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Fellows Directory

Richard Sykes

Richard Sykes

Sir Richard Sykes FMedSci HonFREng FRS


Elected: 1997


Sir Richard Sykes is the Chairman of King Edward VII's Hospital since 2019, Chairman of UK Stem Cell Foundation since 2004. He is a Non-Executive Director of PDS Biotechnology (PDSB) since 2012. He is the President of the Research and Development Society since 2002 and the Chancellor of Brunel University since 2013 to December 2022. He is a member of the joint Advisory Board for the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Grantham Research Institute at LSE since 2021.

Amongst other roles held, Sir Richard Sykes was the Chair of the UK Government Vaccine Task Force from 2021 to 2022 (September), Chairman of the Singapore Biomedical Sciences International Advisory Council from 2000-2022 (March), a mentor at the Chairman Mentors international (CMi) from 2005 to 2021, Chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust from 2012 to 2018, Director at Economic Development Board International (EDBI) Pte Ltd Singapore from 2011 to June 2018, Chairman of the Royal Institution of Great Britain from 2010 to 2022 (May), Chairman of NetScientific plc from 2010 to 2019, Chairman of NHS London from December 2008 to July 2010, the Senior Non-Executive Director of Eurasian National Resources Corp. from 2007 to 2011 (Deputy Chairman from 2009 to 2011), the vice-Chairman of Lonza Group until 2005 -2013, Rector of Imperial College London from 2001 to 2008 and Non-Executive Director at Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Ltd from 1997 to 2008 (Senior Independent Director from 2005 to 2008).

Sir Richard Sykes joined Glaxo Research in 1972 as Head of its Antibiotic Research Unit. In 1977 he moved to the US to join the Squibb Institute for Medical Research where he progressed to Vice President, before rejoining Glaxo in the UK as Chief Executive of Glaxo Group Research in 1986. In March 1993 Sir Richard was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive of Glaxo, taking on the same roles at Glaxo Wellcome in 1994 following the acquisition of Wellcome. He subsequently led the company until 2002, through the formation of GlaxoSmithKline.

Professional positions

Chairman, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Chairman, Royal Institution Of Great Britain
Chairman, NetScientific plc
Chairman, OmniCyte
Chairman, PDS Biotechnology Corporation

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • General microbiology (incl bacteriology and virology)


Antibiotics, B-lactamases, Antibiotic Resistance

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