April 18, 2016

Dr. Dennis Gillings

Dr. Dennis Gillings

Dennis Gillings, PhD, CBE, will present the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s commencement address on Saturday, May 7 at 1 p.m. in Carmichael Arena.

A visionary in the contract research organization industry, Gillings is co-founder and former executive chair of Quintiles Transnational, the world’s largest biopharmaceutical services company. Prior to founding Quintiles, he was a UNC biostatistics faculty member for more than 15 years.

In 2008, with Joan Gillings, he endowed UNC’s public health school with a $50 million gift, which resulted in the school’s renaming.

Among many honors he has received, Gillings was awarded the Commander of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2004 for services to the pharmaceutical industry. In 2012, he received the SCRIP Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions.

In 2014, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Gillings World Dementia Envoy. In this capacity, he chaired the World Dementia Council, an organization that seeks to stimulate innovation to treat cognitive decline, and worked with governments to address economic, regulatory and social barriers to innovation in dementia prevention, treatment and care.

Gillings has served on several other boards and councils, including the International Advisory Council to Singapore and the International Advisory Board for the Scottish Enterprise. He was founding chair of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations, a Washington-based trade group formed in 2002.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, with first-class honors, from the University of Exeter, a diploma in mathematical statistics from Cambridge University and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Exeter. He has received several honorary degrees, including from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Gillings and his wife, Mireille Gillings, PhD, executive chair and founder of HUYA Bioscience International, continue to be involved in philanthropic activities through the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation.

More than 460 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in public health will be awarded degrees at the spring 2016 Gillings School commencement ceremony.



Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu

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