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Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dianne Ford 2024

Dianne Ford is Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor for the faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University.

Dianne leads the largest of Northumbria University’s four faculties, comprising approximately 12,000 students and over five hundred members of staff, spread across five academic departments.

Dianne represents the faculty in her role on University Executive working closely with her fellow Faculty PVCs and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor to shape and deliver the University’s Vision, Strategy and supporting plans.

Dianne provides strategic, disciplinary, and wider leadership and vision for the faculty and its academic departments, leading and promoting cross University working and strategic external partnerships, enabling empowered people to succeed and be the best they can, and supporting an inclusive, innovative, and high performing culture.

Dianne also leads on the strategic development and strengthening of key partnerships with regional, national, and international organisations and employers such as local NHS Trusts and overseas universities.

With a clear focus on experiential learning and strong links with regional and national partners, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences supports the delivery of the University’s Strategy 2030 Experiential Learning commitment. The faculty offers graduates the opportunity to learn and develop new skills in real and simulated situations, enabling graduates to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and experience to potential employers. Led by world-leading academics, Health and Life Sciences students engage in real-world research and professional practice placements, not only contributing to the generation of impactful research outcomes (as recognised through the outcomes of both most-recent REF exercises), but also in identifying and driving changes to policy and practice, improving the experience of regional, national, and international communities.

Dianne is a member of the Council of Deans of Health, which represents UK university faculties for nursing, midwifery, and the allied health professions, and has also been appointed as a member of the governing body of the General Pharmaceutical Council. she is a Co-opted member of the Board of Governors for Northumbria Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust and sits on the Trust’s Nominations, Remuneration and Development Committee. Dianne also sits on the Scientific Advisory Group for the Northeast and North Cumbria NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC).

Dianne has been a member of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBRSC) research grants committees and other advisory panels since 2008. She also has significant experience serving on other research and advisory panels, including international research funding committees in Portugal and France.

Dianne is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB), a Fellow of the Physiological Society (FTPS) and a member of the International Society for Zinc Biology (ISZB), where she has served twice as an elected board member.

Prior to joining Northumbria in 2016, Dianne held multiple leadership roles at Newcastle University including Associate Dean for Taught Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Director of PhD studies where from 1998 onwards, she led a research group of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.

Dianne achieved her A-Levels at Whitley Bay High School and is a graduate in Biochemistry (BSc 1988, PhD 1991, University of Bristol) and gained her PhD in Biochemistry in April 2016.

Dianne’s research career developed from an interest in nutrient transport mechanisms, which was the focus of early postdoctoral studies, and the metabolism of dietary components implicated in promoting better health. Collaborating with both UK researchers and those worldwide, including Italy and Australia, Dianne’s research centres around zinc, dietary polyphenolic compounds and the role of dietary molecules in ageing and their effects on epigenetic modification. 

Contact the Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences


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