2021 Sir Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture (Hybrid Event): Science, Innovation and Society

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Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge was a highly respected and globally acclaimed clinical pharmacologist, international scientist, and visionary regulatory professional during his lifetime. He was associated with many scientific, academic and policy achievements around the world, and one of these was his close association with Singapore and the Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE) at the Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School (Duke-NUS).

Professor Sir Alasdair’s unparalleled leadership and guidance as the inaugural Chairman from 2014 to 2019 contributed in a significant way to establishing CoRE’s unique position as an influential contributor to regulatory thought leadership and capacity building in the Asia-Pacific, and increasingly at a global level. His invaluable encouragement and advocacy helped nurture an enterprising and innovative culture and has laid a strong foundation for its continuing growth to guide CoRE’s values and future development.

At numerous national and international committees and organisations, Sir Alasdair was well-recognised for his tireless dedication towards health care, patients and populations.

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.

On the international stage, Sir Alasdair 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 councillor. 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. As a leading champion of international regulatory collaboration and harmonisation to promote access to safe, effective and high quality health products, he was actively involved in the establishment of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities and chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science for many years. From this perspective, he enthusiastically supported the establishment of the Centre of Regulatory Excellence at Duke-NUS in 2014 to advance capacity building and thought leadership in health regulatory, policy and systems excellence in the Asia-Pacific and South-East Asia.

There is much to celebrate about Professor Sir Alasdair’s extraordinary achievements, work ethic, and vision, and the Centre wishes to honour his memory and continue his mission by launching the Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture Series.

To commemorate our late inaugural Chairman Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, the Centre will launch a named Sir Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture Series. This lecture series celebrates our inaugural Chairman’s illustrious career and legacy as a highly respected and globally recognised visionary regulatory professional.


This series will present and foster dialogue on issues, challenges and fast-evolving biomedical and regulatory trends, with a forward-looking perspective on the themes of improving health systems, enhancing biomedical innovation and promoting access to good, safe and effective health products.

The inaugural lecture will be presented by Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, on the topic of Science, Innovation and Society wherein he will use the example of COVID-19 to highlight the importance and inter-connectedness of these three themes.

In keeping with Sir Alasdair’s interest in promoting capacity building and professional excellence, the Lecture Series will be held in conjunction with a Graduation Ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the graduating cohort of the Graduate Certificate in Health Products Regulation, and affirm their commitment to pursuing regulatory excellence.

Through these initiatives, Sir Alasdair’s legacy will continue to make a lasting impact on future generations of regulatory science and health professionals, in and around the Asia-Pacific.

Registration is complimentary.

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SABLS invitation 2021_Hybrid 6Apr

Date and Time

08 Apr 2021 @ 19:30 - 08 Apr 2021 @ 21:00


Register now!



Prof Sir Jeremy Farrar

Wellcome Trust


Dr Margaret Hamburg

Chair, CoRE Advisory Board

21st Commissioner
U.S. Food And Drug Administration