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Pfizer’s Ruth McKernan and AZ’s Menelas Pangalos join UK’s MRC

Industry figures join UK body to support medical research

Ruth McKernan - Pfizer and Medical Research Council (MRC)The UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) has appointed three new council members, including Dr Ruth McKernan, senior VP and chief scientific officer of Pfizer Neusentis, and Dr Menelas Pangalos, executive VP of innovative medicines at AstraZeneca (AZ).

The third new addition is Baroness Onora O'Neill, a member of the House of Lords who has been appointed as an expert lay member.

From October 1, 2012, each will serve at an initial term of four years on the council of the MRC, a publicly-funded body that aims to support medical research across the UK.

As council members the three will help direct and oversee corporate policy, ensure effective management, and makemajor policy and spending decisions.

Dr McKernan (pictured) has been with Pfizer since 2005, serving in several positions during her time at the company, including VP of biology at its plant in Sandwich, Kent; head of the company's research technology centre in Boston, US; and VP for external research in Europe.

She was also instrumental in setting up Pfizer's regenerative medicine unit in Cambridge, UK, in 2008, where she served as chief scientific officer.

Prior to her time at Pfizer, Dr McKernan spent 17 years at Merck & Co, eventually becoming the head of its neuroscience research centre in Harlow, UK. She is also Professor of Neuroscience at Kings College, University of London.

Dr Pangalos has been in his position at AZ since 2010, having previously held the role of senior VP and chief scientific officer of neuroscience research at Pfizer and senior VP of research at Wyeth.

In addition, he is also on the innovation board for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the enhancing value task force for CIHE-UK, the board of the British Pharmaceutical Group and the board of the Research Champion Group for Dementia.

As well, he is a member of the Society for Biology, the American Society of Neuroscience, British Pharmacology Society and Association for the Advancement of Science and an associate of the Royal College of Science.

Baroness O'Neill has been a member of the House of Lords since 1999 and has served on committees such as as the science and technology committees on stem cell research, genomic medicine, nanosciences and food, and behavioural change, and the BBC charter review.

She is also Professor Emeritus of Ethics and Political Philosophy at Cambridge University and is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

28th June 2012

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