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New Executive Dean for Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria

29th April 2016

Northumbria University has appointed a new Executive Dean to lead its Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

Professor Dianne Ford joins Northumbria from Newcastle University, where she was a Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Director of PhD Studies in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

She will lead Northumbria’s largest academic faculty, which has almost 12,000 students and 595 staff. The faculty has a diverse portfolio of 250 courses, many of which are accredited by leading government and professional bodies, and is the principal provider of nurse education in the north east of England. It teaches students across the subject areas of applied sciences, education and lifelong learning, psychology, social work and communities, sport exercise and rehabilitation as well as healthcare and public health and wellbeing.

Prof. Ford is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and has published extensive research into understanding how our diet interacts with cellular function. She examines the ways in which they subsequently choose to use or store energy and has worked collaboratively with numerous international universities including Melbourne’s Deakin University and Aachen University in Germany.

Speaking about her appointment, Prof. Ford said: “I have been so inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of everyone in the University, and particularly in the senior team, to drive and develop research at Northumbria. I am very much looking forward to helping the faculty further develop its already strong research activity and areas of specialism.”

Northumbria’s Health and Life Sciences courses are nationally renowned for excellence.  All courses in Initial Teacher Education have been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for 14 consecutive years – Northumbria is the only university in the UK to hold this accolade for so long. The faculty has been named UK Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Post-registration) for three consecutive years by the Student Nursing Times and its courses inPhysiotherapy, Nursing, Food Science and Sport Science all feature in the top 40 of The Sunday Times league table.

Research originating from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences was particularly praised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which measures the quality of research undertaken in UK universities. All research in these subject areas were rated as being ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ with research in the areas of psychology and allied health professions and nursing performing exceptionally well.

Prof. Ford replaces Prof. Kath McCourt CBE who retired in March after working at Northumbria for 21 years. 

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