BAT names Senthil Vel as new chief medical officer

BAT has appointed Dr. Senthil Vel, MBBS MBA MFPM FFPM, as its new chief medical officer.

Dr Vel will play a central role in BAT’s extensive research and development programmes, which supports the company’s commitment to reducing the health impact of its business by offering consumers a range of alternative reduced risk*† tobacco and nicotine products.

Based at the BAT’s research & development hub in Southampton, Dr Vel will be responsible for overall medical governance, ensuring robust medical processes and best practice are applied to all aspects of BAT’s work.  He will help deliver robust evidence-generation programmes designed to provide further scientific evidence that supports BAT’s new categories products.

Dr. David O’Reilly, director, scientific research at BAT, said: “Sen is a highly experienced, much admired physician, with a proven track record of positively impacting national and global health policy, making him a natural addition to our leadership team. BAT has made significant progress over recent years to advance our commitment to tobacco harm reduction and deliver our purpose of building A Better Tomorrow. Sen’s experience will build on, and help accelerate, that progress.”

Dr Vel brings more than two decades of international medical, pharmaceutical and device experience to BAT. Most recently, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Bio Products Laboratory. He has led large medical teams across EMEA, APAC, and the US, working for large and mid-sized pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Boston Scientific and Novo Nordisk, in clinical research, regulatory, safety, and medical affairs.

His experience includes designing non-clinical and clinical strategies to meet the regulatory requirements of the FDA, EMA, MHRA, and other major agencies worldwide. He has extensive experience in non-clinical and Phase I to Phase IV clinical studies including health outcomes programmes for pharmaceuticals and devices. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Physicians, the medical body for advancing the science and practice of pharmaceutical medicine for the benefit of the public.


Dr Vel qualified in medicine and trained in surgery under the Royal College of Surgeons of England and holds specialist registration in pharmaceutical medicine. He holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.