Faculty of Health and Life Sciences appoints four new Executive Deans

The University of Liverpool’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences has announced the appointment of four new Executive Deans as part of a major strategic realignment aimed at improving health outcomes throughout the Liverpool City Region and beyond.

The Executive Deans will play a crucial role in leading the development of the Faculty’s newly configured Institutes: Life Course and Medical Sciences; Ecology, Infection and Veterinary Sciences; Population Health; and Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology. Taking up the new positions of Executive Dean of Institute are Professors Peter Clegg, Iain Buchan, Matthew Baylis and Sonia Rocha.

Professor Louise Kenny, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences, said: “We are excited to take this first step on the journey to realising the new vision for the Faculty and delighted to welcome Peter, Iain, Matthew and Sonia as our new Executive Deans of Institute.

“As distinguished academics and highly regarded academic leaders with proven track records of working across disciplines, institutions and countries each of the appointees bring their own individual strengths and expertise to the new role of Executive Dean. They will provide the exceptional leadership required to build the vision within their respective Institutes whilst also supporting the University’s overarching Strategy 2026 ambitions.

“As key members of the team they each embody the cultural values that we are looking to embed in the Faculty, which will support its development and long term growth; building enduring links between academia and industry and bringing teaching and research together in a way that strengthens our impact on the health and wellbeing of our city, our country and our planet.”

The ‘Project SHAPE’ faculty realignment, announced by Professor Kenny in June this year, aims to deliver world-class, research-connected teaching and to deliver scientific research excellence with societal impact. It also aims to provide a platform for the University to engage in effective partnership working across the Liverpool City Region to improve health outcomes.

The four new Executive Deans will be working closely with the project team charged with delivering the strategic realignment of the Faculty as well as the current Deans of Institutes over the next few months, leading on the design of the new Institutes in readiness for the launch of the Faculty’s new structure in the new year.

Introducing the new Executive Deans of Institute

Professor Peter Clegg
Executive Dean of the future Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences

Peter is a distinguished professor of Musculoskeletal Biology at the University of Liverpool, as well as being the current Dean of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Impact and Enterprise for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. In 2018 Peter was awarded the RCVS Queen’s Medal for his services to the promotion of interdisciplinary research relating to musculoskeletal biology and ophthalmology, as well as his service to education and academic mentoring.

Professor Iain Buchan
Executive Dean of the future Institute of Population Health

Iain is currently Professor of Public Health and Clinical Informatics at the University of Liverpool, and Director of Digital Strategy and Partnerships for Liverpool Health Partners. Trained in medicine, pharmacology, public health, statistics and informatics, he founded and led the UK’s largest health informatics research group at The University of Manchester and has worked in academia, NHS and industry driving digital innovation since the early 90s. Iain is a born and raised Liverpudlian, and University of Liverpool alumnus.

Professor Sonia Rocha
Executive Dean of the future Institute of Systems, Molecular & Integrative Biology

Sonia is a leading academic widely respected for her work in cancer research, cell and molecular biology. Sonia joined the University of Liverpool in 2017 as Head of the Department of Biochemistry at the Institute of Integrative Biology from the University of Dundee where she was Personal Chair in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Deputy Director for the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression (GRE). Sonia is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a well-respected member of the Biochemical Society, the British Society of Cell Biology, and the European Association for Cancer Research. Her work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and CRUK.

Professor Matthew Baylis
Executive Dean of the future Institute of Infection, Ecology and Veterinary Sciences

Matthew is the Oxenhale Chair of Veterinary Epidemiology and Population Health at the University of Liverpool and an expert in the effect of climate change on vector-borne diseases. In 2007, he established the Liverpool University Climate and Infectious Diseases of Animals (LUCINDA) group, which specialises in developing mathematical models of the dynamics of vector-borne diseases under past, present and future climate conditions. He is also the Principal Investigator of the £8.8m GCRF-funded One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa (HORN).