Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Medicine and Health Sciences


Professor John Atherton


Professor John Atherton took up office as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences on 1 August 2015. As PVC for Medicine and Health Sciences, John has executive responsibility for the Faculty and is a member of the University Executive Board.

John is a Professor of Gastroenterology and an Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. He continues to teach medical students and microbiologists and to pursue his research interests in upper gastro-intestinal diseases. 


John’s medical education was at Cambridge and then Oxford University. After post-graduate training in medicine and gastroenterology he trained in digestive diseases research in the UK and in infectious disease research in Vanderbilt University, USA.  He joined the University of Nottingham in 1995 and became a full Professor in 2001. After leading the Division of Gastroenterology, John became Head of the School of Clinical Sciences in 2009 and, following rearrangement of the Faculty of Medicine and Health sciences, Foundation Dean of the new School of Medicine in 2013.  He was also a Senate representative on University Council from 2011 to 2015.

Outside Nottingham John is Treasurer and a member of the Executive of Medical Schools Council UK. He is also chair of Midlands Health Innovation, the body representing the 7 most research intensive universities in the Midlands and co-ordinating their joint actions. He recently demitted from a 5 year term as Secretary-General of United European Gastroenterology, the body representing gastroenterologists and others interested in digestive diseases throughout Europe. 

Teaching and Research Summary

John is a committed teacher who still lectures to medical students and specialised microbiology masters students, and teaches clinical medical students on the wards and in clinics. He also continues to practice clinical gastroenterology as an NHS Consultant, through patient clinics and endoscopy lists. His main research interests are in the virulence of the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori, in the pathogenesis of peptic ulceration and gastric adenocarcinoma, and in the role of H. pylori in modulating other diseases. He supervises both laboratory and clinical research and particularly enjoys supervising PhD students, although he does less than he used to!  He held both MRC Clinician Scientist and Senior Clinical Fellowships and was awarded the Sir Francis Avery Jones Research Medal by the British Society of Gastroenterology.  John was founding Director of the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Unit in the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, and is still a Co-Director.  He led the Nottingham submission of Unit of Assessment 1 (Clinical Medicine) in the 2013 Research Excellence Framework. 

 16 - J Atherton Photo 2015








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