Professor Jonathan Van-Tam to be Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England

29 Sep 2017 11:17:08.510


The University of Nottingham’s world-leading epidemiologist and Professor of Health Protection, Jonathan Van-Tam MBE, has been appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England by the Department of Health

Professor Van-Tam is a globally-recognised expert on the ‘flu virus and other respiratory viruses including epidemiology, transmission and vaccines. From 2004 he has been an advisor to the World Health Organization on preparations for pandemics and response to outbreaks and from 2010 was leader of a WHO Collaborating Centre for Pandemic Influenza and Research based at the University of Nottingham. 

The Deputy Chief Medical Officers are senior public health leaders who support the Chief Medical Officer – the most senior advisor on health and medicine to the government. The announcement of Professor Van-Tam’s appointment was made by the current Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, who said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Van-Tam on his appointment.  His track record speaks for itself; he will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the role and I look forward to working closely with him.”

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Professor Van-Tam was born and bred on the Lincolnshire Fens, attending Boston Grammar School. He is a true champion of the University of Nottingham – following in his father’s footsteps to study at the university, he graduated from the School of Medicine in 1987. He trained in Public Health Medicine and became a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham before working in the pharmaceutical and vaccines industries. After three years at the UK Health Protection Agency as Head of the Pandemic Flu Office, he returned to the University in 2007 as Professor of Health Protection. Since then he has been a major presence on the world stage in pandemic influenza research and now chairs the UK Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threat Advisory Group (NERVTAG).

Responding to his new role, Professor Van-Tam said: “It is a great honour to be given the opportunity to serve as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. I am looking forward to the work ahead with enormous enthusiasm.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor Sir David Greenaway, said: “Professor Van-Tam is a globally recognised name in the field of flu pandemics and public health and we are very proud of his achievements as an institution. His prestigious new appointment as DCMO is testament to his expertise and the worldwide impact his research in the field has had and will continue to have. We wish him the very best in this important secondment to the Department of Health.”

Professor Van-Tam takes up his new post on Monday 2nd October 2017. 

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Sharon Figgens, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences on +44 (0)115 823 1666 or email 

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