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Professor Jon Deeks
Professor Jon Deeks

The University of Birmingham’s Professor Jon Deeks is one of 50 prominent biomedical and health scientists to have been elected to the Academy of Medical Science’s respected and influential Fellowship.

The new Fellows have been selected for their exceptional contributions to the advancement of medical science through innovative research discoveries and translating scientific developments into benefits for patients and the wider society.

Many of the Academy’s 2021 new Fellows are experts whose work has been instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Professor Deeks whose research has included recruiting and leading an independent network of global experts to maintain reviews of evidence on the accuracy of different diagnostic approaches to detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in Cochrane systematic reviews - including assessing the performance of rapid antigen tests.

A Professor of Biostatistics, Jon leads the Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation Research Group at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, and is also an integral part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre.

He is a world leading expert on the evaluation of medical tests, has published over 300 research papers and reviews in scientific journals and is the senior methodologist on numerous primary evaluations and systematic reviews. He also advises the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the evaluation of diagnostic tests, is an NIHR Senior Investigator Emeritus, and the Chief Statistical Advisor to the British Medical Journal.

Of his election to the Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship, Professor Deeks said: “The Academy upholds the importance of excellence in science, and the necessity of clinicians, laboratory experts and methodologists working together in multidisciplinary teams to meet this aim. I am honoured that the Academy has recognised the expertise that a biostatistician can bring to the evaluation of medical tests, and I look forward to contributing to developments in this field with Academy colleagues for years to come.”

Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “I am truly delighted to welcome these 50 new Fellows to the Academy’s Fellowship, and I offer my congratulations to each of them on their exceptional contribution to biomedical and health science. The knowledge, skill and influence that each brings to the Fellowship is the Academy’s most powerful asset.

“The last year has clearly demonstrated the power and prowess of UK biomedical science, and I am proud of how many Fellows, new and old, have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in the UK and globally.

“Although it is hard to look beyond the pandemic right now, I want to stress how important it is that the Academy Fellowship represents the widest diversity of biomedical and health sciences. The greatest health advances rely on the findings of many types of research, and on multidisciplinary teams and cross-sector and global collaboration.

“I am pleased that the newest cohort of Fellows demonstrates this breadth of expertise, from microbiology to healthcare law and medical statistics.”

Professor Philippa Saunders FRSE FMedSci, Registrar of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “The Academy’s mission of improving health via biomedical research relies upon the brightest minds coming together from across a wide range of backgrounds.

“The pandemic has highlighted the global nature of health and the immense power that the scientific community can have when it works together. I am delighted to welcome the 50 new Fellows and look forward to working with them through the Academy.”

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy on 1 July 2021.

Notes to Editors

  • To arrange interviews with Professor Deeks please contact Emma McKinney, Media Relations Manager, University of Birmingham, or +44 7815607157. Alternatively, contact the Press Office out of hours on +44 (0)7789 921165 or
  • For more information about the Academy of Medical Sciences, please contact Naomi Clarke, Senior Communications Officer, Academy of Medical Sciences 07903 158979,
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, and its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from nearly 150 countries.
  • The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Its elected Fellows are the UK’s leading medical scientists from hospitals, academia, industry and the public service. Its mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. It is working to secure a future in which:
  • UK and global health is improved by the best research.
  • The UK leads the world in biomedical and health research, and is renowned for the quality of its research outputs, talent and collaborations.
  • Independent, high quality medical science advice informs the decisions that affect society.
  • More people have a say in the future of health and research.
  • Its work focusses on four key objectives: promoting excellence, developing talented researchers, influencing research and policy and engaging patients, the public and professionals.
  • This year Fellows were chosen from 384 candidates. The eight Sectional Committees met in March to consider potential Fellows for 2021 entry to the Academy. Three nominators from within the Fellowship must back each candidate. The Academy Registrar, Professor Philippa Saunders FRSEFMedSci, Director of Postgraduate Research, University of Edinburgh, oversees the election. 103 candidates were shortlisted for peer review. The election brings the total number of Fellows to 1,368.
  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:
  1. Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  2. Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  3. Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  4. Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  5. Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy
  6. The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.