Patrick Vallance, head of research and development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and former head of medicine at University College London, has been confirmed as the government’s new chief scientific advisor. Vallance takes over from Chris Whitty, who had held the post on an interim basis since September 2017 when Mark Walport, the previous incumbent, left the role.
Vallance, a clinical pharmacologist, joined GSK in 2006 as head of drug discovery. He was appointed as president of research and development in 2012. Prior to his time at GSK, Vallance headed the Division of Medicine at University College London.
Besides his scientific expertise, Vallance brings previous experience of government advisory service. As a member of the UK Ministerial Industry Strategy Group, he has advised the government on scientific policy matters on several occasions in recent years.
“It is a great honour to join the Civil Service as the government chief scientific adviser”, Vallance said.
“Science, engineering and technology have a vital role to play at the heart of policy making and are critical to economic growth and prosperity in the UK as well as to addressing many of the greatest challenges of our time, such as environmental change and keeping our citizens healthy and secure.”
Vallance will take up his new post in spring 2018.