Nancy Rothwell obtained a first class degree in Physiology in
1976, a PhD in 1978 and a DSc in 1987 from the University of
London. Her early research identified mechanisms of energy balance
regulation, obesity and cachexia. In 1984 she was awarded a Royal
Society Research Fellowship and relocated to Manchester in 1987.
Nancy was awarded a Chair in physiology in 1994, then a prestigious
Medical Research Council, Research Chair from 1998 to 2010.
Her current research focuses on the role of inflammation in brain
disease and has identified the role of the cytokine interleukin-1
(IL-1) in diverse forms of brain injury. Her recent studies have
begun to elucidate the mechanisms regulating IL-1 release and its
action, and her group has conducted the first early clinical trial
of an IL-1 inhibitor in stroke. She has previously served as
president of the British Neuroscience Association, a council member
of MRC, BBSRC and Cancer Research UK. In 2003 she won the
prestigious Pfizer Research Prize, in 2004 was elected a Fellow of
the Royal Society and in 2005 was honoured with a DBE.
Nancy became President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of
Manchester in July 2010, but still maintains an active research
group. She is President of the Society of Biology, a non-executive
director of AstraZeneca, a member of the Prime Minister's Council
for Science and Technology and a member of the Greater Manchester
Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board.
Nancy takes a strong and active interest in public communication
of science and regularly gives talks to schools and the public and
contributes to television, radio and press, particularly on
sensitive issues in science. In 1998 she delivered the Royal
Institution Christmas Lectures, televised by the BBC.