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The University of Southampton

Executive Team

Diana Eccles

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

Professor Diana Eccles is Dean of Medicine and is also Professor of Cancer Genetics at the University of Southampton.

The Dean of Medicine
Diana Eccles

Professor Eccles has been Chair of Cancer Genetics since 2004. She graduated from Manchester University on 1983 and has trained in Manchester, Edinburgh and Southampton. After training in general medicine, then specialist training in adult oncology she worked on the molecular genetics of ovarian cancer in the MRC Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh to gain her MD in 1992. She then moved to Southampton to a research post in Genetic Epidemiology simultaneously training in Clinical Genetics and when appointed to a consultant post in Southampton in 1995 she set up one of the first NHS funded Cancer Genetics Services in the UK within the Wessex Clinical Genetics Service.


Cyrus Cooper OBE

Vice Dean

Cyrus Cooper is Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit; Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton; and Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Oxford. Professor Cooper graduated from the University of Cambridge and St Bartholomew's Hospital, London in 1980, and completed his residency in 1985 at the Southampton University Hospitals. In 1990, he won an MRC Travelling Fellowship to the Mayo Clinic, USA, where he continued his research in osteoporosis. He returned to the UK in 1992 to take up a position as Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology and MRC Senior Clinical Scientist. He was promoted to the foundation Chair in Rheumatology at the University of Southampton in 1997 while continuing as an MRC Senior Clinical Scientist at the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit. In 2003, he was appointed Director of the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton. In 2010, this was reconfigured as the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and quinquennial funding extended to 2015.

Professor Cooper leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis. His key research contributions have been: (1) discovery of the developmental influences which contribute to the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in late adulthood; (2) demonstration that maternal vitamin D insufficiency is associated with sub-optimal bone mineral accrual in childhood; (3) characterisation of the definition and incidence rates of vertebral fractures; and (4) leadership of large pragmatic randomised controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the elderly as immediate preventative strategies against hip fracture.

Professor Cooper is immediate past-President of the Bone Research Society of Great Britain and Chairman of the Committee of Scientific Advisors, International Osteoporosis Foundation. He has previously served as Chairman of the National Osteoporosis Society and has worked on numerous Department of Health, European Community and World Health Organisation committees and working groups. He is Chair of the MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network; Associate Director of Research at the University of Southampton Medical School; and Associate Editor of Osteoporosis International. He has published extensively (over 600 research papers) on osteoporosis and rheumatic disorders and pioneered clinical studies on the developmental origins of peak bone mass.


Diana Baralle

Associate Dean Research

Professor Baralle is Professor of Genomic Medicine and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.

She was also awarded the prestigious NIHR Research Professorship in 2017.

 Having graduated in medicine from the University of London, she trained first in Paediatrics and then Clinical Genetics. She completed her MD and research training fellowship in the Department of Pathology, Cambridge University working on the molecular pathology of NF1. She held an academic position in Cambridge before her current appointment in Southampton and combines her clinical work with research.

Professor Baralle’s leads a group that investigates the role of RNA and splicing in genetic disease, new methods for genetic diagnostic testing, and the causes of rare disease syndromes. She is clinical specialty lead for Genetics for the Wessex CRN. Her group comprises both clinical and non-clinical scientists and students.

 She is a consultant in Clinical Genetics at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, and has general genetics clinics as well as a specialist oculogenetics clinic.

Dr Jane Wilkinson

Associate Dean Education

Dr Jane Wilkinson is Associate Dean, Education at the University of Southampton.

Dr Wilkinson joined Southampton Medical School in 1983 as a mature student having completed an English degree elsewhere. She completed the Foundation Course in basic science before embarking on the 5 year undergraduate programme.  

In 1989 Dr Wilkinson graduated and started work as a junior doctor in Southampton, working at Southampton General Hospital for the entire year. She completed her senior house officer and registrar training in London. Having worked in the respiratory department at the Brompton Hospital, she chose respiratory as her speciality as it combined the perfect mix of acute and chronic disease management. She then became a research fellow in respiratory medicine in Southampton. Dr Wilkinson enrolled on a PhD programme and returned to clinical medicine in 1998. She finished her training in Wessex and was appointed as a consultant in Respiratory and General Medicine in 2003.  

During her consultant career, Dr Wilkinson has developed a home ventilation service, contributed to the lung cancer team, and continued the work of her predecessor running the sleep-disordered breathing service.

Dr Wilkinson joined Southampton Medical School as year 3 lead of the BM5 Programme. Some years later she took over as BM5 Programme Lead. In May 2020 Dr Wilkinson was appointed as Associate Dean for Education. 

Ying Cheong

Associate Dean Enterprise

Ying is a Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery and Professor in Reproductive Medicine at the University of Southampton. She founded the Complete Fertility Centre Southampton at the Princess Anne Hospital in 2011. Ying’s research interest centres around understanding the biology of endometrium and endometrial associated pathology (endometriosis and adhesions); and she works closely with collaborators across disciplines in the School of Electronics and Computer Science and Nanoscience within the University of Southampton in the development of nano-therapeutics and medical biosensors. She holds several NIHR and commercial grants and is an experienced clinical trialist. Ying works closely with patient groups and serves as a medical advisor to the Pelvic Pain Support Network, UK. She is currently an editor within the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group, and Scientific Report, a journal from Nature's publishing group. In the past she has served as a member of the RCOG scientific advisory committed, led the local clinical research network, and sat on several steering and advisory committees including those within the HFEA. Ying is active in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

James Batchelor

Associate Dean International (Research & Enterprise)

Professor James Batchelor is Director of the Clinical Informatics Research Unit at the University of Southampton, addressing issues relating to the uses of data and software to drive biomedical research. Among CIRU’s programmes is ResIn, a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional team that aligns national burdens of disease against global research investments of public and philanthropic funders in the G20 nations.

He directs the EDGE Programme, an international collaborative group of hospitals and research organisations sharing best practice and a common software platform to organise and analyse health research data in real-time, collaborate across institutions and streamline processes to make the most of their information. EDGE supports over 100,000 research projects in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Belgium.

James is working on a number of programmes within low to middle income countries, such as Brazil, Ghana, Togo and Ethiopia, looking at the deployment of open source electronic medical records to support the delivery of care and research, and to address the health systems’ understanding of the burden of non-communicable and infectious disease.

The Clinical Informatics Research Unit is currently hosting 7 Clinical Staff from Sri Lanka as the UK Hub of the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health.

James is a Committee member and advisor to the Republic of Ireland e-Health Programme, as well as being involved in the development of clinical research standards, Genomics and Integrated BioMedical Informatics Platforms. He is an active member of the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health and the WHO Asian e-Health Information Network and sits on the EU Task Force for Digital Health and Social Care.

Ruihua Hou

Associate Dean International (Education)

Dr Ruihua Hou is Associate Dean International Education and is also Associate Professor of Biological Psychiatry.

Dr Hou qualified in medicine and trained as a psychiatrist. She completed a clinical fellowship followed by her PhD in psychopharmacology, both in the Department of Psychiatry at Queen’s Medical Centre, University of Nottingham. Dr Hou joined the Department of Psychiatry at Southampton in 2007.  

Dr Hou has developed an international reputation for her research into neuroinflammation in anxiety and mood disorders. She also pioneered the integration of imaging technologies for research into the role of the locus coeruleus in neurodegeneration. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Panel of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the largest community of applied neuroscience research and education in Europe.

Dr Hou is a strong advocate of internationalisation with a substantial track record of developing international collaborations. She successfully initiated and developed the postgraduate training programme for international psychiatrists in Southampton. She also secured funding for ongoing international research collaborations. She maintains and strengthens international ties as a visiting professor with regular visits to university hospitals overseas, organising international conferences to boost international collaborative efforts.

Dr Hou is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is fully involved in key stages of the BM curriculum. She delivers psychiatry lectures and tutorials to medical students as well as supervising PhD, Master, and BMedSci students. She also delivers talks for the Royal College of Psychiatrists CPD programmes and the NHS Foundation Trust postgraduate training programmes. She received the Education Award for developing and leading the ‘Introduction to Clinical Medicine in Southampton’ module for international medical students and leads the BM International Transfer programme. She currently works with British Council Higher Education to develop education opportunities with international partner medical schools.


Adrian Reyes-Hughes

Associate Director of Faculty Operations 

Adrian joined the University in June 2011 as the Operational Manager for the National Institute for Health Research Design Service. Prior to that he held various senior leadership roles within the NHS including an executive director role within an east London NHS Trust,  Director of Policy and Standards at the UKCC (forerunner of the Nursing & Midwifery Council), and Clinical Director for Multi-Channel Services at NHS Direct. Adrian has worked with the Department of Health in developing various health policy initiatives and in setting up the NHS Choices. He has extensive experience in leading and developing health care strategies and managing complex organisations. Adrian is an external assessor for the NICE-NHS Evidence accreditation scheme.


Ardel Richardson

Head of Faculty Finance

Ardel, a Fellow Chartered and Certified Accountant (FCCA), joined the University in 2015, working in Winchester School of Art as the Faculty Accountant. Prior to joining the Faculty of Medicine Finance Team, his roles included Deputy Head of Finance for Social Sciences, Business Law and Arts, and Humanities. Ardel is responsible for all faculty finance related matters supporting business planning, financial monitoring, research grant administration and ensuring the financial accounts reflect a true and fair view of faculty finances. Of course, this is greatly supported through the fantastic team that reside there.


Ruth Nash

HR Business Partner

Ruth is a professionally CIPD qualified HR professional, with over 15 years’ experience.  She has been with the University since 2009, and has supported Medicine in various roles during this time.  She is now a HR Business Partner, which involves partnering the Faculty Board on all people-related issues, including succession planning, talent management, appraisals and promotion.  Ruth is also a member of the Faculty’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee which includes Athena Swan.

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