Immediate release all media
It was announced today in Lilongwe that Dr Robert Ridley has been appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor at Unicaf University Malawi. Dr Ridley’s multi-faceted career spans the sectors of academia, industry, international public health and diplomacy.
He has served as Vice-Chancellor at Mzuzu University in Malawi from March 2013 to July 2017. He was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Malawi.
His academic expertise covers malaria drug and vaccine research, public health, public private partnerships and innovation. He has authored over 100 scientific publications and has generated several patents. Following an honours degree at Cambridge University and a Doctorate degree at Wolverhampton in England, Dr Ridley held academic positions at Chancellor College at the University of Malawi, McMaster University in Canada and Edinburgh University in Scotland between the years 1980 to 1992.
From 1992 to 1998 he was a Vice-Director at F. Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical company in Switzerland, heading their malaria drug discovery programme. In 1999 he was instrumental in establishing the Medicines for Malaria Venture, an international public private partnership, linking university academics to pharmaceutical companies through the provision of research grants for the discovery and development of antimalarial drugs. He served there as Acting Chief Executive Officer and as Chief Scientific Officer.
In 2002 he joined the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) at the World Health Organization in Geneva, where he was Director from 2004 to 2011. The work of the Special Programme focuses on the provision of research grants and capacity building in developing countries at the interface of university research, evidence, policy and implementation.
Speaking about his new appointment Dr Ridley stated: “I look forward to working with Unicaf University to help strengthen the sustainable development of Malawi through quality higher education”.