Women to lead half of Faculty of Medicine departments from August 2019


International Women's Day 2019

Four of the Faculty of Medicine's eight departments will be led by women from August 1 – on International Women's Day we celebrate these leaders.

From 1 August the Faculty of Medicine will be made up of eight departments that will have been reorganised from the five that currently constitute it. This is an integral part of the vision for the Faculty, directed by the Dean, Professor Jonathan Weber.­­­­

This vision is to develop the Faculty to be responsive to new scientific, teaching and collaborative opportunities, achieved through having a larger number of smaller and more thematic departments, shaped by underpinning science and clinical alignment.

On International Women’s Day – the theme of which is ‘Balance for Better’ this year – we want to celebrate that from this date, half of the Heads of Department in Medicine will be women.

Professor Deborah Ashby

Professor Deborah AshbyProfessor Ashby was appointed Director of Imperial’s School of Public Health in July 2018, having joined the College in 2008. Her research focuses on clinical trials, risk -benefit decision making for medicines, and the utility of Bayesian approaches in these areas. She was also founding Co-Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit.

Professor Ashby was awarded an OBE for services to medicine in 2009 and was appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2010. She was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2012 and is President of the Royal Statistical Society.

Professor Wendy Barclay

Professor Wendy BarclayFrom 1 August, Professor Barclay, currently Action Medical Research Chair in Virology, will be Head of the new Department of Infectious Diseases*. Her expertise is in the field of respiratory viruses, in particular the influenza virus.

Her studies aim to understand the molecular and cellular basis of the development of disease, host range restrictions and transmissibility of influenza viruses. She was recently part of an Imperial contingent that presented ideas on preventing outbreaks to global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Professor Barclay is a member of The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) – an advisory group to the Department of Health, and has was winner of the 2016 Peter Wildy Prize Lecture, awarded by the Microbiology Society for outstanding contribution to science communication.

Professor Marina Botto

Professor Marina BottoProfessor of Rheumatology, Marina Botto, will be Head of the new Department of Immunology and Inflammation*. She is also Director of Bioservices at Imperial.

The focus of her research is to understand how the immune system contributes to the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune condition that affects mainly women. Her laboratory is particularly interested in exploring the consequences of inherited complement deficiencies and the roles that the complement system plays in the break of tolerance.

Professor Botto is a Consultant Rheumatologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009.

Professor Dame Amanda Fisher

Professor Dame Amanda FisherProfessor Fisher is Head of the Institute of Clinical Sciences and Director of the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, which is hosted at Imperial. She is known for her pioneering work within the fields of lymphocyte development, embryonic stem cells, epigenetic gene regulation, and HIV pathogenesis, including describing the first active clones of HIV and discovering the functions of several HIV genes.

Professor Fisher is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences and has previously won a Helmholtz International Fellow Award, an EMBO Gold Medal and was named Women of Outstanding Achievement in SET (Science, Engineering Technology) in 2010.

A new departmental structure in the Faculty of Medicine

The full list of departments and Heads of Department, as of 1 August 2019, is:

  • Institute of Clinical Sciences – led by Professor Dame Amanda Fisher
  • National Heart and Lung Institute – led by Professor Edwin Chilvers
  • School of Public Health – led by Professor Deborah Ashby
  • Department of Surgery and Cancer – led by Professor George Hanna
  • Department of Brain Sciences* – to be led by Professor Paul Matthews
  • Department of Immunology and Inflammation* – to be led by Professor Marina Botto
  • Department of Infectious Diseases*– to be led by Professor Wendy Barclay
  • Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction* – to be led by Professor Mark Thursz

*The formal titles of the four new departments remain to be finalised and will be confirmed in the coming months, as part of preparation for the launch of the new structure.


Mr Al McCartney

Mr Al McCartney
Faculty of Medicine Centre

Click to expand or contract

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 2961
Email: a.mccartney@imperial.ac.uk

Show all stories by this author

Leave a comment

Your comment may be published, displaying your name as you provide it, unless you request otherwise. Your contact details will never be published.