Press Release: First University of Buckingham Medical School Honorary Award Ceremony

20 March 2015

Sir Roger Bannister, Sir Magdi Yacoub and Sir Graeme Catto were last night (Thursday) made Honorary Graduates at the first ever University of Buckingham Medical School Honorary Ceremony.

Chief Operating Officer at the Medical School, Professor John Clapham, said: “All of our Honorary Graduates were chosen because they were pioneering in some way – an attribute which resonates with us in establishing the country’s first independent Medical School in modern times.”

Sir Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in under four minutes in 1954 when he as 25. Already a qualified doctor, he concentrated his efforts on medicine, combining research with clinical practice. He became Chairman of the Sports Council of Great Britain and then President of the International Council for Sport and Physical Recreation. He studied the autonomic nervous system that controls all the involuntary movements such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

Egyptian born British Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub established his pioneering heart surgery group at Harefield Hospital. He later went on to undertake the largest heart and lung transplant programme in the world. He is Founder and Director of the Magdi Yacoub Research Network, which has created the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre in collaboration with the Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation.

Sir Graeme Catto created an active research group studying transplant immunology, renal bone disease and facilities required for patients with kidney disease. Over time he became Medical Director of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Professor and then Dean of Medicine and Vice-Principal of Aberdeen University.

The University of Buckingham opened the country’s first independent Medical School in January. The four-and-a-half year MB ChB course offers a mix of clinical and biomedical science teaching over two years. The second, clinical, phase will be centred at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust over the remaining two and a half years. The Medical School is fund-raising to develop a new Medical School campus in Buckingham and Milton Keynes.

For more information contact University of Buckingham press officer Diana Blamires on or phone +44 (0)1280 820213.