Blog posts


Professor Ian Walmsley FRS has accepted appointment as Imperial’s next Provost, taking over from Professor James Stirling CBE FRS from 1 September 2018.

Professor Walmsley joins Imperial from the University of Oxford where he is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics.

He graduated from Imperial with first class honours in physics in 1980, and completed his PhD at the University of Rochester. Professor Walmsley became Assistant Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester in 1988, and held a number of roles there before joining the University of Oxford in 2001 as Professor of Experimental Physics. He became Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) in 2009, and was appointed to his current role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in 2015.

Professor Walmsley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012 for his contributions to quantum optics and ultrafast optics. He has held a number of leadership roles in the Optical Society of America, currently serving as President. Professor Walmsley was a member of the EPSRC Physics Strategic Advisory Team and was on the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics’ Science Advisory Board.

Interim Head of the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI)

Professor Sian Harding, Professor of Cardiac Pharmacology, has accepted appointment as Interim Head of the NHLI with effect from 15 January 2018, until a permanent successor to Professor Kim Fox has taken up appointment.

Professor Harding joined the College in 1980 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the NHLI, and was promoted to Professor in 2002. She has held a number of leadership roles within the department and the Faculty, and is currently the NHLI’s Athena SWAN Lead.

Professor Harding’s research focuses on cardiac muscle cells in the failing heart, including characterisation of these cells derived from embryonic stem cells, and their use in cardiac repair, tissue engineering and drug discovery. She is Director of the Imperial BHF Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Centre, and is an elected Fellow of the American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology, British Pharmacology Society and International Society for Heart Research.

Associate Dean of Programmes, Business School

Ms Leila Guerra has accepted the appointment of Associate Dean of Programmes at the Business School from 15 March 2018.

Reporting to the Dean, Leila will develop and lead implementation of the vision, strategy and long-term plans for the MBA and MSc programmes, as well as developing and implementing new programmes.

Leila joins the College from Singapore Management University where, as Assistant Dean for postgraduate programmes, she has led the Business School’s postgraduate portfolio of degree programmes and professional doctorates, managing marketing, recruitment and admissions, programme management, rankings, and career services. Leila holds an MSc in International Business from the Carlos III University of Madrid and an Executive MBA from IE Business School in Madrid.

Interim Head of the School of Public Health

Professor Deborah Ashby, Chair in Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials, has accepted appointment as Interim Head of the School of Public Health from 1 January 2018, until a permanent successor to Professor Elio Riboli has taken up appointment.

Professor Ashby joined the College in 2008, and since then she has occupied a number of leadership positions, including Co-Director of the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit.

Her research focuses on clinical trials, risk-benefit decision making for medicines, and the utility of Bayesian approaches in these areas. 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-Elect of the Royal Statistical Society.

Vice-Dean (Research), Faculty of Medicine

Professor Martin Wilkins FMedSci has taken up appointment as Vice-Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Medicine, with effect from 1 October 2017, for a period of 5 years.

Reporting to the Dean, Professor Wilkins will play a key role in identifying and determining Faculty strategy and leading organisational activity to support strategic research activity.

Professor Wilkins joined the then-Royal Postgraduate Medical School in 1990 as a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology (the School merged with Imperial in 1997). He is currently Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Head of the Department of Medicine. Professor Wilkins will also continue as Director of the NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility at the Hammersmith Campus. His research is focused on the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension and the development of new treatments for this condition.

Faculty Operating Officer for the Faculty of Medicine

Dr Chris Watkins has accepted appointment as Faculty Operating Officer (FOO) for the Faculty of
Medicine from 9 October 2017.

Reporting to the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Chris will play a key role in supporting and
enabling the Faculty to set and meet its academic education and research objectives. He will have
overall responsibility for effective and efficient governance and for the delivery of operational and
support services to staff within the Faculty.

Chris joins the College from the Medical Research Council (MRC), where he is currently the
Director of Innovation, a member of the senior executive team and of the MRC’s Management
Board. In this role he has led on numerous strategic, policy and research issues; collaborative
initiatives; and stakeholder engagement with a wide range of academic, industrial, funder and
public sector organisations. Alongside this, he was recently Head of Knowledge Exchange for the
Francis Crick Institute as a 50% secondment for two years.

New Acting Dean of The Faculty of Medicine

Professor Jonathan Weber, Vice-Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Medicine, has accepted appointment as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from 1 October 2017, when Professor Gavin Screaton takes up his new position as Head of the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford.

An international search will be launching soon to appoint a new Dean to succeed Professor Screaton.

Professor Weber has been Jefferiss Professor of Communicable Diseases and GU Medicine at Imperial since 1991. He has held the role of Vice-Dean for Research since 2013, having previously been Deputy Principal (Research) from 2011. Professor Weber was appointed Director of Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre in 2014.


College Consuls and Staff Representative on Council

Professor Peter Lindstedt, Professor of Thermofluids in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been elected to succeed Professor Myra McClure as Senior Consul for the period 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2018.

Professor Jonathan Mestel, Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, has been elected to succeed Professor John Seddon as one of the Consuls for the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Education Office from 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2020.
Professor Susan Eisenbach, Professor of Computing, has been elected as the Staff Representative on Council for the period 1 September 2017 to 31 August 2019. Professor Eisenbach replaces Professor Neil Alford.

The full list of Consuls for 2017-18 is below:
Senior Consul Professor Peter Lindstedt
Faculty of Engineering and the Business School Professor Yun Xu
Faculty of Engineering and the Business School Professor Marek Sergot
Faculty of Medicine (non-clinical) Professor Terry Tetley
Faculty of Medicine (clinical) Professor Peter Openshaw
Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Education Office Professor Lesley Cohen
Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Education Office Professor Jonathan Mestel

Assistant Provost (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)

Professor Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology, Department of Life Sciences, is to take up the new half-time post of Assistant Provost (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) on 1 October 2017, for an initial period of two years.

Reporting to the Provost, Professor Curry will help lead the College’s commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion for staff and students across all protected characteristics. In this new role, Professor Curry will be responsible for engaging with senior leadership and colleagues across College to help facilitate appropriate and necessary cultural change, and will continue the gender equality work that has been spearheaded until now by Professor Dorothy Griffiths.

Professor Curry first joined Imperial as an undergraduate and was also awarded his PhD by the College. After undertaking several research posts in Europe and the USA, he became a Lecturer in Biophysics at Imperial in 1995. Subsequently, he was promoted to Reader and then Professor of Structural Biology. Professor Curry is currently Chair of the Equal Opportunities Committee in the Department of Life Sciences, and he held the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department from 2011-2015.

Professor Curry’s research interests range from protein-drug interactions to the replication mechanisms of RNA viruses, including major pathogens such as foot and mouth disease virus and human norovirus. More recently, his research has focused on the culture of academia, and he has published papers on the use of citation metrics and the history of scholarly publication. He is active in public engagement work and writes regularly on science and science policy for the Guardian.