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Lord Patel to head Scottish varsity

Lord Naren Patel, an obstetrics expert, will take over as chancellor of University of Dundee in May.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 12:07 IST

Lord Naren Patel, a celebrated obstetrics expert in London who had his initial education in India, has been named the next chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Lord Patel, 68, who has had a distinguished career holding several prestigious appointments in the British education and health sectors, succeeds Sir James Black in the prestigious post.

Lord Patel is currently honorary professor at the university, and will be installed as chancellor at the end of May in time to preside over the student graduation ceremonies in June and July.

Born in Tanzania, he was educated in India, Tanzania and London. He graduated from St Andrews University in 1964 and continued to work in Scotland, including more than 30 years at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee, where he became known for his research on premature babies and foetal problems.

He is currently chairman of the British stem cell oversight committee and the patron of several charities.

Speaking about his appointment, Lord Patel said, "There can be no greater award than to be asked to be chancellor of this university in which I have worked for most of my life. I feel honoured and privileged."

Chairman of university Court John Milligan said, "The University Chancellor embodies the mission of the university '...to advance and diffuse knowledge, wisdom and understanding by teaching and research and by the example and influence of its corporate life'.

"We are honoured and delighted to have Lord Patel accept this role for the University of Dundee. Lord Patel's quiet and relentless dedication to health improvements, both in this country and in the poorer countries of the world, is an inspiration.

"And his knowledge of the university - as one who has been closely associated with its work throughout his professional life -- makes him an ideal Chancellor."

Lord Patel's key contribution is in the field of medicine where his obstetrics work is of international standing. He is currently retired and sits in the House of Lords having received a knighthood in 1997 and elevation to the Peerage in 1999.

In the House of Lords, he has been a member of the Science and Technology Committee for seven years. He is currently chairman of the National Patient Safety Agency of England and Wales. He is also a member of the Board of the Armed Forces Pay Review.

His academic and clinical interests are in the field of high-risk obstetrics. He has published widely on pre-term labour, foetal growth retardation and obstetric epidemiology.