London’s Mayor has been granted an Honorary Fellowship by St George’s, University of London for his support for healthcare and higher education in the capital.

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Born in St George’s Hospital which shares a site with the university, Sadiq Khan has kept close ties with the healthcare specialist university throughout his time as MP for Tooting and also as Mayor of London.
 
Sadiq has visited St George’s, both the university and hospital, many times over the years, including the opening of the hospital main entrance, the hospital’s new helipad, the Dragon children’s centre and children’s activity area. He was the 1,000th member of the St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and has also hosted regular community coffee mornings at the hospital.

He opened the university’s state-of-the-art paramedic science simulation centre two years ago which recreates environments such as a nightclub fire or roadside accident to familiarise students with the real life situations they will face.
 
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As someone who was born and grew up in Tooting, St George’s Hospital has always been a big part of my life. I was born there, as were both my daughters, and the level of care we've received has always been exemplary.
 
“It’s been a pleasure to see the university go from strength to strength, equipping students with the skills necessary to provide excellent care to thousands of people a year while also pioneering cutting-edge technology and developing innovative ways to tackle some of the world’s greatest health challenges.
 
“St George’s is at the forefront of medical research: from air pollution, to cancer, to cardiovascular diseases and much more. And over the past few months, we’ve seen doctors and nurses respond to some of the greatest tragedies to hit the capital in recent times. Every day, our healthcare workers respond to a wide range of incidents and provide support to countless numbers of Londoners.  
 
“It’s an immense privilege to receive this Honorary Fellowship today. I would like to thank St George’s for this honour and for all the vital work they do to skill up and train the doctors, nurses and biomedical scientists of tomorrow.”

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Professor Jenny Higham, Principal of St George’s, said: “Sadiq Khan has always been a strong advocate for the work we do in educating healthcare professionals and scientists. We are delighted to honour him for his tireless support and the impact he has made on our local community.
 
“We also commend his commitment to ensuring that London remains a city where all can prosper and fulfil their dreams.”
 
In the citation for the honour which was granted at a degree ceremony held at the Barbican, Professor Deborah Bowman, Vice Principal, (Institutional Affairs), said: “On each visit, Sadiq Khan has demonstrated why he is, as one of our students wrote last year “the main man”.
 
“His warmth, curiosity, support and interest in our work have been transformative”.

Other honorary Fellowships given at the ceremony held on July 20 were former members of staff:

•  Professor Peter Kopelman, former Principal of St George’s, University of London, who has made a distinguished contribution to research in the fields of obesity and diabetes.

•  Professor Sean Hilton. His career in healthcare began at St George’s where he trained as a doctor in 1974, returning in 1987 as a part-time Senior Lecturer. He went on to work in an array for roles at St George's including Professor and Head of the Department of General Practice and Primary Care, Dean of Undergraduate Education, Vice Principal (Teaching and Learning), before retiring in July 2012.

• Professor Nigel Brown. Professor Brown's early research included the first demonstration of the direct effect of alcohol on the developing embryo. His roles included Head of the Department of Anatomy, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Director of the Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education and finally Deputy Principal.