A graphic featuring photos of Professor Olek Zienkiewicz and Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham OM KBE PC FRS.

Swansea University's annual Zienkiewicz Lecture will be delivered later this month, with distinguished guest speaker Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham OM KBE PC FRS, Co-Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.

Hosted by the Faculty of Science and Engineering on Wednesday 22 November, Professor Darzi will deliver a lecture titled ‘Health Care Transformation through Science and Technology’.

A formal dinner at the National Waterfront Museum, the free event will also be live-streamed, giving sixth-formers, university students, and the public a unique opportunity to listen to a speaker closely engaged with industry, government and academia.

Professor Perumal Nithiarasu, Associate Dean of Research, Innovation and Impact within the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Chair of the Zienkiewicz Lecture Committee, said: "Now in its seventh year, the Zienkiewicz Lecture is a fantastic opportunity to welcome respected researchers and influencers in multidisciplinary science and engineering, presenting their views on the sector's ever-growing importance in tackling extreme worldwide challenges.

“One of the most timely of challenges we face is the current state of health care, and we are honoured to be joined by Professor Darzi, who will explain how a shift toward pre-emption and early identification of at-risk patient groups could help mitigate many components of our current health burden.”

Professor Darzi, who holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery, added: “This shift can re-direct our health efforts towards those of higher quality and safety through next-generation technological tools that range from digital sensors and interventions, AI-enabled decision-support and precision targeting in the climate of genetic and epigenetic sequencing and modification.”

Professor Paul Boyle, Swansea University Vice-Chancellor, said: “We are delighted that Professor Darzi will join an illustrious list of former guest speakers in delivering this year’s Zienkiewicz Lecture.

“At Swansea University, we are committed to using our internationally recognised strengths in research and innovation to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. We therefore very much look forward to hearing from Professor Darzi on the potential for innovations in science and technology to address current challenges related to healthcare provision, both in the UK and beyond.”

On being invited to deliver this year’s Zienkiewicz Lecture, Professor Darzi said: "It is a great honour to follow in such illustrious company as those who have previously delivered this prestigious lecture, and especially at the current time, where there is an increasing global focus on AI and associated technologies, and their widespread potential for transformation in nearly every aspect of our economy and society, not least in health care.”

A Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College NHS Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Darzi is also Chair of the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative, Course Director of the NHS Digital Health Leadership Programme and Chair for the Pre-emptive Medicine and Health Security Initiative at Flagship Pioneering UK.

In 2002, Professor Darzi was knighted for his services to medicine and surgery, and in 2007, he was introduced as Lord Darzi of Denham to the UK’s House of Lords as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health.

A member of His Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council since 2009, Professor Darzi was awarded the Order of Merit in 2016.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Watch the 2023 Zienkiewicz Lecture live on Wednesday 22 November, at 6 pm.

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