Professor John Clapham leaves the University of Buckingham

27 May 2020

Professor John ClaphamProfessor John Clapham will leave the University of Buckingham on the 31 May 2020. John joined the university in 2013, working initially pro bono for the late Professor Mike Cawthorne to help draft a project plan for the intended medical school. He then joined the university as a member of the medical schools founding team and co-led the school with Professor Stewart Petersen until his promotion to PVC Health Sciences.

John’s legacy and proudest achievement is the medical school, after his presentations to the finance committee and Council in February of 2014 the project received the green light and the first students, who graduated last year, began in January 2015. Working with Alistair Lomax a £2m grant from SEMLEP was awarded which meant that the proposed Academic Centre at MKUH would become a reality and the building was inaugurated in February 2017. The medical school in going from strength to strength.

A pharmacologist by training John maintained his interest in life sciences research in the Clore lab which has now found a niche in researching cellular effects of natural products which will continue under the leadership of Mohamad Zaibi. Two new exciting postgraduate programmes in surgery and medicine, in collaboration with the two Royal Colleges of Edinburgh are now starting to take off. John’s most challenging project has been setting up a health sciences provision at the Crewe Campus which admitted its first students on Biomedical Science programmes in September 2019.

Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor said; ‘John Clapham will be much missed. He brought into our world the vital dimension of commercial and business experience.  His work helping set up the Medical School at Buckingham, making possible the Academic Centre in Milton Keynes and setting up Health Sciences at Crewe were among his vital achievements’.

James Tooley, PVC (Academic) said; John has made some extraordinary contributions to the university over the years. He’s also been a very kind friend and guide to me as a new member of staff, as I’m sure he’s been to others. I shall miss him very much, but wish him well as he goes on to new and exciting ventures.

Professor Karol Sikora, the Founding Dean of the Medical School, said “John’s contribution was the key to getting the School of the ground. He was a superb project manager. He had vision, enterprise and diplomacy to turn a theoretical paper project into practical reality. Without him, it simply wouldn’t have happened.

As a friend and colleague, he was fantastic. The conversion of the Chandos Road building at Buckingham, the opening of the Crewe campus and the building of the Academic Medical Centre at Milton Keynes University Hospital are all achievements that could not have happened without his skill, dedication and persistence. All of us at Buckingham, and in the greater medical community, will miss him”.