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Straight talk with...Phil Willis

Nature Medicine volume 17, page 11 (2011) | Download Citation


When Phil Willis, a former school headmaster turned politician, landed a seat on the UK government's Science and Technology Committee in 2005, he found a way to make his mark as a nonscientist by obsessively asking for evidence from researchers. Now in the House of Lords, he continues to advise the government on biomedicine, among other topics. Willis recently found a new cause to champion as well, the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). The AMRC represents 124 UK nonprofits that collectively spend £1 billion ($1.6 billion) a year on biomedical research, around one third of the total amount of money put toward health research in the country. As Willis stepped into his role as chairman of the association in November, he spoke with Asher Mullard about his plans to drive the sector forward through tough economic times.

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