medical schools council


Collaboration key to recovery says newly elected Medical Schools Council Chair


UK medical schools have elected Professor Patrick Maxwell as Chair of their national body, the Medical Schools Council (MSC).

Professor Patrick Maxwell begins his term during a unique time for medical education and research as we emerge from the pandemic and look toward recovery. On his appointment, Professor Maxwell said:

“I am honoured to be elected Chair of the Medical Schools Council at this critical moment for the sector. The pandemic continues to have a lasting impact on the state of our healthcare systems with major implications for medical education. Medical schools have worked tirelessly to minimise the disruption to learning caused by the pandemic. A focus for medical schools will be to ensure that our future doctors receive the best education possible, and that we attract and support students who are representative of the entire population that we serve.  

“In addition, the UK’s biomedical research base which is anchored in our medical schools has been seriously impacted over the last two years. There is a lot of work to bring non-covid research back up to full capacity, and to support researchers who have experienced disruption to their career progression. The vital role research has played in addressing the pandemic and the impressive standard of research excellence highlighted in the REF 2021 exercise, underlines just how much we can and should contribute to the country’s overall recovery.

“The close collaboration between medical schools and other stakeholders ensured that the pipeline of doctors was not disrupted during an unprecedented health crisis, and that treatments and vaccines were developed rapidly.  A terrific outcome will be to maintain this close collaboration, which I hope to continue through the MSC.”

Professor Patrick Maxwell has served as Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge since 2012.

He is a clinician scientist and has been centrally involved in a series of discoveries that have revealed how changes in oxygenation are sensed, and how genetic alterations cause kidney disease.

Professor Maxwell is also an NIHR Senior Investigator Emeritus, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is a Non-Executive Director of Cambridge University Hospitals and Cambridge Enterprise and is a Director of Cambridge University Health Partners.

Within the Medical Schools Council, Professor Maxwell has been actively involved with academic medical policy and has previously served on the Council’s Executive - before taking up this new role.

He succeeds Professor Malcolm Reed, Dean of Brighton & Sussex Medical School and Professor John Atherton, formerly Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham until his retirement in Spring 2022.

Professor Reed welcomed the news, commenting:

“I am thrilled to welcome Patrick Maxwell as the next chair of the Medical Schools Council. Having worked alongside Patrick for many years as a member of the Council, I am confident he will effectively lead medical schools during this important period of change.

“My time as Chair has been a memorable experience. Supporting medical schools during a global pandemic was an unexpected hurdle but I am proud of the incredible achievements during this difficult period; from graduating medical students early to assist on the Covid front line, managing online teaching and assessment and many obstacles in the admissions process, to beginning the development of a national medical licensing assessment.

“I must pay tribute and thank my former Co-Chair Professor John Atherton who contributed equally to the work of MSC over the past three years and whose wisdom and dedication was invaluable and crucial to medical schools during the challenges of the past three years. I am also grateful for the sustained hard work of colleagues at UK medical schools. Finally, our colleagues at the MSC do a remarkable job in delivering across a huge range of initiatives which makes the MSC the effective and well-respected organisation that it undoubtedly is.”  


Notes to editors

  1. The Medical Schools Council is the representative body for UK medical schools. The council is made of the heads of UK medical schools and meets in order to shape the future of medical education and research in the UK. For information about the work of the Medical Schools Council, please see
  2. For more information on this press release, please contact Fahmida Yasmin, Senior Communications Officer, on 020 7419 5430, or
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