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The winter break may seem a distant memory now, especially as I know that so for many of you it has been a busy start to 2022, but I sincerely hope that you are able to enjoy lighter and longer days as we move into Spring. It has been a tough couple of years, and it’s important we continue to take care of ourselves and each other. 

We have much to celebrate as we start the New Year. Professor Irene Tracey, Professor Richard Haynes and Lucy Fletcher have all been recognised in this year’s New Year's Honours list for their contributions to medical research, global health and clinical trials respectively. Cancer Research UK invested £11 million in the University and its local NHS partners, to further enhance our cancer research and translational infrastructure, as well as an additional £3m over the next 5 years for training initiatives. Also in January, The Duchess of Cornwall opened the new Marcela Botnar wing of the Botnar Institute for Musculoskeletal Sciences, a new home for researchers working in the field of bio-engineering. The Duchess is Patron of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC) Charity, which raised £9M for the new wing. Our success in so many diverse areas across our Division should make us all proud!

We also have few hello and goodbyes. Professor Kia Nobre has recently stepped down as Head of the Department of Experimental Psychology and Professor Matthew Rushworth will replace her as Interim Head. Kia has seen the department through many difficult times, including having to completing relocate the department after the sudden closure of Tinbergen. I would like to thank her for the time, effort and continued dedication, and also wish Matthew every success in his new role.

Last year, the Medical School joined schools across the UK in a joint declaration of the Climate and Health Emergency. Since then the School has appointed SanYuMay Tan to develop a strategy to embed the new curriculum theme of Education for Sustainable Healthcare (ESH). This is such an urgent and important initiative and we are pleased to have SanYuMay on board.

Finally, as we return to office working and learn to live with COVID, it’s clear that antivirals will play an important part of this in the future. The Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences have been doing so much great work in this area, most recently in the form of the PANORAMIC trial which is investigating which groups of people will benefit most from new antiviral COVID-19 treatments in the community and prevent them needing to go to hospital. Since its start in early December 2021 the PANORAMIC trial team has screened over 30,000 people and recruited more than 6,829 participants to the trial, making it the fastest recruiting trial of its kind ever in the UK. A feat recently recognised by the Chief Medical Office, Professor Chris Whitty on Twitter.