Over 200 staff from the Department of Life Sciences came together on Monday 12 September for the first staff meeting since the formation of the new department on 1 August. After a welcome from Professor Adele Murrell, the Interim Head of Department, staff heard from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian White and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Sarah Hainsworth and the Acting Dean, Professor Matthew Jones.
Of the meeting and the new Department of Life Sciences, Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor, said "The creation of a Life Sciences Department is a major milestone and I would like to thank all involved for their engagement along this journey and offer my sincere congratulations on this important achievement. It is clear that through innovation and technological advances there is real enthusiasm and opportunity for the field of Life Sciences to underpin a globally successful industry and drive growth in the twenty first century. Our vision in recognising the strong synergy that exists between Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacy and Pharmacology is to position ourselves to contribute in this evolving field, working collaboratively and innovatively to respond to the great healthcare challenges that face our modern society. With the formation of the Department of Life Sciences we aim to combine and build upon our existing strengths in education and research across this range of disciplines, recognising that the future of Life Sciences must surely stem from celebrating collaboration and interdisciplinarity. I wish you every success as you embark along this exciting path with new colleagues and shared goals."
After senior management left the meeting, staff were updated on the Department Executive Committee, and heard from Charareh Pourzand about our commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive Department culture, Philip Rogers about the challenges facing Pharmacists and the impending work for accreditation of our Pharmacy programmes. Chris Todd and Chris Pudney gave updates on what the merger means for our teaching and research.
Professor Adele Murrell said "It was fantastic to see so many members of the new Department of Life Sciences come together for our first department meeting and also to hear from the Dean, the Vice-Chancellor and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor. There is only one reason for a university to exist and that is the reason of knowledge. We are in the business of creating knowledge through research and imparting knowledge through teaching. With our new identity as Life Sciences, this new collegiate department is ready to take this ethos forward and do the best research we possibly can do and the best teaching we can possibly do."
Afterwards, those attending in person enjoyed drinks and snacks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other.
Department staff socialising after the meeting.