Robert Lechler is Senior Vice President/Provost (Health) and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre our recently accredited Academic Health Science Centre. This is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.
Robert’s distinguished career in academic medicine began in 1979 in the Department of Immunology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, as a Medical Research Council Training Fellow. He then became Renal Registrar in 1982, and subsequently Senior Renal Registrar in 1983, at the Professorial Medical Unit at Hammersmith Hospital.
Following a Wellcome Trust Travelling Fellowship at the Laboratory of Immunology, NIH, Bethesda, USA, in 1984, Robert was appointed Senior Lecturer in Immunology / Honorary Consultant in Medicine in 1986, Reader in Immunology in 1989 and Professor of Molecular Immunology in 1992, at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. Since 1986, Robert has been an Honorary Consultant in Medicine at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, and Professor and Director of Immunology in the Division of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, at Imperial College London since 1994. In 1995 he became the Chief of Immunology Services at Hammersmith Hospital NHS Trust, in 2001 he was made the Dean of the Hammersmith Campus, and in 2003 Head of the Division of Medicine of Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine.
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. In 2012 Robert was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Robert’s research interests revolve around transplantation tolerance; the central aim of his research is to persuade the immune system to “tolerate” the foreign organ while retaining full capability to fight off infections and cancer. Robert is Chair of the Clinical Trials Expert Advisory Group, as well as a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Schools Council.
Robert also heads a leadership giving fund, the Medical Circle, which enables alumni and friends of the College to support the School of Medicine across all the hospital sites at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’.