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KHPeople: Prof David Taylor

The head of KHP’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Academic Group discusses the unique training of pharmacists, the importance of working with like-minded people, and to always be ambitious.

What’s your role at King’s Health Partners (KHP)?  

Prof David TaylorI am head of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Academic Group (CAG), Director of Pharmacy and Pathology at South London and Maudsley NHS FT and Professor of Psychopharmacology at King’s College London. I organise the activities of the CAG and help promote working between KHP partners.

At South London and Maudsley NHS FT I am in charge of two key clinical service departments. I am also heavily involved in research and supervise four or five PhDs at King’s College London at any one time. I do a fair amount of teaching on various King’s College London courses. 

What inspired you to get into this work?  

Pharmacists have a unique training (in pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics and therapeutics) which is somewhat underutilised. The sciences that support pharmacy such as chemistry, genetics and psychology are key aspects of medicine in general.

KHP is, we think, the only academic health science centre in the world to have a dedicated pharmaceutical science division. My inspiration was to recognise the opportunity to bring together the clinical and research aspects of pharmaceutical science and to better embed pharmaceutical science into KHP’s medical specialties.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Working with like-minded and dedicated people. The intellectual challenge comes a close second.

What are the benefits of working in partnership?

The major benefit is the pooling of expertise in teaching, practice and research. This means we can have the best people teaching and training. It means practice is informed and changed by research. And it means research opportunities are broader and that our research has direct clinical application.  

There are many examples of where partnership has made a difference. Our undergraduate clinical teaching is largely done by practising clinical pharmacists – people on the ground with up-to-date knowledge of therapeutics. The research we do in our NHS partners has improved in quality, scope and impact. 

Much of our research has had a near immediate impact of service provision. A good example here would be the development and testing of point-of-care capillary blood devices for clozapine plasma levels and full blood counts and their employment in practice within a few months. 

What would be your career top tip?  

Do something you are interested in – you are going to be doing it for a long time. Be ambitious: aim to make your career more interesting.

Click here to find out how our Clinical Academic Groups bring experts in their field together to offer patients the very best care and treatment.