PROFESSOR DAME NANCY ROTHWELL: President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester

Photography by Yasmin Carter

Words by Harry Potts


Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and a research scientist in the field of neuroscience, contributing towards major advances in the understanding and treatment of brain damage in stroke and head injury.

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Dame Nancy Rothwell BSc, PhD, DSc, FMedSci, FRS

Born in Preston in 1955, Dame Nancy obtained a first class degree in physiology at the University of London in 1976 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree three years later. She was later awarded a Doctor of Science degree in 1987 by King’s College London.

From 2005, Dame Nancy was vice-president for research at the University of Manchester. In 2010 she was overseeing a research group of about 20 scientists, and was subsequently announced as President and Vice-Chancellor, becoming the first woman to lead the University of Manchester.

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Nancy takes a strong and active interest in public communication of science and regularly gives talks to schools and the public on sensitive issues in science.

Dame Nancy 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.

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Dame Nancy with a Mancunian ‘Bee in the City’ in the university’s Old Quadrangle


Student reflection:

Yasmin Carter

Dame Nancy-6“The opportunity to meet and photograph one of the most important and inspirational women of our current time was an absolute privilege. I photographed Dame Nancy in and around the Victorian splendour of the University’s John Owens Building and Old Quadrangle. She was a pleasure to work with, and was open to all my ideas and suggestions. Empathy is an important skill for a photographer to have in order to get the best out of their photographic subject. This shoot  enabled me to practice this skill and hopefully made Dame Nancy feel relaxed throughout the shoot.”


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Dame Nancy Rothwell, the first woman to lead the University of Manchester
© All images – The Manchester College (unless otherwise stated)


Related links:

Dame Nancy Rothwell – University of Manchester

Nancy Rothwell – Wikipedia

Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell BBC Radio4 The Life Scientific

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