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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.


John Holloway

Associate Dean Research

Professor John Holloway is Associate Dean Research, with responsibility for directing the Faculty's research strategy. He also holds the chair of Allergy and Respiratory Genetics in the Human Development and Health School.

John leads the Respiratory Genetics Group, undertaking a programme of research into the genetic basis of allergy, asthma and other respiratory diseases. He was part of the team that identified the first asthma susceptibility gene through positional cloning (ADAM33), and he continues to contribute extensively to the understanding of the genetic basis of asthma susceptibility. More recently his work has focused on the genetic and epigenetic basis for the role of early life in determining susceptibility to allergic disease. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and 50 contributed reviews/book chapters.

John is vice-chair of the BMBS COST Action network: Developmental origins of Chronic Lung Disease and he is a member of the Asthma UK Research Review Panel. He currently serves on the editorial board of Allergy (European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology) and has previously been an associate editor for Clinical & Experimental Allergy. John served as a member of Council for the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and is currently a Faculty Member for the Respiratory Pharmacology Section of Faculty of 1000.

As well as his on-going research, John also teaches clinical pharmacology and molecular cell biology on the Bachelor of Medicine programme and genetics on the MSc Allergy.


Karen Morrison

Associate Dean Education and Student Experience

Karen Morrison is Associate Dean for Education and Student Experience, and Director of Education, Professor of Neurology in the Faculty of Medicine. She is also an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at University Hospital Southampton.

Karen graduated in Medicine from the University of Cambridge (1983, BA, 1986 MA) and University of Oxford (1986, BMBCh). Following postdoctoral research in the Department of Internal Medicine at Yale University USA, she returned to Oxford supported by MRC and Wellcome Trust Fellowships, undertaking research into inherited disorders of motor nerves. She was appointed Medical Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and completed her clinical training in neurology at the Radcliffe Infirmary, where she was appointed Honorary Consultant Neurologist in 1998. In 1999 she took up the post of Bloomer Professor of Neurology at the University of Birmingham, combining research into molecular genetic mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease with neurology/neuroscience teaching and overview and strategic development of the undergraduate MBChB final year. As a clinical neurologist she co-directed the Birmingham Motor Neurone Disease Care and Research Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and also led the first national service for adults with Wolfram Syndrome.

She has published over 150 peer reviewed articles, mainly on clinical and molecular genetic aspects of neurodegenerative disease. Her laboratory research has investigated molecular mechanisms in Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson’s disease, underpinned by establishing large DNA banks linked to clinical and epidemiological data. She serves on several national and international panels advising on clinical and research aspects of neurodegeneration.

Karen moved to the University of Southampton in 2016, to lead the education programmes within the Faculty of Medicine. Current key roles include ensuring that all Faculty programmes are up-to-date, relevant and responsive so that graduates are equipped with the clinical, academic and professional skills to ensure successful careers in medicine and research as lifelong learners.


David Wilson

Associate Dean International

Professor David Wilson is Associate Dean for Internationalisation in the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Human Developmental Genetics.

After graduating in Physiology at University of Oxford and Medicine at the University of Newcastle, he underwent postgraduate training in Internal Medicine, Paediatrics and Genetics in Newcastle.

David’s research training was centred in Newcastle and Amsterdam and focused on developmental genetics and cardiogenesis. Current research interests include the genetic basis for human cardiac maldevelopment (in particular hypoplastic left heart syndrome) and cardiac stem cells. He has strong links with the cardiac congenital service and is a board member of the Children’s Hospital Southampton for research.

In addition to running his research group, David continues to teach genetics on the Bachelor of Medicine course and PhD programmes. He is very enthusiastic in his support for international students.

As part of the University’s internationalisation strategy, David has established links with key institutions in Latin America to facilitate collaborative research and is active in recruiting international postgraduate students to Southampton.


Salim Khakoo

Associate Dean Enterprise

Salim Khakoo is the Associate Dean for Enterprise. He currently holds the Chair in Hepatology in The Clinical and Experimental Sciences School and is Director of Biomedical Research (IFLS). He qualified from Guy’s Hospital, London in 1988 and trained in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

His research interest in viral hepatitis and natural killer cell biology developed at The Royal Free Hospital, at Stanford, USA and then subsequently through MRC clinician scientist and Wellcome Trust Senior fellowship awards. He was the first person to describe the role of natural killer cells in hepatitis C virus infection (Science 2004) and was the UK lead for the consortium describing the role of IL28B in hepatitis C virus infection (Nature 2009). He currently runs an active hepatology and immunology research group focusing on natural killer cells and their role in the molecular recognition of virally infected cells and cancer.

Salim is the secretary of The Association of Physicians, a member of the scientific advisory board for The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, a member of The Faculty of 1000 (Gastroenterology section) and an advisory member for the National and Kapodistrian University, Athens. He has previously served on the British Society for Gastroenterology Liver Section.


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.


Clare Taylor

Head of Faculty Finance

Clare, a Fellow Chartered and Certified Accountant (FCCA), joined the University in 1999. She moved to Medicine on 1st August 2018. Her roles prior to this included Head of Finance for Physical Sciences and Engineering, Art Business and Law, and Humanities. She 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.


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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