George Alberti

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George Alberti, Professor Sir George Alberti (Kurt George Matthew Mayer Alberti, born 27 September 1937), is a medical doctor and researcher. He is “internationally recognized for his work in the field of diabetes research” and has published over 1000 articles on diabetes and metabolism. [1] He received a knighthood in 2000 for services to diabetic medicine. His current position is chair of King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust, which he took up in December 2011. Prior to this he had been a non-executive director of the Trust. He was also Chair of Diabetes UK, the leading Diabetes charity, from February 2009 to until 1 January 2013, prior to this he had been a Vice-President of the organization since 1999, and returned to the position of Vice-President in 2013. [2] He was formerly a Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College London and Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle. Professor Alberti has held several influential positions including President of the Royal College of Physicians London and Clinical Adviser on Service Transformation for NHS London, both positions involved close contact with government to advise on health and patient care policy.

Influential position

As president of the Royal College of Physicians from 1998-2002 Professor Alberti was part of an elite group of doctors called the “Top Nine”. [3] A collective of the “leading members” of the medical profession, the group was first established by Virginia Bottomley, as Secretary of State for Health under John Major’s Conservative government, to advise government on health matters. One former member described lobbying government ministers through informal dinners as well as more formal professional meetings. [3] Professor Alberti has described the medical Royal Colleges as “not particularly powerful but they do have quite a lot of influence.” [4] He had previously suggested merging medical training into fewer “super-colleges.” [4]

When Alberti was appointed National Clinical Director for Emergency Access by Health Secretary Alan Milburn in 2002 the Health Service Journal described him as the “latest czar” with a reputation as a “trusted ministerial advisor and fixer.” [4] The role was created to oversee “action on reforming and improving access for patients to the emergency care system across the country” and advise on implementation of the government’s 10 year strategy on reforming emergency health services. [5] It was one of three roles created under New Labour to prioritise the areas of cancer, heart disease and emergency care and direct national policy in these areas.

Alberti and the Science Media Centre

Professor Alberti was a member of the Science Media Centre Advisory board from 2002-2012. During this time Imperial College London, where Alberti was a member of staff, provided funding to the SMC.

Business interests

Dia B Tech and diabetes

Alberti was a non-executive director of an Australian diabetes treatment development company Dia-B Tech from August 2004 to February 2009. In December 2004 Dia B Tech launched shares onto the stock market to raise capital to fund research projects into diabetes prevention and treatment. [6]

Also on the board were former Australian Federal Health Minister Dr Michael Wooldridge as Chairman and his former departmental chief of staff, Ken Smith. Professor Paul Zimmet, leading Australian diabetes expert, and Director Emeritus of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in 2013, headed up two of the research projects. Wooldridge was quoted in the media as saying: "The interest in our IPO is an endorsement from the marketplace that our purpose of targeting this worldwide epidemic in diabetes has enormous market potential and Dia-B will play an exciting and significant role in diabetes research." [6] The company held patents, provisional patents and intellectual property in three areas of Diabetes treatment and had three products in development in 2007. [7]

The company was renamed Pallane Medical Ltd in 2009 and in February 2009 Alberti resigned as a director. He was listed as earning (Aus)$40,000 in 2008 for his directorship. [8] Alberti appears to have stayed on with Pallane in a remunerated position as a member of the “scientific advisory panel”. [9] In 2011 the company made a statement that “it would not be renegotiating employment contracts with members of its scientific team,” listed as Professor Sir George Alberti, Professor Paul Zimmet, Professor Mark Cooper, Professor Frank Ng. Instead attempts would be made to negotiate “consultancy arrangements” with the scientific team. In August 2011 the company was delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange. [10]

Professor Zimmet and Professor Alberti have collaborated on international diabetes work since 1998 co-chairing a WHO consultation and convening the IDF Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention of Diabetes in 2005. [11]

Professor Zimmet holds an annual fundraising gala dinner for Diabetes research. In August 2004, the same year Dr Woolridge, and Professors Zimmet and Alberti joined Dia- Tech B, the event was held in honour of Dr Wooldridge for his “public service and contribution” as the Federal Minister of Health from 1996 to 2001. Alberti and his spouse were also in attendance. [12]

Dr Foster

In 2001 Professor Alberti was a member of the ethics committee of a corporation called Dr Foster. Dr Foster was set up in 2000 by a group of journalists to provide information on standards and services between NHS hospitals. It charged for data and the company caused some controversy at the time regarding the quality and reliability of the information first produced in a guide called The Good Hospital Guide which was published in the Sunday Times in February 2001. One of Dr Foster’s co-founders was a former news editor with the Sunday Times. One major criticism was the linking of mortality rates to doctor-bed ratio, which did not take account of the health service being provided or accidents etc. Another criticism was that in being tasked with collating the data, NHS staff had been burdened “to give this private outfit a fat profit”. [13] The company had also claimed that 'the Department of Health supports this project at ministerial level' and had told regional offices to encourage NHS trusts to co-operate with the survey, which the Department of Health would not confirm when asked. [13] Alberti was registered as a director of Dr Foster Ethics Committee Limited (named Dr Foster Committee Limited in 2001), which is registered as a separate company to Dr Foster Limited, between 28 September 2000 and 5 April 2001. [14] He wrote an article in The Sunday Times promoting the guide as welcome for both the public and health professionals

“This guide will also prompt questions and publicise unacceptable facilities and performance. In many cases this will be welcomed, not opposed by the profession. A deficit may be due to poor facilities or understaffing or inappropriate equipment rather than incompetence. Public action can stimulate the provision of the right numbers of doctors or improved accommodation.

Sometimes it will be a question of poor organisation or poor performance and the knowledge that this information is now in the public domain will stimulate action by management and professionals alike. [15]

Dr Foster also produced a book, in conjunction with The Sunday Times called the Good Hospital Guide in 2001, for which Alberti wrote the preface.


  • 1965-1966 House Officer, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford
  • 1966-1969 Research Fellow in Medicine, Harvard University Medical School and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Endocrine-Metabolic Unit, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • 1969-1972 Lecturer in Physiology, Oriel College, Oxford
  • 1969-1973 Research Officer, Oxford University in Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford; Hon. Registrar in Medicine
  • 1973-1978 Professor of Chemical Pathology and Human Metabolism, Southampton University
  • 1978-1985 Honorary Consultant in Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 1981 Jan-April Visiting Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
  • 1985-2002 Professor of Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 1992-1995 Director of Research & Development, Northern & Yorkshire Regional Health Authority
  • 1995- July 1997 Dean of Medicine, University of Newcastle
  • 1997-2002 President of The Royal College of Physicians of London
  • 1999-2002 Professor of Metabolic Medicine, Imperial College [16]
  • 2002-2009 National Clinical Director for Emergency Access, Department of Health
  • Mar-April 2009 Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust: A review of the procedures for emergency admissions and treatment, and progress against the recommendation of the March Healthcare Commission report [17]
  • 2010 Clinical Adviser on Service Transformation for NHS London
  • 2010 Chair of Government Taskforce looking at NHS response to VAWG (Violence against women and girls)
  • 2011-present Chair of King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust (previously non-executive director for 7 months prior to appointment as Chair)

Affiliations, Awards and Grants


  • 1988-1994 Vice-President of International Diabetes Federation
  • 1997-2000 President-elect of International Diabetes Federation
  • 2000-2003 President of International Diabetes Federation
  • 2009-2013 Chair of Diabetes UK (Vice-President from 2013)
  • 1992-1995 Chair of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes
  • 1979 - World Health Organisation member of Expert Advisory Panel on Chronic Diseases. Co-Director of a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Development for many years
  • 2008 Congress member - The 1st World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes (comprehensive and multidisciplinary forum where leaders in the global health community will conduct an organized review and discussion of the latest scientific data and theories on the use of bariatric surgery for the treatment of type 2 diabetes).
  • 2009 Panel member - Associate Parliamentary Advisory board of Policy Connect think tank [18]
  • 2012 Member of International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention


  • 2002: Novartis Pharma long-standing achievement award for a clinical investigator in recognition of “exceptional and sustained achievements in clinical research, education, and clinical practice.” Prize of $25,000. [19]

Major Grants


  • 1976-1996 BDA (British Diabetes Association, now Diabetes UK) Research Group Grant
  • 1992-2000 MRC Special Project (Diabetes) Grant, £656,000
  • 1990-1999 DfID, Adult Mortality and Morbidity Project (Tanzania), £1.9 million
  • 1999-2004 DfID, Adult Morbidity and Mortality Project Phase 2, £5.8 million
  • 1995-2001 DfID, Health in the Next Millennium, £1.8 million
  • 1997-2000 Wellcome Trust, 1000 Families Study, £270,000
  • 1999-2003 Wellcome Trust, Migration Studies in Tanzania, £350,000
  • 1999-2002 EU, Action on NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa, £300,000


  1. Sir George Alberti named as next chair of King’s College Hospital Health Service Journal, 11 May 2011, accessed 28 August 2013
  2. New Diabetes UK chair announced Diabetes UK, accessed 28 August 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Horton How doctors have betrayed us all The Independent, 14 June 1998, accessed 28 August 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Alberti is latest in czar line up Health Service Journal, 19 September 2002, accessed 28 August 2013
  5. Sir George Alberti appointed National Clinical Director for Emergency Access Department of Health press release, 10 September 2002, accessed 29 September 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dia-B attracts strong interest in IPO AAP Newsfeed, 13 December 2004, accessed 28 August 2013
  7. David Langsam Marc Sinatra’s Bioguide: Dr Michael Woolridge's DIA-B TECH Biotech Daily (Australia), 3 May 2007, accessed 28 August 2013
  8. Company financial report for year ending 30 June 2009 Dia-B Tech, accessed 28 August 2013
  9. Letter from Peter Joseph Stafford (chief executive of Pallane) to shareholders 23 February 2011, accessed 29 September 2013
  10. Pallane Medical Limited Delisted Australia, accessed 28 August 2013
  11. Paul Zimmet discusses the evolution of metabolic syndrome Sciencewatch, September 2011, accessed 28 August 2013
  12. Lillian Frank Healthy fundraiser Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), 7 August 2004, accessed 28 August 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 Laura Donnelly Experts query hospital ranking data Health Service Journal, 18 January 2001, accessed 28 August 2013
  14. Dr Foster Ethics Committee: company directors and board members UK companies list, accessed 29 September 2013
  15. George Alberti The right to challenge that doctor knows best Sunday Times, 14 January 2001, accessed 29 September 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 Curriculum vitae George Alberti Insulin Resistance US, accessed 28 August 2013
  17. Report Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, accessed 28 August 2013
  18. Associate Parliamentary Health Group – Professor Sir George Alberti Policy Connect, accessed 28 August 2013
  19. [1] Drugs Information Online, June 2002, accessed 28 August 2013