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Medical Schools Council appoints first woman leader

1.08.16

The organisation that represents the UK’s publicly funded medical schools has appointed Professor Jenny Higham as the first woman Chair in its history.

The Medical Schools Council (MSC), which supports medical schools in furthering medical education and research, has elected Professor Jenny Higham, Principal of St George’s, University of London, as its new Chair.

Professor Higham, who continues to practise as a consultant gynaecologist with research interests in reproductive medicine and simulation in education, said: “I have long admired the impact made by the MSC in driving quality in medical education and research, and am very proud to take on the role of Chair. Professor Cameron has served as a trusted advocate for the MSC and I thank him for all he has done to advance our mission.  I look forward to continuing this important work, in partnership with colleagues in the UK’s medical schools and all our other stakeholders.”

Before joining St George’s, Professor Higham was Head of Undergraduate Medicine at Imperial College London for 5 years, most recently holding the title Vice Dean for Institutional Affairs and Director of Education for the Faculty of Medicine.  She was awarded the Imperial College Medal for outstanding leadership in 2014, the President and Rector’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence and “Mentor of the Year” at the Women of the Future Awards in 2011.

From 2009, she was instrumental in establishing the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore, leading Imperial’s work on the collaboration with Nanyang Technological University for six years and serving as the School’s Senior Vice Dean from 2013 to 2015.  

Within the Medical Schools Council, Professor Higham has been actively involved with academic medical policy and has previously chaired the council’s Education Sub-Committee and was Treasurer of MSC until taking up this new role. She is also a member of the MSC Assessment Board.

Professor Higham has held a number of Non-Executive Director and Governor positions and was a member of the UCEA Clinical Academic Staff Advisory Group.

She succeeds Professor Iain Cameron, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, who commented: “I am delighted that Professor Higham will succeed me as Chair of MSC. Jenny has made a major contribution to medical education and research and her leadership will be invaluable at a time of significant change for medicine in the UK.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chair. I wish Jenny every success and thank my MSC colleagues, and particularly Katie Petty-Saphon and her team in the MSC office, for their support over the last three years.”

Professor John Iredale, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Health at the University of Bristol, has been announced as Deputy Chair of the MSC.  

-ENDS-

Notes to editors: 

1. The Medical Schools Council represents the interests and ambitions of UK medical schools as they relate to the generation of national health, wealth and knowledge through biomedical research and the profession of medicine. For further information about the work of the Medical Schools Council please see www.medschools.ac.uk.
 
2. For more information about this press release please contact Fahmida Yasmin, Communications Officer, on 020 7419 5430 or fahmida.yasmin@medschools.ac.uk.

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