Professor Gillies honoured by University of Aberdeen

17 June 2016

The Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance and Professor Pamela Gillies. Photo: Kate Sutherland

The Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance and Professor Pamela Gillies. Photo: Kate Sutherland

Glasgow Caledonian University Principal Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, FRSE has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen Pro-Chancellor, The Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance conferred the Doctor of Science (DSc) upon Professor Gillies in a ceremony at Elphinstone Hall on Friday June 17.

It was a return to her alma mater for Professor Gillies, who completed a BSc in Physiology and a Master’s in Education and Philosophy before embarking on a career devoted to education and public health.

Professor Gillies, who has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Nottingham, has focused her work on the need for social action to address health inequalities.

This included working on the AIDS epidemic in the USA, Brazil, Zambia, South Africa and India, where she helped establish a school in Kolkata, recognising the local need for education for the children of sex workers.

She has worked for the World Health Organisation’s Global Programme on AIDS; as a Visiting Professor in Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and as the first Executive Director of Research at the Health Education Authority for England, assuming the post of GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor in 2006.

Professor Pamela Gillies said: “Aberdeen University gave me the precious gift of training me to think like a scientist. The award of the Honorary Doctorate is quite thrilling and recognises all those I have collaborated with over many years to promote public health.”

Professor Marion Campbell, Director of Research and Commercialisation at the University of Aberdeen’s College of Life Sciences and Medicine, said: “After graduating with two degrees from Aberdeen, Professor Gillies has gone on to become an internationally renowned academic and university leader, making major contributions in the field of public health; particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS, health inequalities and the potential for social action on health. We were delighted to invite her back to the University to celebrate her successes and to inspire our latest generation of health and medical graduates as they take the first steps in their own careers.”