 Sir Richard Brook". London: The Royal Society. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ronald Oxburgh
Rector of Imperial College London
2000–2008
Succeeded by
Roy Anderson
Preceded by
John Wakeham, Baron Wakeham
Chancellor of Brunel University
2013—present
Succeeded by
Incumbent