Mr Andrew Merrington

Senior Media & Communications Officer

A renowned expert in biomedical education has been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) at the University.

Professor John Curnow will join the institution in July from the University of Birmingham, where he is Director of Education for the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. A Professor of Biomedical Education, Professor Curnow is also a leading researcher in the fields of immunology and immunotherapy.

On joining the University of Plymouth, he said:


“This role is a wonderful opportunity to lead education and student experience at a university with a national and international reputation for teaching and research excellence. I’m looking forward to working collaboratively and inclusively in helping colleagues inspire all students to realise their potential and equip them with the skills, knowledge and values required by employers and society.”


Professor Curnow is recognised for his innovative education work at Birmingham, where ten years ago he established its leading MSc in Immunology and Immunotherapy.

During his time as Director of Education for the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, he has been credited in enhancing the culture around teaching and education in the college. This includes developing an exciting education agenda in support of both in the UK and overseas, playing a key role in diversifying the educational offering through distance learning courses, degree apprenticeships and transnational education. More recently, he has also provided cross-institution leadership in education agendas including helping guide his university through some of the most turbulent times for education in the last couple of years.

Welcoming his appointment, University of Plymouth Vice-Chancellor, Professor Judith Petts CBE, commented:


“Professor Curnow’s commitment to flexibility and inclusivity in education, underpinned by research-led teaching, is very much aligned with Plymouth’s strategy and vision. We look forward to him joining in the summer and to working with him in continuing to develop our leading reputation for teaching excellence and a vibrant academic community.”


A senior member of Birmingham’s Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, Professor Curnow has published more than 80 research papers in scientific journals in the field of translational human immunology. He has received grants from Fight for Sight, the Medical Research Council and the MS Society, and has previously held research posts at Oxford and in Marseille.