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Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture launches University’s 2020 series of public talks

21 January 2020

University of Derby Vice-Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell will deliver her Inaugural Lecture next month, focusing on her research into how psychology can help people suffering chronic or degenerative illnesses.

Launching the University of Derby’s 2020 Inaugural Lecture series on Wednesday 5 February, Professor Mitchell will discuss how complex conditions like Alzheimer’s disease have come to be better understood, and how advances in molecular biology have transformed medical research.

The lecture – titled ‘The journey from molecular transformation to the human touch‘ – will also examine the impact of treatment on a patient’s acceptance of their condition and on their quality of life.

An inaugural lecture is an academic tradition for showcasing research, learning and teaching practice to a University-wide and public audience. For many academics, it is a key milestone in their career and is often a celebration of achieving their professorship and an acknowledgement of leadership in their chosen field.

Professor Mitchell, who was appointed as Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Derby in 2015, will draw on her many years of research and teaching in the UK, Europe and the USA, and inspiration from work she undertook in Africa, for the subject of her presentation.

She said: “I have addressed many different events in Derby and Derbyshire since I arrived here five years ago, both in and outside the University, but this will be my first public lecture to detail my research in a subject which I have been so passionate about for more than 30 years.

“While my role at Derby has been about the strategic direction of the University, I have still been actively involved in psychological research.

 “This particular lecture was inspired by a six-month placement I spent in Kenya in the 1980s in a region of the country where the population was severely and desperately affected by the impact of AIDS.

“It focuses on how approaches and advances in medical science and treatments have helped people to accept their condition and the impact they have had upon their quality of life.

“It is very much from the perspective of the researcher and will hopefully bring a greater understanding of the contribution that academic research makes to society.”

Inaugural Lectures are facilitated by the University Professorial Council, which aims to support the implementation of policy and practice that enhances the research quality, intensity and environment of the University of Derby.

Professor Mitchell’s lecture takes place at the Kedleston Road site of the University of Derby on Wednesday 5 February at 6.30pm. It will be Introduced by fellow Vice-Chancellor and psychologist Professor Nick Braisby, of Buckinghamshire New University.

For more information and to book a place for the lecture, visit the University of Derby website.

Details of the other Inaugural Lectures taking place throughout the year will be released on the Events pages of our website in the coming weeks.

For further information contact the Corporate Communications team at pressoffice@derby.ac.uk or call 01332 591491.