Professor Dame Anne Johnson DBE FMedSci

Professor Dame Anne Johnson DBE FMedSci served as President of the Academy from December 2020 – April 2024.

At the time, Dame Anne wrote on our website about her priorities as President and reflections on stepping into the role.

Read Dame Anne's Presidential priorities.

Dame Anne has had a distinguished career in epidemiology and public health, focusing on topics including HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, influenza and diagnostics for infectious diseases. 

She trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and University of Newcastle, undertaking general practice training in Northumbria before completing a Masters in Epidemiology and Public  Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In the mid 1980s she joined Middlesex Hospital – later part of University College London (UCL) – at the start of the 1980s HIV epidemic, subsequently directing the Medical Research Council UK Centre for coordinating epidemiological studies of HIV/AIDS. She has since worked  at UCL for over 35 years. In 1990 she was funded to complete the UK's first National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles by Wellcome, work that has since been repeated every 10 years and continues to inform key policy on sexual health around the world. In 2010, she co-founded UCL’s cross-disciplinary Institute for Global Health and has many overseas collaborations.

She has served on many national and international advisory boards and is a former Governor of the Wellcome Trust, and former member of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the UK Climate Change Committee.

She is currently Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London and Co-Director of UCL Health of the Public. She is a member of the Royal Society’s Data Evaluation and Learning for Viral Epidemics (DELVE) group, a member of the SAGE transmission subgroup and Chair of the UK Committee for Strategic Coordination of Health of the Public Research (SCHOPR).

Professor Dame Anne Johnson was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2001, chairing a policy report into how the UK’s research environment needs to adapt to meet the health challenges the population will face by 2040 - read more in our Health of the Public in 2040 report. She also previously served as the Academy's Vice-President (International) from 2018-2020. Dame Anne was at the forefront of the Academy’s response to COVID-19 including the development of the Academy report ‘Preparing for a challenging winter 2020-21’

In her announcement as President, Dame Anne said:

“I will lead the Academy to create an environment where the full spectrum of high quality health research can thrive and networks are created between leading researchers throughout the UK and globally. 

“My priorities will include promoting research excellence and collaboration which extends across geography and background, improving research culture and careers so everyone can thrive, ensuring global collaboration continues to flourish after we have left the EU, and helping UK research recover from the significant setbacks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Find out more about Dame Anne's life and work through her profile on BBC Radio 4's The Life Scientific (broadcast 2 February 2021) and through her UCL researcher profile page.

View Dame Anne's entry in the Fellows' Directory

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