The journey from molecular transformation to the human touch

Inaugural lecture: Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL

Professor Kathryn Mitchell‘s inaugural lecture provided an oversight of both her scientific and personal journey in a long career of research which has worked to address how to improve the lives of patients with ‘degenerative’ or chronic disease. This body of research and foci on people living with a chronic/incurable disease was triggered by a six-month work experience in Karatina, Kenya, when Professor Mitchell observed the impact of unmanaged AIDS.

Professor Mitchel discussed the the early approaches to neural transplantation and their role in developing a deeper understanding of the complex nature of diseases such as Alzheimer’s; explaining how the early approaches from the 1980s were achieved through the significant advances in molecular biology delivering molecular transformation, and, as importantly, how this led to transformation in medical research.

In the second part of the lecture, Professor Mitchell focused on the delivery of treatment models, considering how they are assessed in relation to medical outcomes and importantly how they impact upon the patient. She examined the role treatment delivery plays in transforming the patient’s acceptance of a condition and their quality of life, and discusses what is best practice in treatment approaches for several long-term conditions.

Vice-chancellor's inaugural lecture talk, January 2020 by Kathryn Mitchell talking about her background as a student.

View Kathryn Mitchell Inaugural Lecture video transcript

Professor Kathryn Mitchell

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Deputy Lieutenant, joined the University of Derby as Vice-Chancellor in 2015. Her academic background is in psychology and she continues to play an active role in research.

Before Professor Mitchell came to Derby, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London, where she had special responsibility for academic provision and quality, having previously been Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic and Student Support Services and Dean of Students.

She was a Wellcome Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, for over seven years and has studied at the Universities of York and London. She has worked at the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Institute in New York and the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel.

In addition to her role as Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, she is currently chair of the Derby Opportunity Area Partnership Board, which is overseeing work to improve social mobility and raise educational standards from early years and through school for children and young people across the city.

Introduction by Professor Nick Braisby BA PhD CPsychol AFBPsS PFHEA

Professor Nick Braisby is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer at Buckinghamshire New University, having been appointed to the position in February 2019.

He joined Bucks New University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor in September 2017 from the University of West London where he had held the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor since 2013.

Professor Braisby is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has held posts at London South Bank University, the University of Winchester, the Open University and London Guildhall University.

He studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and then read for a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh. Professor Braisby obtained a British Academy postdoctoral research fellowship held at the London School of Economics.