Tribute to Late Chair 2021

Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, Inaugural Advisory Board Chairman of the Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE), passed away peacefully on 12 December 2019 at the age of 82.

The Advisory Board members and the CoRE team owe the late Sir Alasdair a tremendous debt of gratitude for his unparalleled leadership and guidance. From the outset, Sir Alasdair developed a vision that defines the unique position of CoRE as an influential contributor to regulatory thought leadership and capacity building in Asia-Pacific, and increasingly at a global level. During his tenure, Sir Alasdair played a key role in the formation and implementation of the strategic objectives for CoRE, which has allowed the centre to successfully grow and serve more than 2,500 people from over 20 countries. His invaluable encouragement and advocacy led to an enterprising and innovative culture within the Centre, which laid a strong foundation for its continuing growth.


“I would like to specially acknowledge the immense contributions of Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, inaugural Chairman of CoRE’s Advisory Board, whose leadership and guidance have been so central in bringing CoRE to where it is today.”

– Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, Singapore at CoRE’s 5th Anniversary Dinner, 2 Oct 2019


Sir Alasdair was a highly respected and globally acclaimed clinical pharmacologist, international scientist, and visionary regulatory professional over many decades. Well-recognised for his tireless dedication towards health care, patients, and populations, Sir Alasdair served on numerous national and international committees and organisations. 

Notably, he was actively engaged with the administration of the UK National Health Service and was highly regarded for his commitment as Chairman of the UK Medicines & Health products Regulatory Agency. Prior to this, he was the inaugural Chair of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, an institution he continued to maintain close academic ties with, and was Foreign Secretary at the British Pharmacological Society. His research contributions were extensive, with many publications in prestigious journals including The Lancet, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, and the British Medical Journal. Recognised for his significant contribution to UK academic medicine, Sir Alasdair was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1995 Birthday Honours for services to medicine and to health care, and knighted in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to medicine.

Sir Alasdair’s national involvement extended into a number of international interests where for many years he served on several official committees of the World Health Organization in addition to being closely involved with the International Union of Pharmacology where he served as a counselor. In addition, he was involved with the organization of a number of International Congresses in Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, including the first World Congress of Clinical Pharmacology. His global contributions were well recognised by the international fraternity through the award of international prizes such as the Paul Martini Prize in Clinical Pharmacology, and the Poulson Medal of the Norwegian Pharmacological Society.

There is much to celebrate about Sir Alasdair’s illustrious career and extraordinary achievements and he will be remembered by all whose lives he touched.