Close up of a technician’s hand in a latex glove working on a bacterial culture in a petri dish.
The Ineos Oxford Institute for antimicrobial research (IOI) is a world-leading centre of research, training, and education based at the University of Oxford. Image credit: Getty Images.

Sir Stewart Cole joins the Ineos Oxford Institute for antimicrobial research as Executive Chair

Sir Stewart Cole, KCMG, FRS has joined the Ineos Oxford Institute for antimicrobial research (IOI) as Executive Chair. The IOI is a world-leading centre of research, training, and education in the field of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) based at the University of Oxford. It was established thanks to an unprecedented £100 million gift from INEOS, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.  

A portrait photograph of Stewart Cole, a middle-aged man with short grey hair. He stands in front of an abstract background made of a repeating shape in different colours. Sir Stewart Cole
As Executive Chair, Professor Cole will provide strategic oversight to the Institute’s research and engagement activities, as the IOI strives to tackle one of the world’s biggest health challenges. In 2019, AMR – when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve to become resistant to medicines – is thought to have been directly responsible for 1.27 million global deaths and to have contributed to 4.95 million deaths.

Professor Cole is an internationally renowned scientist. He served as President of the Institut Pasteur in Paris from January 2018 to December 2023. Most recently he received the prestigious rank of Officier de la Légion d’honneur in France’s New Year honours.

In his role as Executive Chair, Professor Cole will work closely with the Institute’s senior leadership team and governing board to broaden engagement with other research organisations, the business sector, and policymakers.

Sir Stewart Cole, Executive Chair of the IOI said: ‘AMR is affecting all sections of society across the world from human and animal heath to food availability and economic stability. It is not a threat that can be solved in silos. Oxford is ideally positioned to tackle this challenge because of the breadth of expertise across the university and its longstanding partnerships across the world.’

As the IOI enters the third year since its establishment, Professor Cole will work with colleagues to develop key priorities for the Institute over the next three years.

The Ineos Oxford Institute brings together the power of research along with the expertise of industry to translate findings from our labs into real-world solutions. I look forward to working with and expanding the Oxford team as we tackle the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.


Sir Stewart Cole, Executive Chair of the IOI 

Professor Jim Naismith, Head of Oxford’s Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Sir Stewart Cole as the Executive Chair of the Ineos Oxford Institute for antimicrobial research. His internationally renowned expertise and leadership will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in advancing the Institute’s mission to combat antimicrobial resistance, a critical global health challenge. With his strategic oversight, we look forward to the continued success and impact of the IOI's research, training, and education initiatives in this crucial field.’

Before serving as President of the Institut Pasteur, Professor Cole was full Professor and Director of the Global Health Institute at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, where he is now Professor Emeritus.

He has been the recipient of many national and international prizes and distinctions. In 2009, he was awarded the World Health Organization’s prestigious Stop-TB Partnership Kochon Prize for his leadership and ground-breaking accomplishments in genetic research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and his contribution to novel therapeutic strategies for tackling Tuberculosis. He is the joint scientific leader of the European Regimen Accelerator for Tuberculosis (ERA4TB), a public-private partnership aimed at accelerating the development of new tuberculosis treatments with a budget of over €200 million.

Stewart Cole has also published more than 350 scientific papers on infectious diseases, most notably tuberculosis and leprosy.

You can find out more about the IOI on their website.