Honorary Graduates

Many of our alumni go on to receive honorary degrees as recognition for their outstanding contributions to their chosen fields.


Professor Nick Craddock

Professor Nick Craddock, a world leader in the study of psychiatric genetics and a pioneer of genome-wide association studies delivers his Honorary Graduand speech at the July 2014 degree congregation at the University of Birmingham.

Professor David Haslam CBE

Professor David Haslam, Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and a Fellow of the Royal College of GPs delivers his Honorary Graduand speech at the July 2014 degree congregation.


Dame Julie Moore

Graduate portrait of Dame Julie MooreJulie is a graduate nurse who worked in clinical practice before moving into management. After a variety of clinical, management and director posts, she was appointed as Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham in 2006.In 2013, Julie was awarded an Honorary Chair at Warwick University, and was included in the BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour list of the 100 most powerful women in the UK.  Julie was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours 2012.

Professor Peter Weissberg

Graduate portrait of Professor Peter WeissbergPeter Weissberg trained as an academic cardiologist in Birmingham before going to Australia as an MRC Research Fellow studying the cell and molecular biology of atherosclerosis.  Shortly after returning to the UK he became the first British Heart Foundation (BHF) Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine in the University of Cambridge. In 2004 he became Medical Director of the BHF where he oversees funding for over half the cardiovascular research undertaken in UK universities.



Professor Sir Alex Markham

Photo of Professor Sir Alex MarkhamProfessor Sir Alex Markham is Professor of Medicine at the University of Leeds, and has over 15 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries. He studied a PhD in Chemistry at Birmingham and in 1990 was recognised by the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement for the worldwide development of DNA fingerprinting for forensic and medico-legal applications. He was Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK from 2003 to 2008, and currently chairs the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, which will research the use of NHS electronic patient records. Professor Sir Alex was knighted for ‘Services to Medicine and Healthcare’ in 2008.

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen

Photo of Dr Andrew Vallance-OwenDr Andrew Vallance-Owen graduated from the Birmingham Medical School in 1976 and is currently Chair of the Guild Trustee Board. A trained surgeon, he joined the staff of the British Medical Association, as Scottish Secretary and then Head of Policy. He recently retired from BUPA, where he was accountable for the safety and quality of care of BUPA’s 11 million customers. He is a keen advocate of improved doctor-patient communications, measurement of clinical performance and shared decision making and is actively involved in the fields of healthcare and education including chairmanship of UK Trade and Investment's Healthcare Business Group.

Professor Paul McMaster

Since retiring in 2000, Professor Paul McMaster has taken up the role of President of Medecins Sans Frontier UK and has worked for them and Doctors without Borders in developing countries across the globe. He has trained dozens of surgeons from across the world and has worked as a field surgeon in volatile areas of conflict. Paul studied medicine at the University of Liverpool, and trained with pioneers of liver surgery at the Hammersmith Hospital London and Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge. His principal clinical work is in surgery and research in immunology and schedules to minimise organ rejection. Paul worked with Sir Roy Calne in the inception of Liver and Pancreas transplantation, and in 1980 came to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to set up the countries’ second liver centre with Professor Elwyn Elias. Under Paul’s direction the centre pioneered new approaches and techniques and has become one of Europe’s biggest programmes of liver disease treatment.

Dr José Narro Robles

Dr Jose Narro RoblesDr José Narro Robles is the Rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He graduated as a Medical Surgeon from UNAM and then carried out his postgraduate studies in Community Medicine at the University of Birmingham. Dr. Narro Robles has taught Preventative Medicine, Family Medicine, and Public Health at UNAM and has held roles such as Director General of Planning, Secretary General, and Dean of the School of Medicine, he was appointed Rector in 2007. Dr José Narro Robles has also held several Federal Public Administration roles including Undersecretary of Health Services in the Health Department. He is a well published author and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Mexican Academy of Science.