Associate vice-presidents

In addition to the senior officers at The University of Manchester, there are also a number of associate vice-presidents responsible for leading on priorities for the institution, some of whom are listed below.

Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Vice-President International

Stephen Flint

Professor Stephen Flint leads a geoscience research group that reconstructs the palaeogeography of ancient sedimentary basins worldwide. This helps to understand the effects of climate change and tectonic activity in deep time. Applications include exploration for new gas reserves in the transition from oil to renewable energy sources and forecasting of future environmental change.

He joined the University in 2012 as Professor of Stratigraphy and Associate Dean for Internationalisation in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. In 2015 he served as Interim Vice-President and Dean of Faculty and took up the newly established position of Associate-Vice-President for Internationalisation in November 2015. He leads on development of global strategic partnerships and is Chair of the Universities UK PVCs-International network.

Previously Stephen worked for Shell Research in the Netherlands, then moved to an academic position at the University of Liverpool, where he held a Personal Chair in Sedimentology and was Dean of Graduate Studies. He has published over 150 papers, geology textbooks and many industry reports.

John Holden, Associate Vice-President for Major Special Projects

John Holden

John Holden joined the University as Associate Vice-President for Major Special Projects in January 2020. He is responsible for supporting major external bids relating to regional and national government and to private, commercial and charitable organisations. He also works with the government on locating key national and international activities in the Manchester city region.

He works closely with leaders across the University, and collaborates on cross-institution initiatives and with a wide range of external stakeholders.

John has extensive regional and national policy experience, with expertise in devolved regional. His previous roles includes senior strategy and research at the New Economy think tank promoting regional growth and prosperity and most recently as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Assistant Director, Strategy/Research.

John is a University alumnus, having studied his BA (Hons) Economic and Social Studies and MA International Political Economy at Manchester from 1999 to 2003.

Professor Nigel Hooper, Associate Vice-President for Research

Nigel Hooper

Professor Nigel Hooper leads a research group that is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration. His work has implications for the prevention, diagnosis and intervention in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Nigel joined The University of Manchester in 2014 as Professor of Cell Biology. In 2015 he was appointed as Director of Dementia Research and then in 2016 as Vice-Dean for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

In 2020 he was appointed as Associate Vice-President for Research with a particular emphasis on promoting and facilitating cross-disciplinary research in the University, with lead oversight for the establishment of new institutes, as well as governance of the University’s existing portfolio of beacons, institutes and research platforms.

Previously, Nigel was Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and was recognised in 2016 by election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Professor Melissa Westwood, Associate Vice-President for Research

Melissa Westwood

Professor Westwood is Professor of Endocrinology (2015) and Associate Vice-President for Research (2018).

Previously, she was Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and Academic Director of the University’s MRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership (2015-18) and Lead of the Centre for Women's Health in the Faculty's Institute of Human Development (2011-2015).

Professor Westwood graduated from The University of Manchester with a first class honours degree in Anatomical Sciences in 1991 and began her PhD studies, also at the University, on the role of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis in diabetes. However, an unexpected finding led her into pregnancy research and a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (1997) to pursue her PhD findings. This resulted in a number of key studies relating to IGF function in normal and compromised pregnancies and ‘finding solutions to pregnancy problems’ became the focus of her research.

Her current interests, funded through Research Council and UK charities, include the influence of maternal hormonal and nutritional signals on implantation and placental development/function, aiming to develop new strategies for clinical intervention.

Professor Westwood serves on the Editorial Board for Placenta and is a member of the International Federation of the Placenta Association's Executive Committee.

Professor Gabrielle Finn, Associate Vice President for Teaching, Learning, and Students

Gabrielle Finn

Professor Gabrielle Finn is Associate Vice President (AVP) for Teaching, Learning, and Students. She is also Professor of Medical Education in the School of Medical Sciences. Gabrielle’s AVP portfolio focuses on: (1) assessment and feedback, (2) student voice, and (3) access, participation, and success.

She leads the University’s Assessment for the Future (AFF) strategic group. Outside of the University, Gabrielle is Director of Events for the Association for the Study of Medical Education, and Associate Editor for Perspectives in Medical Education and Anatomical Sciences Education. She is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE).

Gabrielle is also an active medical education researcher, with several PhD students. Her research interests include gender discrimination, feminist theory, assessment and feedback, differential attainment, professionalism, and innovative pedagogy. Her research funding is related to Fitness to Practise and regulation within health professions. She has authored a number of books, as well as over 150 research papers