press release
Published: 28 September 2020

University of Surrey appoints new Pro Vice-Chancellor to lead the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

By Natasha Meredith

The University of Surrey has appointed Professor Paul Townsend as the new Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.


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Taking up his position in February 2021, Paul joins Surrey from the University of Manchester where he is currently Associate Dean for Business Engagement and Innovation, as well as International Research and Innovation, of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.   

An internationally renowned scientist in the field of cell stress and survival mechanisms, Paul has a passion for teaching and mentoring both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He brings with him a wealth of industry and enterprise experience, having co-founded several companies and provided strategic advice to others in the sector.

Paul joins the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at a unique time, as the Faculty continues to play a crucial role in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine and an innovative new test which can detect the virus in under 30 minutes. The Faculty is also leading the way in supporting local NHS trusts, by training the next generation of healthcare professionals including nurses, paramedics and midwives and has provided training to those returning to health professions during the current pandemic.

Paul said: “It is an enormous privilege and a pleasure to be appointed here at Surrey, and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and the conviction put in me. The Faculty is exciting and vibrant, with wonderful interdisciplinary teaching, research and professional services colleagues, offering both state-of-the-art operations and solutions to today’s health and medical challenges.

“We are recognised for student satisfaction, employability and our ‘can do’ ethos. I would like us to build on this pioneering spirit and forge even more real-world research, innovation and entrepreneurism.”

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that we have secured the services of such a stellar leader as Paul, and very excited about the future of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences under his leadership. Paul’s enormous energy and experience will no doubt make a great contribution to the advancement of education and research objectives of the Faculty and the University. I look forward to welcoming Paul on board early in the new year.”

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Natasha Meredith
Media Officer (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences)
Phone: +44 (0)1483 684380

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