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Register for this Inaugural Lecture on Eventbrite.

Join us to celebrate a special milestone for our new professors and hear about their inspiring career journeys. Doors for this event will open on 16:45 (BST), with the lectures to commence at 16:50. A drinks reception will be held at 18:00 immediately after the lecture.

Please note: due to industrial action, this Inaugural Lecture was postponed from its original Wednesday 15 March 2023. Please re-register your place using the links provided here.

Professor Richard Leach

Chasing oxygen; the misunderstood elixir of life


Oxygen is essential for mammalian life and the bioenergetic processes that maintain cellular integrity. Tissues rely on continuous delivery of oxygen at a rate that precisely matches metabolic requirements as there are no storage systems. If this supply fails, tissue hypoxaemia occurs and may cause organ dysfunction or death. Unsurprisingly, given this primacy, tissues have evolved to survive reduced oxygen states but only recently have the processes by which cells ‘sense’, adapt and respond to hypoxaemia been established. This presentation follows the path of oxygen from air to tissue and correlates the advances in physiology, hypoxia-inducible factors, bioenergetics and oxygen delivery strategies with the improved clinical management of global and local tissue hypoxaemia that transformed outcomes in critical illness. Even an ascent of Everest and the bar-headed goose have contributed!


Richard Leach has been a Consultant Physician, Clinical Academic, Teacher and Manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and King's College London for approaching 30 years. His research focuses on the impact of acute and chronic hypoxaemia on vascular, endocrine and neurological function and aims to improve oxygen delivery and clinical outcomes in respiratory and/or critical illness. Additional academic endeavours include acute kidney injury, endocarditis, coronavirus disease, and healthcare-management research. As Clinical Director for Acute Medicine (2009-18) and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (2018-2023), his clinical team delivered patient care rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in 2015 and 2019. An enthusiastic teacher, he has written five medical textbooks including the ‘Oxford Desk Reference of Acute Medicine’ and the popular ‘Critical Care Medicine at a Glance’.

Professor Graham McClelland

From mouse to human, from pharma to academia and not-for-profit


The pharmacology laboratory bench is a great way to acquire the essential skills for any life science researcher. However, humans (usually) do not bite or urinate on you, prompting a first career direction change. Researching new methods and new medicines in experimental clinical research is exciting and rewarding, but so is managing clinical research (my second career change). Tired of being recognised by cabin crew, managing budgets, corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, I moved to a warmer and quieter location in Egypt (my third career change). After the third national revolution, it was time to return to the UK and a fourth career change - becoming an educator and researcher at King’s College London, teaching clinical pharmacology and studying clinical trial diversity and patient engagement.


Graham McClelland is a qualified biologist, psychologist and pharmacologist who spent over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry, holding senior international leadership positions in clinical research. In 1999, he initiated an MSc course in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Surrey, becoming a Visiting Professor and Course Director. In 2009 he moved to Egypt, forming a public limited company, carrying out teaching and consultancy work, and was appointed a Visiting Professor at the University of Alexandria. Returning to the UK in 2016 he became a Non-Executive Director of Quantum Care, a leading not-for-profit organisation providing residential care for the elderly. In 2018 he joined King’s, initially as a Visiting Professor and in August 2021 as Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Course Director of the MSc Integrated Apprenticeship in Clinical Pharmacology.

At this event

Graham McClelland

Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine