Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam to become Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine & Health Sciences


January 13th, 2022

Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam will become the University of Nottingham’s next Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. He will take up the Executive Board-level role on his return to the University when he steps down as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) for Health Protection in England.

Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam said:

“My time as DCMO has been the most challenging of my professional career, especially the Covid response. We all wish Covid had never happened. Notwithstanding, it has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to have served the people of the UK during this time.

“I am delighted to become Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine & Health Sciences at Nottingham and am looking forward to returning to the University that has been part of my academic and professional life since 1987. It will be a pleasure to work with colleagues old and new throughout the Faculty and more widely.

“I want to pay tribute to Professor Sir Chris Whitty, the CMO team, my fellow scientists, public health professionals and clinicians whose support, wisdom and energy has been inspiring. There are countless numbers who work behind the scenes – all of whom have an unrelenting commitment to help and support the British public. It has been an honour to work with them all.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said:

“All of us at the University are incredibly proud of Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam’s work as Deputy Chief Medical Officer, in which he has played a major role in steering the nation through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am delighted that Jonathan is returning to Nottingham to join our executive team and lead our renowned Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences as its next Pro-Vice-Chancellor. His academic and leadership expertise is second to none, and the integrity that he has demonstrated in his government role is fully aligned to our values. I know that he will take our University’s reputation for excellence in medicine and health sciences to new heights.”

Professor Sir Chris Whitty said:

“Professor Van-Tam has been an outstanding DCMO and public servant. I am profoundly thankful for his steadfast support, advice, leadership and commitment. His communication of public health advice and science has been remarkable.”

A specialist in influenza, including its epidemiology, transmission, vaccinology and pandemic preparedness, Professor Van-Tam was Professor of Health Protection in the Faculty’s School of Medicine prior to his secondment as DCMO. He is also an alumnus of the University and graduated from the School of Medicine in 1987.

A familiar public face during the Covid-19 pandemic, he was one of four Deputy Chief Medical Officers (DCMO), where he has been a key provider of independent advice to the Government on Covid-19, leading on health protection and regularly presenting at Downing Street press conferences. He received a knighthood in the most recent New Year’s Honours for his services to public health.

As the DCMO for Health Protection, Professor Van-Tam has played important roles in a number of different incidents, including domestic outbreaks of MERS and Monkeypox, the 2017/18 influenza season and most notably the response to the Novichok attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic where he worked on the Vaccine Taskforce and supported the development of treatments.

The University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences consists of four Schools encompassing Medicine, Health Sciences, Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science. It educates more than 5,000 students and conducts world-leading translational, applied and clinical research with a focus on making a real-life impact to patients and the public. Last year it celebrated its 50th anniversary of teaching Medicine and 30th anniversary of teaching Nursing courses.

Professor Van-Tam will take up role on 1 May 2022, succeeding Professor John Atherton who retires as Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine & Health Sciences from the end of the Spring term following a 35-year career spanning clinical and academic practice – 26 of them teaching, leading and consulting at the University.

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