Medicine alumnus and physician, Professor Peter Kopelman, led a long and distinguished career which included working as Principal at St George’s from 2008-2015 following an appointment as Vice-Principal of Queen Mary, University of London. He later spent a year as Vice Chancellor of the University of London from 2018-19. Professor Kopelman was an outstanding supporter of St George’s for many years, receiving an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 2017.
Professor Kopelman had a long-standing interest in diabetes care and initiated a district-wide scheme for integrated care in East London. He was active in health policy, medical education and research, and was chair or deputy chair of several national university committees as well as a member of NHS national policy and workforce committees.
Professor Kopelman’s major research interest was in the field of obesity, in particular endocrine aspects and possible genetic determinants. He was also interested in the pathophysiology of associated complications and their management.
Professor Kopelman chaired the Clinical Examining Board of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty and Education Board and Health Education England’s Oversight Board for Medical Associate Practitioners.
Professor Kopelman was also a member of the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on physical activity, and as a member of the Royal College of Physicians Committee he chaired their Working Party on the management of obesity with particular reference to drug therapy. He also chaired the college’s Working Party on nutritional care of patients that resulted in the publication of a report entitled 'Nutrition and Patients – a Doctor’s Responsibility'.
He was a former chairman of the Association for the Study of Obesity, as well as acting as President of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, a Trustee of the International Association for the Study of Obesity and a member of the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.