Professor Sir Pete Downes
Manchester born Pete is well known in the fields of commercial pharmaceuticals having worked for GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca. In his academic life he has spent periods at Birmingham, Cambridge and Dundee Universities. Eventually settling in Dundee Pete is now Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee.
We've brought millions of pounds of funding to Dundee to ensure we have internationally competitive research. We've now reached the stage where we have contributed to some of the most important research in understanding human cancer. The majority of pharmaceutical companies in the world are now using the fruits of our research to develop anti-cancer treatments.
I've always thought the physical location of Dundee is absolutely stunning. We've been able to bring up our family here with good schools in the region. Even though my wife and I both have busy professional lives, we've both been able to pursue our interests here.
There is a great sense of pride in the University. There is often this ‘town and gown' divide but that's where Dundee bucks the trend. It's vitally important that we share responsibility for the city in order to help overcome some of its problems.
Dundee needs to regenerate and provide amenities in the city that people are proud of. It's critical that we don't lose sight of the fact we need to attract people who want to come to the city to live their professional lives, not just visitors who will come and visit and leave again. What attracts people is cities which can offer the things they want to have in their lifestyle.
I think that we have the foundations to go from strength to strength. We need to ensure that our leading position in biosciences is maintained but we also need to develop the new components of our economic development in order to regenerate. I think the creative industries is one of the most important parts of that - that's why V&A Museum of Design Dundee is so important. The computer and gaming industry plays a big part of that too. The number of companies that have set up here over the last few years is marvellous. A third area where Dundee can be very successful, because of its geographical location, is the offshore wind industry. These are all areas where the university can align its research and teaching to fit with the needs of the city as it develops.