An Exeter Professor has been awarded an OBE in King Charles’ first Birthday Honours list for services to public health.

Professor John Newton was appointed to a chair in public health at the University of Exeter in 2021, having held an Honorary Professorship in Public Health and Epidemiology since 2016. The OBE recognises Professor Newton’s long standing contribution to public health as a Regional Director of Public Health and then as Director of Health Improvement in Public Health England. The award equally recognises his more recent achievements during the pandemic as the Government’s COVID-19 testing clinical adviser.

Professor Newton has a research interest in descriptive epidemiology and precision public health and has held an Honorary Professorship in Public Health and Epidemiology at the university since 2016. In April 2020 he cut short his sabbatical at the university’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health to take up a secondment as co-ordinator of Secretary of State’s national programme on coronavirus testing.

Professor John Newton, who was named one of the 80 most influential people in health by the Health service Journal, said: “I’m delighted and honoured by this recognition of my work given how few such awards are made.  It’s a great opportunity to thank all the talented and hard working teams that I work with in public health and have done throughout my career.”

Professor Sallie Lamb, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: “We are so pleased that John has received this prestigious award in recognition of his dedication to public health. John’s work at the University of Exeter forms part for our growing reputation of excellence in public health, of which we are incredibly proud.”