IBMS CEO David Wells awarded Honorary Doctorate
Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) honoured David Wells for his work expanding the Track & Trace programme as Head of Pathology for the NHS during the height of COVID-19. The Honorary Doctorate of Science was awarded to David on Wednesday 13 October, 2021.
Professor Roderick Watkins, who presented David with his degree, commented:
David’s courage and tenacity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have been exemplary and he is a fine example of a very successful ARU alumnus. His outstanding contribution to the NHS and rising star status represent aspiration and inspiration to us all, particularly in the fields of medicine and biomedical sciences.
David also offered some words of advice to graduating students.
Today @DavidRWells, Chief Executive of @IBMScience and #ARUAlumni, will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Science. As former Head of Pathology for @NHSuk David was a key figure in the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.— ARU (@AngliaRuskin) October 13, 2021
He has a message for our graduands. #ARUGrad pic.twitter.com/CPorm72y4b
Statement from Anglia Ruskin University:
David Wells, a scientist who was instrumental in helping the NHS expand its testing capacity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, received the award of Honorary Doctor of Science from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) Vice Chancellor, Professor Roderick Watkins, during a graduation ceremony at Chelmsford Cathedral yesterday.
As chief executive of Institute of Biomedical Science and former Head of Pathology NHS England, David Wells has been at the forefront of the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
David completed both his BSc Biomedical Science in 1998 and MSc Biomedical Science in 2005 with ARU.
During the height of the pandemic last year, David became the UK government’s subject matter expert for pathology. For several months, he has been providing expert scientific input to government ministers, as well as NHS England executives and chief executives. His reach extends to the sharp end of the testing programme, liaising with laboratory managers and staff to help expand the NHS testing capacity from 2,000 tests per day in early March 2020 to 25,000 tests every day by the end of the following month. He then facilitated the delivery of the Ministerial commitment of 100,000 PCR tests per day.
He was instrumental in introducing molecular technologies to NHS laboratories who had never delivered this type of testing to the scale required. His success prepared him well for the next stage of the testing strategy - antibody testing. Working to extraordinarily tight deadlines, David was able to mobilise the team nationwide to roll out a system that delivered a service capable of delivering 120,000 tests per day within two weeks of the assays being available.
In addition to being named an Honorary Doctorate by ARU, last week David also received an Honorary Fellowship Award from the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath).
IBMS Chief Executive David Wells with Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty receiving Honorary Fellowship Awards from the Royal College of Pathologists.