Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FMedSci FRS
Leszek Borysiewicz is an influential scientific administrator who has promoted biomedical education and clinical research through a number of senior positions in UK institutions. His own research career centred on the immune response to common viruses, and his work on a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine led to routine immunisation for girls against cervical cancer.
Leslek contributed to our understanding of how the immune system fights off viral infection, and why ‘harmless’ viruses can sometimes cause disease. The most common cause of cervical cancer is infection with HPV. Leslek led a team to develop a therapeutic vaccine against HPV infection, and headed its first clinical trial in Europe.
He was knighted for his vaccine research in 2001, the same year he moved to Imperial College London where he became Deputy Rector. In 2007, he was recruited as Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council until, in 2010, Leszek became the 345th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.