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British American Tobacco plc

09/18/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2020 04:49

BAT announces appointment of Dr Hutan Ashrafian as Chief Medical Officer

  • Appointment supports BAT's commitment to underpinning New Category products with world class science and reducing the health impact of its combustibles business.

BAT has appointed Dr Hutan Ashrafian as Chief Medical Officer, effective 14 September 2020.

In this role, Dr Ashrafian will be responsible for overall medical governance and ensuring robust medical processes and oversight are applied to all aspects of BAT's clinical studies and post-market surveillance.

BAT is committed to reducing the health impact of its business through offering a range of enjoyable and less risky products. Dr Ashrafian will play a key role in the ongoing development and expansion of BAT's multi-category approach, which offers consumers a wide range of potentially lower risk alternatives to cigarettes including e-cigarettes, tobacco heated products and modern oral nicotine pouches.

Specifically, he will provide medical oversight to both BAT's Human Research Committee and Product Stewardship Council. Dr Ashrafian will also play an important role in helping to define and generate evidence that supports and substantiates the tobacco harm reduction potential of BAT's new categories from a disease perspective.

Dr David O'Reilly, Director, Scientific Research, commented: 'We are delighted to have Hutan join BAT and become a member of the R&D leadership team. The Chief Medical Officer has always been a critical role at BAT as we strive to ensure all of the studies we undertake are of the highest standards from a quality and integrity perspective. His appointment will provide even greater confidence in our products for the science community and ultimately, consumers. It also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to delivering A Better Tomorrow by ensuring the quality and efficacy of our New Category products.'

Dr Ashrafian is a senior clinician-scientist and surgeon. His career has seen him lead large research and clinical teams, working at population and precision medicine levels, to achieve the highest quality real world evidence and translational healthcare. He has extensive experience in strategy and driving national and international health policy with cabinet-level politicians, civil servants, and heads of state.

He qualified in medicine at University College London where he was also awarded an honours degree in Immunology and Cell Pathology. His training in surgery also led to the award of the Arris & Gale lectureship at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He a holds a PhD in Computational Physiology and Metabolic Surgery from Imperial College London and a health economics-focused MBA with Distinction from Warwick Business School.

Prior to his appointment at BAT, Dr Ashrafian was simultaneously Chief Scientific Adviser at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London; an Honorary Senior Clinical Fellow in Surgery at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Academic Lead for the Big Data Analytical Unit, Imperial College London; Deputy Director (Academic Lead) for the NHS Digital Academy; Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Oxford Medical Products Ltd.

Dr Ashrafian's experience includes the application of biomedical and technological platforms to address a broad range of healthcare issues. These include the molecular biology of non-communicable diseases and cancer, digital health, behavioural interventions in new pathways of care and remote sensing technologies in the community and health centres, robotics and devices in surgery, computational modelling, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, big data analytics, population screening and diagnostics and bioinformatics. He has co-designed novel digital health tools and apps and has invented novel surgical approaches. His wide-ranging work has been published in a variety of leading journals including Nature, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.

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