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Shitij Kapur Appointed New President & Principal of King’s

Shitij Kapur Appointed New President & Principal of King's College London

King’s College London Council Chair Lord Christopher Geidt announced today that Professor Shitij Kapur will succeed Sir Edward Byrne as President and Principal of King’s in June 2021.

Professor Kapur previously served as Vice-Dean of Research for King’s Institute of Psychiatry, as well as Dean and Head of School for the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience. He is set to return to King’s in June after four years at the University of Melbourne, where he occupied the positions of Dean and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health) for the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences, and interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor thereafter.

While at the University of Melbourne, he “significantly increased the educational footprint of his Faculty”, having “increased both research income and impact while doubling philanthropic support” among other achievements. According to the University of Melbourne, “Professor Kapur’s main research interest is in understanding Schizophrenia and its treatment. He has used brain imaging, animals models and clinical studies which have led to a better understanding of antipsychotic action, its relationship to brain dopamine receptor blockade, the role of appropriate dosing of these drugs and has led to the development of the ‘salience’ framework of psychosis and the ‘early onset’ hypothesis if antipsychotic action.” As of writing, Professor Kapur has published over 300 peer-reviewed academic papers which have received over 25,000 citations in other works.

Regarding his appointment, Professor Kapur told King’s: “I am passionate about King’s and it is a privilege to be appointed President & Principal of an institution that has been such an important part of my life in a city that I love. My ambition is to lead King’s as it prepares students for the complex post-Covid world and solves global challenges with its multi-disciplinary strengths and excellence.

“I truly believe that the heart of a great university lies in the academic excellence of its students and staff and their ability to explore and debate new ideas. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the King’s community to further enhance King’s role and influence, locally, nationally and globally.”

Lord Geidt stated: “The decision of Council and the Selection Panel to appoint Professor Kapur was unanimous. An international and strategic leader, Professor Kapur is already an architect of world-class education and research, who strongly shares the ethos of service to society that is central to King’s Vision. His ability to engage through leadership has enabled him to build diverse and inclusive teams that exemplify the university’s strategy and deliver excellence.”

In reflection on Professor Byrne’s tenure in the position, Geidt cited his “exemplary stewardship” of King’s throughout several projects, stating: “King’s now has greater global links as well as partnerships within London, which is down to his work especially through industry and business”. Professor Byrne also commented on his successor’s appointment, saying he will be “fantastic in the role” and “will be a great leader for the university”, wishing him all the best.

Professor Byrne is set to step down in January 2021, with Professor Evelyn Welch serving as Interim President and Principal at King’s until Professor Kapur’s arrival in June.

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