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Fellows Directory

Nancy Rothwell

Nancy Rothwell

Dame Nancy Rothwell DBE DL FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2004


Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell FRS is President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester.  She joined the Victoria University of Manchester in 1987, became Professor of Physiology in 1994 and held an MRC Research Chair from 1998 to 2010. Concurrent with her Faculty posts she has also held University roles as Vice-President for Research (2004-2007) and as Deputy President & Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2007-2010).  Her own research in the field of neuroscience, which is ongoing, has contributed towards major advances in the understanding and treatment of brain damage in stroke and head injury.

She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in June 2004 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 2005, in recognition of her services to science.

Professor Rothwell became President and Vice-Chancellor in July 2010, the first woman to lead The University of Manchester or either of its two predecessor institutions.  She was the founding President of the Royal Society of Biology and has also served as co-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, and as a non-executive director of AstraZeneca.  She is currently Chair of the Russell Group, a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, a Commissioner on the Law Family Commission on Civil Society, and a member of the UK Investment Council, the Oxford Road Corridor Board, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership Board, the UK Biobank Board and the Times Education Commission.

Professor Rothwell takes a strong and active interest in public communication of science and regularly gives talks to schools and the public and contributes to television, radio and press, particularly on sensitive issues in science. In 1998 she delivered the Royal institution Christmas Lectures, televised by the BBC.

Professional positions

Co-Chair, Council for Science and Technology (CST)
Chair of Board, Corridor Manchester
President & Vice Chancellor, University of Manchester
Professor of Physiology, University of Manchester
President & Vice Chancellor, University of Manchester
Committee Member, Science & Technology Honours Committee, Cabinet Office
Member, Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Other
    • Public understanding of science
  • Health and human sciences
    • Clinical neuroscience
  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Cellular neuroscience, Physiology incl biophysics of cells (non-clinical)Animal (especially mammalian) and human physiology and anatomy (non-clinical), Physiology incl biophysics of cells (non-clinical)


stroke, inflammation, brain injury

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