Professor Sir Robert Lechler

Professor Sir Robert Lechler (MBChB Medicine 1975) – Vice-Principal (Health) and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre

Robert Lechler qualified in Medicine at The University of Manchester in 1975. He then spent four years as a junior doctor training in general medicine and nephrology, before embarking on a PhD in transplantation immunology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.

Following the PhD, he returned to full-time clinical work for two years and completed his scientific training at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, USA. In 1986, he came back to the UK to take up a post as a senior lecturer at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, becoming head of the Department of Immunology in 1994. He moved to Imperial College Faculty of Medicine as Dean of Hammersmith Campus in 2001 and was subsequently appointed head of the Division of Medicine in 2003.

Robert became Dean of King’s College School of Medicine in 2004. The following year he succeeded Professor Sir Graeme Catto as Vice-Principal (Health) in charge of the five Health Schools of King’s. Robert was also Deputy Chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust from 2004-2009. He was appointed as Executive Director of King’s Health Partners in June 2009.

Robert’s research interests revolve around transplantation tolerance: how to persuade the immune system to “tolerate” the foreign organ, while retaining full capability to fight off infections and cancer. He is Chair of the Clinical Trials Expert Advisory Group, as well as a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Schools Council. He also heads a leadership giving fund, the Medical Circle, which raises money for medical research. In 2012, Robert received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to academic medicine.