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New Chair of Biological Sciences

Originally published 25 November 2002

Professor Robert Freedman joined the University in September to head up the Department of Biological Sciences located at Gibbet Hill. Robert was previously at the University of Kent at Canterbury and chose to come to Warwick for a new challenge: “I had undertaken a number of roles in my considerable time at Kent and my favourite was Head of their Department of Biological Sciences. It therefore seemed an exciting prospect to return to that role in a department that was much larger and with greater scope.”

Robert’s first impressions of Warwick are very positive. He enjoys “the scale, the confidence, the open and constructive atmosphere and the picturesque walk from Gibbet Hill to main campus”. His impression of Biological Sciences is that it is a very strong department but that it is poised. “We have lots of staff that have grown and lived with this department for many years but in the last three years we have almost doubled in size, so there are also a lot of new faces. Therefore, one of the challenges we have to embrace is building coherence and identity within the larger department without sacrificing the valuable sense of longstanding community.

“Biological science as a discipline also has interesting times ahead of it. At Warwick, our scope is very broad, ranging from the molecular to the clinical and the large scale ecological. We have research projects on coral reefs and the effects of marine pollution through to diabetes, cancer and reproduction, all underpinned by the fundamental molecular and cellular biology that the department is famed for. The growth of the Medical School and medical-related studies represents a significant challenge – and an opportunity to secure more funding and to explore further various interdisciplinary projects. I do not doubt that this excellent work will continue to increase in range and significance.”

If you would like to know more about the work of the Department of Biological Sciences, please feel free to contact Robert Freedman on