A born-and-raised Geordie is to become the next vice-chancellor of Newcastle University.
Chris Day, Newcastle’s pro vice-chancellor for the Faculty of Medical Sciences, will begin his term of office in early January when current head Chris Brink retires, the Russell Group university announced on 11 July.
The 56-year-old liver disease expert, who went to state school in the North East, described his appointment as a “huge honour”, saying he would be “privileged to be able to lead such a wonderful university with so many talented and dedicated staff and students”.
He quickly moved in to the field of liver medicine and in 1987 took up his first research post at Newcastle, where he later became head of the School of Clinical Medical Sciences.
As a pro vice-chancellor for medical sciences since 2007, he has led the development of major new research centres including the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing and Chronic Diseases and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Disease, as well as setting up the UK’s only overseas medical campus in Malaysia.
Most recently, he led the successful bid to establish a National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation in Newcastle, securing £20 million from government.
Professor Day, who was appointed vice-president of the Academy of Medical Sciences (Clinical) – one of the highest honours in UK medicine – last year, also has research medals from the Royal College of Physicians and the British Society of Gastroenterology.
Mark I'Anson, chair of Newcastle's governing council, who led the appointment panel, said Day’s “passion” for the university and the “contribution it makes to the lives of staff, students and the city of Newcastle is evident in everything that he does”.
“He appreciates the profound effect education can have in improving the life chances of young people, because of his own background, and he is committed to building on the strengths of Newcastle University to ensure more people benefit from its work,” he said.
Mr I’Anson also paid tribute to outgoing vice-chancellor Chris Brink, whom, he said, had “led the university superbly over the past nine years”.