Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Ashraf Patel MBE, for the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences.
Ashraf Patel is an internationally renowned surgeon who is pioneering innovative new approaches in the management of patients with breast cancer.
Born in India, Ashraf was a diligent and talented student, winning a place to study medicine at the renowned Grant Medical College in Mumbai. And after graduating, he went on to complete his surgical training at Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital.
In 1993, Ashraf came to the UK and made his home in Essex, working at St Margaret’s Hospital, Epping and The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.
In 1997, Ashraf became involved in breast cancer clinical research. And over the next two and a half decades, he was to play a key role - predominantly as Principal Investigator - in a great many clinical trials for innovative breast cancer therapies.
Ashraf has also been a strong proponent of community-based care, and has been instrumental in developing new programmes to enhance the experience of patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. These include:
The Fabulous and Beautiful programme for patients currently receiving treatment.
The Moving On programme – a six-week course for patients recovering post treatment.
And the Back to Fitness programme to promote the benefits of exercise in reducing recurrence of breast cancer.
In recent years, fundraising has been an increasingly important part of Ashraf’s work. And in collaboration with partner charities, patients and their families and friends, he has helped to raise £5.2 million for The Princess Alexandra Hospital Charity – making it possible to procure much-needed equipment, provide enhanced patient care and carry out vital clinical trials.
In 2021, Ashraf’s remarkable achievements were formally recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, when he was awarded an MBE for services to funding and research for breast cancer.
For the past three decades, Ashraf has served his local community with a unique blend of expertise, integrity and dedication. And in his current role as Associate Specialist in breast surgery at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, I am pleased to say his good work continues.
Ashraf’s passion to provide outstanding patient care is inspirational, as is his commitment to extending the boundaries of clinical practice in order to improve the lives of breast cancer patients.
A prolific researcher and philanthropist, and a surgeon of international repute, he will be a powerful role model for all our medical students. We are delighted to welcome Mr Ashraf Patel MBE to our Anglia Ruskin community.