Heads of College

Professor Martin Barstow

Head of the College of Science and Engineering
Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Martin Barstow

Martin Barstow is Professor in Astrophysics and Space Science at the University of Leicester and currently Head of the Physics and Astronomy department. He has been involved in many space missions during his career, including NASA’s Voyager probes, which travelled to the outer planets of the Solar System. More recently he has worked on the Hubble Space Telescope helping to develop the plans for the final servicing mission, which is expected to take place in May 2009.

Martin has been closely involved with the development of the National Space Centre in Leicester and is the current Chair of its Education Advisory Board. In 2005, he acted as consultant to the British National Space Centre to help develop a Space Education Initiative, which led to the report “Bringing Space into School Science”. In 2008, he was a member of the Wakeham panel, set up by the government to report on the health of Physics in the UK.

He is also an active musician as a member of the choir and part-time organist at St Michael and All Angels, Cosby and has sung at the De Montfort Hall on several occasions in the Bardi Symphony Chorus. He is regularly seen performing around the county as a member of Leicester Morrismen. 

He said: “I am very pleased to be appointed to lead the new College of Science and Engineering. I am looking forward to working with all my colleagues in this and the other Colleges to build on the University’s recent successes and to help make Leicester recognised around the world for its excellent teaching and research.”

Professor Steve King

Head of the College of Social Science

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Obtained a BA (Hons) in Economic and Social History from the University of Kent and a PhD in historical demography from the University of Liverpool. A member of the ESRC Peer Review Panel, edit the journal Family and Community History, and  a former winner of the Pasold Prize for research into textile history.

Appointed as Director of the University of Leicester Centre for Medical Humanities in 2012.

Research Interests span the period from the seventeenth to twentieth century and cover topics as varied as poverty/welfare and historical demography through to women’s suffrage, clothing history and medical history. In particular work has focussed on the interlacing topics of the history of European industrialisation 1650-1900, the history of British and European welfare systems between 1601 and the present, and the social history of medicine.

Professor Mark Peel

Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Law

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Mark comes to Leicester after working for nearly four years at the University of Liverpool, where he was Head of History and then Head of the School of the Arts, and pioneered major changes in teaching and curriculum. Before that, he worked for fifteen years at Monash, one of Australia's largest and most internationalised universities.

As the Australian-born son of two 'Ten Pound Pom' migrants who left Britain separately in 1956, met in the third-class bar of the Orontes and then married and settled in Adelaide, Mark has a particular interest in the history of migration, mobility and aspiration. He is especially renowned for his writing on the history of poverty and welfare in books such as The Lowest Rung and Miss Cutler and the Case of the Resurrected Horse. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2008. While at Leicester he will continue to work on his current project - a history of men who worked in domestic service in Britain - and develop his interests in the history of teeth and dentistry in Britain, North America and Australia.

Mark is an award-winning teacher and received a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for both his "imaginative teaching of history" and his work supporting the welfare of students at Monash and other Australian universities. With long experience in the design of programmes to aid student recruitment, retention and engagement, Mark is especially keen to work closely with local and regional schools and colleges on students' successful transition to university study. A strong believer in the importance of connections between universities and their communities, he also wants to ensure that the College's disciplines are engaged as actively as possible in debates about the local and regional as well as the global future.

Professor David Wynford-Thomas

Head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology
Dean of Medicine
Pro-Vice-Chancellor

David Wynford-Thomas

After qualifying, with honours, in Medicine and Surgery in 1978, followed by a PhD in Experimental Pathology in 1982, Professor Wynford-Thomas won an NIH post-doctoral fellowship to work at the University of Colorado on the then newly-emerging Molecular Biology of Cancer. This remained his major research interest and, following his return to Cardiff, he built up a large and highly respected research team studying the molecular basis of cancer and its clinical applications, with long-term funding from Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council. More recently, he was instrumental in forging closer collaborative links between cancer research groups working in different Departments and Schools at Cardiff, culminating in the establishment of a ‘virtual institute’ for cancer research across Wales.

External recognition of his research achievements include the award in 2005 of the first ‘Goudie Medal’ by the Pathological Society of Great Britain "for seminal advances in the understanding of human disease" and election to the highly prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2003. In addition, in 2007, the Institute of Medical Genetics, part of the School of Medicine at Cardiff, received the Queen's Anniversary Prize, which recognises world-class levels of excellence in UK Higher Education, from Her Majesty the Queen.

On the national scene, he has served on numerous research committees including those of the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK, and is subject editor of the British Journal of Cancer.

Aside from research, he played major roles in the wider management of Cardiff University, becoming Head of the Department of Pathology in 1992, Chair of the Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in 2000 and Head of the School of Medicine in 2005.  Professor Wynford-Thomas was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester in 2008 and is also a non-Executive Director of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Board.

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