Grammar school old boy’s new role

Prof Jonathan Van Tam
Prof Jonathan Van Tam

A former Boston Grammar School pupil has taken up a new role as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, who works at the University of Nottingham as an epidemiologist and professor of health protection, has been appointed by the Department of Health.

Deputy Chief Medical Officers support the Chief Medical Officer – currently Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, who said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Van-Tam on his appointment.

“His track record speaks for itself, he will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the role and I look forward to working closely with him.”

Professor Van-Tam is a globally-recognised expert on the ‘flu virus and other respiratory viruses including epidemiology, transmission and vaccines’.

Originally from the Boston area, he is an ardent Boston United fan who says he goes to many of the team’s games with his family.

Professor Van-Tam said: “It is a great honour to be given the opportunity to serve as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

“I am looking forward to the work ahead with enormous enthusiasm.”

Following in his father’s footsteps, Prof Van-Tam graduated from the School of Medicine in 1987.

He trained in Public Health Medicine and became a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham before working in the pharmaceutical and vaccines industries.

After three years at the UK Health Protection Agency as Head of the Pandemic Flu Office, he returned to the University in 2007 as Professor of Health Protection.

Since then, he has been a major presence on the world stage in pandemic influenza research and now chairs the UK Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threat Advisory Group (NERVTAG).

Since 2004 he has been an advisor to the World Health Organization on preparations for pandemics and response to outbreaks, and from 2010 was leader of a WHO Collaborating Centre for Pandemic Influenza and Research based at the University of Nottingham.