John Newton has been Honorary Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology at the Centre since 2016 but in May was appointed Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology in the College of Medicine and Health. He is currently one day per week in this role as he continues as Director of Health Improvement at Public Health England (PHE).
John is a public health physician who has been an academic epidemiologist in the University of Oxford, Director of Research and Development in two large teaching hospitals, a Regional Director of Public Health in the NHS and more recently was special adviser to the Secretary of State on testing for coronavirus.
John has led England’s contribution to reporting the Global Burden of Disease project, was founding Chairman of the WHO European Burden of Disease Network, and is a member of the International Scientific Council of the Global Burden of Disease study based in the University of Washington.
He was the first Director and CEO of the UK Biobank project based in the University of Manchester where he still holds an honorary professorship, and he continues to have an interest in precision public health.
He currently directs the information, intelligence and research functions of PHE and its national health improvement functions – including screening, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, health and justice, diet, obesity and physical activity, mental health and sexual health.
John has been a Garden Fellow at the Royal College of Physicians since 2012, was elected Vice President of the UK Faculty of Public Health in 2019, and was recently nominated Chair of the Scientific Board of Sante publique France.