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Professor George Lunt
Professor George Lunt

Press Release - 28 August 2008

Deputy Vice-Chancellor to retire after 37 years

Renowned cell biologist and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor George Lunt, one of the University’s longest-serving staff members, is to retire at the end of August after 37 years.

Professor Lunt came to the University in 1971 as Lecturer in biochemistry after studying biochemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Birmingham and completing a PhD in physiological chemistry.

He also spent two years carrying out a research fellowship at the University of Buenos Aires and then returned to Birmingham, during which time he spent several periods at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

Over the next 20 years, he developed his own research group in neurochemistry and forged more links with colleagues in Argentina, France and California.

During this time, he became a renowned cell biologist, specialising in the biochemistry of the brain and was promoted to Senior Lecturer and Reader before becoming a Professor and being given the role of Head of the School of Biological Science.

Professor Lunt, who is retiring at the end of August, said: “The University has changed a great deal in the past 37 years.

“When I joined in 1971, it was called Bath University of Technology and the emphasis was on applied research that had an immediate and direct relevance to the outside world.

“The University placed a very high value on teaching excellence. However, there was a growing realisation that new universities also needed to form a strong academic research base.

“Over the next 10 to 15 years there was a steady shift in emphasis to a research-based University.”

Professor Lunt was subsequently given the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, with responsibility for research, which he carried out for three years before becoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

During his time as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, he created the Central Research Office and started to raise the commercial potential of some of the excellent research that was going on in the University.

This led to a growing interest in technology transfer and the creation of companies known as ‘spin-outs’, an area in which the University has established an enviable reputation.

Professor Lunt said he takes with him lots of fond memories of his time at Bath, especially during his years as a researcher. He said: “My colleagues and I put neuroscience at Bath on the global map and at any gathering on the subject you will invariably find Bath graduates.

“Helping to manage the University has been extremely rewarding,” he added.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have been at the University during a period of major development during which we have established ourselves as an excellent university.

“I very much hope that the University continues to succeed in its endeavours and I wish my colleagues the very best of luck.”

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