Leszek Borysiewicz

Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge (2010 - 2017)

Born in Wales, to Polish parents who settled there after the Second World War, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz attended Cardiff High School and went on to the Welsh National School of Medicine, later taking up clinical and research posts in London. In 1988, he came to Cambridge as Lecturer in Medicine, and was a Fellow of Wolfson College (where he is now an Honorary Fellow). He went on to be Professor of Medicine at the University of Wales for ten years until 2001.

He served as the 345th Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 2010 to 2017. He was Chief Executive of the UK’s Medical Research Council from 2007 to 2010, and from 2001 to 2007 was at Imperial College London, where he served as Principal of the Faculty of Medicine and later as Deputy Rector. As Deputy Rector of Imperial College, Sir Leszek was responsible for the overall academic and scientific direction of the institution, particularly the development of interdisciplinary research between engineering, physical sciences, and biomedicine.

Concurrently with his position at Imperial College, Sir Leszek was also Governor of the Wellcome Trust (2006-2007), Chairman of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration’s Integrated Academic Training Awards Panel (2005-2007), and Chair of the HEFCE RAE Main Panel A Assessment Panel. Professor Borysiewicz was knighted in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List for his contribution to medical education and research into developing vaccines, including work towards a vaccine to combat cervical cancer.

He was a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1996 and a member of its Council from 1997 until 2002, Chairman of the NHS (Wales) R&D Grants Committee and acting Director of NHS (Wales) Research and Development (1994-1996), a member of the Council of Cancer Research UK (2002-2005), a Non-Executive Director of North Thames Regional Health Authority (2003-2004) and a member of the MRC Council from 1995 to 2000. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008. He previously was a member of the Berggruen Prize Jury.