Professor Dame Sally Davies will give the second annual International Women’s Day lecture at the Oxford Martin School As the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally is the country’s leading figure in public health. In this lecture, she will talk about microbial resistance and the dire threat it poses if action is not taken to reinvigorate research into a new class of antibiotic. She has described the threat posed by antibiotic resistance as being on a par with that of terrorism and climate change and warned that “Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics." Her highlighting of the issue in the CMO’s Annual Report, published in March 2013, included 17 recommendations on antibiotic resistancy, many of which are designed to tackle the ‘discovery void’ in pharmaceutical research. A year on from the report, Dame Sally will talk about the Government’s strategy for action, the challenges she faces and the progress made.
Professor Dame Sally Davies is the UK Government's Chief Medical Advisor and was appointed in 2010. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) acts as the UK government’s principal medical adviser and the professional head of all directors of public health in local government. Dame Sally has been actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment. As Director-General she established the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) with a budget of £1 billion. Dame Sally is a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board. She led the UK delegation to the WHO Ministerial Summit in November 2004 and the WHO Forum on Health Research in November 2008. From 2000-2012 Dame Sally was a member of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR). She also chaired the Expert Advisory Committee for the development of the WHO research strategy, endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2010. Dame Sally is a member of the International Advisory Committee for A*STAR, Singapore and has advised many others on research strategy and evaluation including the Australian NHMRC, Canadian CIHR and Norwegian Government. Dame Sally was awarded a DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours 2009 for services to medicine and in September 2011 she was conferred as Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London. Dame Sally was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 1 May 2014.