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Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE

Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE FMedSci FRSB FRCP (Hon) FRCPath (Hon) is the Chief Scientific Officer for England.

Sue has been the Chief Scientific Officer since October 2002, initially based in the Department of Health, providing expert clinical scientific advice across the health system and head of profession for the healthcare science workforce in the NHS and associated bodies.

Sue is also the Senior Responsible Officer for Genomics in NHS England, having previously established the NHS Genomic Medicine Centres and led the service’s contribution to the 100,000 Genomes Project. She was made a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018 for her role in advancing genomic medicine.

Sue’s start in science and healthcare began in London, studying physiology, while at the same time working at what is now Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in Swindon. She became the youngest person to run a lab in the NHS at the time, working in respiratory physiology, anaesthetics and intensive care.

She then moved to what is now University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, while studying part-time for a PhD in lung immunobiology at the University of Birmingham. She conducted research into the pathogenesis of chronic lung disease and later designed and led clinical trials and scientific projects, trained medical and scientific staff, alongside providing direct care for patients. In 1995, Sue was asked to head a major government project developing competencies for the NHS and healthcare science workforce.

Sue’s leadership in respiratory research and practice saw her become Vice-President of the British Lung Foundation, establish a new assembly within the European Respiratory Society, which she chaired for six years, and she continues to hold a Chair in Respiratory Medicine at Birmingham University.

Sue has been instrumental in the professional organisation and development of healthcare scientists, with a leading role in shaping education, training and professional registration of scientists. Since becoming Chief Scientific Officer, she established and led the world leading Modernising Scientific Careers Programme in 2007, covering all levels of practice, alongside a new supporting infrastructure inclusive of the National School for Healthcare Science.

Sue has also chaired the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group for Healthcare Science and was a founder of the CSO Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Fellowship programme. In 2018, alongside Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, Sue awarded Staffordshire University's Biological Sciences Department the “Excellence in Education Delivery” award at the annual Chief Scientific Officer's Healthcare Science Awards.

The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed in recognition of Sue as a revolutionary figure within healthcare and healthcare science, transforming education pathways and service delivery to ensure that scientific discovery, cutting-edge diagnostics and translational research are at the forefront of medicine. It also acknowledges her pioneering work in developing a sustainable scientific workforce.

Photo of Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE

Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE was bestowed the award in 2019

Diversity, inclusivity and equality in education is so important and Staffordshire University epitomises this philosophy. It embraces the needs of its community and provides access to careers for all groups, so I am delighted to be asked to receive this award.

Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE