Pro-Vice-Chancellors and Heads of College

Professor Martin Barstow

Head of the College of Science and Engineering

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


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 Julie Coleman

Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Law

Julie Coleman is Acting Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Law and a Professor in the School of English. She obtained her BA from the University of Manchester and her MA and PhD from King’s College London. Following various temporary roles at King’s, Birkbeck, Durham and Lund, in Sweden, she was appointed to a lectureship at Leicester in 1995, becoming a professor in 2009 and Head of School in 2013. She founded the International Society for Historical Lexicography and Lexicology, and is a fellow of the English Association, the International Association of University Professors of English and the Higher Education Academy.

Professor David Wynford-Thomas

Head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology
Dean of Medicine

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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