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School leadership



Professor Lucilla Poston CBE, Head of School

Head of Department, Women & Children's Health

Professor Poston is Tommy's Charity Professor of Maternal & Fetal Health and Director of the Tommy’s Maternal & Fetal Research Unit based at St Thomas’ Hospital. She is the Research Lead for King's Health Partners' Institute of Women and Children's Health and leads a large multidisciplinary research team which investigates disorders of pregnancy including premature birth, pre-eclampsia and the complications arising from maternal obesity. Her own research focuses on maternal nutrition, obesity and gestational diabetes, with a focus on the early life origins of health and disease.

Professor Poston is President of the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG) and was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009. She was appointed NIHR Senior Investigator, Emeritus in 2017, having succeeded twice in open competition. In the same year, Lucilla was awarded a CBE for services to Women’s Health.

Professor Poston's full profile


Professor Kevin Whelan, Head of Department

Nutritional Sciences

Professor Whelan is Professor of Dietetics and has undertaken extensive research on probiotics, prebiotics, fibre and dietary interventions in gastrointestinal health and disease. He has published over 100 full papers in peer-reviewed journals and is the Series Editor of the Advanced Nutrition and Dietetics book series from the British Dietetic Association. He has previously served as academic advisor to the National Genetics Education and Development Centre and was a member of the Health Education England Advisory Group.

In 2012 he was awarded the Nutrition Society Sir David Cuthbertson Medal in recognition of research that has advanced clinical nutrition and impacted on patient care, and in 2017 was appointed a Fellow of the British Dietetic Association.

Professor Whelan has a particular interest in education and has twice received the College's Teaching Excellence Award.

Professor Whelan's full profile



Professor Chris Hammond, Head of Section


Professor Hammond holds the Frost Chair in Clinical Ophthalmology. His research investigates the genetics of myopia, glaucoma and age-related cataract using –omics technologies. These include genome-wide association studies, whole-genome sequencing and epigenetics, in particular measuring quantitative healthy variation in these traits in 3000-5000 twins. He has also performed twin studies to examine the heritability of macular pigment, dry eye, and pupillary responses.

Professor Hammond's NIHR Senior Research Fellowship, one of only three awarded nationally in 2008, recognised his work and supports his current research. He is also a Clinical Consultant Ophthalmologist based at St Thomas' Hospital, London, specialising in the management of strabismus (squint) in adults and in children, including squint surgery and botulinum toxin injections.

Professor Hammond's full profile



Professor Tim Spector, Head of Department

Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology

Professor Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry based at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. He trained in rheumatology and epidemiology and moved into genetic epidemiology in 1993 when he founded the UK Twins Registry of 12,000 twins, which is one of the richest collections of genotypic and phenotypic information on twins worldwide.

He has published over 800 research articles and is ranked as being in the top 1% of the world’s most published scientists by Reuters. He held a prestigious European Research Council Senior Investigator Award in epigenetics and is a NIHR Senior Investigator.

Professor Spector's full profile


Professor Shanta Persaud, Head of Department


Professor Persaud has been Professor of Diabetes & Endocrinology at King's since 2008 and she has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers on the regulation of islet function. Her main research interests lie in defining how islet beta-cells recognise external stimuli and transduce that recognition into appropriate regulation of insulin secretion and beta-cell mass, with a focus on identifying new therapeutic targets for type 2 diabetes. She also has a keen interest in education and is Deputy Head of the Teaching Department of Physiology and she is a Fellow of the Physiological Society.

Professor Persaud's full profile


Steven Wallace, School Manager (Maternity cover)

Steven is responsible for working in partnership with the Head of School and the School Executive to provide strategic and operational leadership within the School.

This includes overseeing the School’s finances (turnover in excess of £20 million), undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and growing, international portfolio of research. Steven ensures that the academic endeavour is enabled by excellent professional services support and is a member of the Faculty Operations Executive through which he works closely with the Faculty Operating Officer and other School Managers across the Faculty.  Steven has had a long career working in medical education and research. He is currently engaged in postgraduate studies.



Academic leads

Core professional services team

  • School Technical Manager logo

    School Technical Manager

    David Richards

  • Senior Operations (HR & Finance) logo

    Senior Operations (HR & Finance)

    Dorcas Ologunde

  • EA to Head of School logo

    EA to Head of School

    Rebecca Gomes