Fighting Infectious Diseases

Meet an Honorary Graduate: Professor Dame Anne Johnson

After dedicating her career to the research into the prevention of infectious diseases including HIV, Professor Dame Anne Johnson, an epidemiologist and public health expert has been awarded an Honorary Degree from the University.

“What a breathtaking journey…”

Professor Dame Anne Johnson

The University of York confers the honorary degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society. Dame Anne Johnson was awarded her degree by Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Deborah Smith, as part of the Hull York Medical School graduation celebrations on 12 July.

During her speech, Professor Deborah Smith, said, “Dame Anne is an exemplar of York’s strong track record in promoting and celebrating the achievements of women in science and medicine. But also more broadly, female academic achievement. Something we can never be complacent about.”

For over 30 years, Professor Dame Anne has worked in research on the epidemiology and prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections as well as other infectious diseases such as influenza, Ebola, and antimicrobial resistance.

She co-directed the Medical Research Council UK Centre for Co-ordinating Epidemiological Studies of HIV and AIDS from 1985 until 1999 and was principal investigator on the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal). Through this, she maps the extent of the HIV epidemic and tracks changes in behaviour over time.

Professor Deborah Smith explains, “She has been recognised by fellowships of the Academy of Medical Sciences, The Royal College of Physicians, The Royal College of General Practitioners and the Faculty of Public Health. She is also a Governor of the Wellcome Trust.

Dame Anne co-founded UCL’s Institute for Global Health and after training in medicine at the Universities of Cambridge and Newcastle, and became Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London (UCL).

Professor Dame Anne Johnson, described her career and the growth of the NHS as ‘a breathtaking journey,’ saying “For me little was planned and relied on serendipity and seizing opportunity.” A fitting way to inspire the Class of 2018 as they step into the unknown of their career.