Thursday 4 November 2021

the New Warden,
Dr Sir Michael Jacobs

The College is pleased to announce the appointment of Keble’s next Warden, Dr Sir Michael Jacobs. He will succeed current Warden Sir Jonathan Phillips from Michaelmas Term 2022.

Michael JacobsMichael Jacobs, courtesy of Royal Free London 

Michael Jacobs said, “I am deeply honoured to have been elected as the next Warden of Keble College. I work with an exceptionally talented, dedicated and principled team at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust who have made incredible things happen in healthcare. I am thrilled to be joining a similar team in the higher education sector who continue to build on the proud and distinctive history of Keble College. The College was founded to broaden the social depth of the student body and I feel extremely privileged to be joining an outstanding place to work and study that is determinedly excellent, progressive, socially responsible and compassionate.”

Current Warden Sir Jonathan Phillips commented, “I am really delighted that Michael Jacobs has been chosen to succeed me as Warden of Keble. He will bring great energy and enthusiasm to the role and his wide-ranging experience and distinction as a physician make him an ideal person to take our whole community forward in developing this wonderful institution.”

Michael Jacobs is an Infectious Diseases specialist at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. He studied medicine at St John’s College, Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School and then trained as a physician in General Medicine and Infectious Diseases in London and Cambridge. While training, he was awarded a Wellcome Research Training Fellowship and completed a PhD in Molecular Virology at Imperial College London. After completing clinical training, he was awarded a Wellcome Advanced Fellowship for postdoctoral research. He was subsequently appointed as Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Free Hospital and later as Clinical Director of Infection, helping to establish an internationally recognised centre of excellence. His main clinical and research interests are the most serious viral infections and medical countermeasures to combat them. He also has a major interest in medical education and has had several leadership roles in postgraduate training programmes and examinations.

Two major events have marked his career. In 2013-6, an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola affected Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. He worked at the centre of the UK response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak and led the clinical team that treated Ebola patients in the UK. In early 2020, the same team treated some of the first COVID-19 patients in the UK and it continues to respond to the evolving pandemic.

He has participated in and chaired numerous national and international advisory and guideline committees on dangerous viral infections and served as NHS England Programme Director for High Consequence Infectious Diseases. He is currently working extensively on UK, EU and WHO programmes on vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. In 2016, he was knighted for services to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.