Jonathan Van-Tam returns to Nottingham as pro vice-chancellor

England deputy chief medical officer, on secondment since 2017 from the university, has been one of most high-profile faces of country’s pandemic response

January 13, 2022
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam

One of the best-known faces of the UK’s public health response to the pandemic is to rejoin the University of Nottingham as a pro vice-chancellor.

Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer (DCMO) for Health Protection in England, will take up the role after stepping down from his government post at the end of March.

Previously a professor of health protection in Nottingham’s School of Medicine, Sir Jonathan has been on secondment as one of England’s DCMOs since 2017.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made him a household name in the UK thanks to his regular appearances in government press conferences and media interviews, often using memorable sporting metaphors and analogies to describe the public health response.

He said his time as DCMO “has been the most challenging of my professional career” but working on the country’s fight against Covid had been “the greatest privilege”.

Sir Jonathan added that he was “delighted” to take up the role of pro vice-chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Nottingham, the university from which he graduated in 1987 and where he has been an academic for a large part of his career.

“I am looking forward to returning to the university that has been part of my academic and professional life since 1987,” he said. “It will be a pleasure to work with colleagues old and new throughout the faculty and more widely.”

Shearer West, the vice-chancellor of Nottingham, said Sir Jonathan’s “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.”

Sir Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, who along with Sir Jonathan was knighted in the recent New Year Honours, said he had 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.”

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Reader's comments (1)

Here is a great example for the kind of people who should be PVCs. Unlike many of the light weights who are in these roles.