Leadership team

Neil Gow - Institutional Lead

Professor Neil Gow is Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Exeter. Professor Gow was appointed in September 2018.

He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh where he obtained his Bachelors degree in Microbiology. Professor Gow went on to receive his PhD in 1982 from the University of Aberdeen, followed by a period of postdoctoral research at the National Jewish Hospital for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and University of Colorado, Denver, USA. He was appointed as a lecturer to the University of Aberdeen and received a personal Chair in 1995. At the University of Aberdeen Professor Gow held various senior positions including Head of Microbiology Research Programme, 2002-2011, Director of Research and Commercialisation, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, 2011-2015, Director of the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award in Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology and Co-Director, MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, 2017-2018. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society of Edinburgh and American Academy of Microbiology and has acted as President of three major international societies of mycology and microbiology.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact, Professor Gow oversees a total research portfolio of £299 million and leads the research vision and strategy for the University.

His overarching responsibilities include our preparation and submission for the Research Excellence Framework in 2021; interdisciplinary institutes, including the Environment and Sustainability Institute and the Living System Institute, and the development of our Global Systems Institute and Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Institute; strategic leadership of our Doctoral College, the University Ethics Committee and the Research and Impact Strategy Management Group; and ensuring our research is utilised and impacts positively on the wider world.

Professor Gow represents the University externally via a number of research-related groups including the EU Advisory Group for the Russell Group of Universities and GW4, our regional alliance of the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Exeter.

Ivana Gudelj - Co-Director

Professor of Evolutionary Systems Biology at Exeter, Ivana studies competition, metabolic cooperation and coevolution among microorganisms and how these interactions affect the evolution of microbial biodiversity, virulence and antifungal resistance. She exploits developments in synthetic and quantitative biology to solve fundamental problems in evolutionary and community microbiology.

Following the award of a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Bath, she subsequently held a NERC Environmental Mathematics and Statistics Fellowship at Silwood Park, Imperial College London followed by a NERC Advanced Fellowship. In 2011, she moved from the Mathematics Department at Imperial to the University of Exeter to set up an interdisciplinary research group where mathematicians, physicists, bioinformaticians, molecular biologists and experimental evolutionary ecologists would work together and share ideas. Her work is currently funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant, an ERC Proof of Concept award and the Leverhulme Trust.

Read more information about Prof Gudelj’s interdisciplinary work here.

Willie Hamilton - Co-Director

Willie is a Professor of Primary Care Diagnostics at the University. His major research focus is in cancer diagnosis, though he also researches other relevant primary care diagnostic areas. In cancer, his main expertise is in identifying and quantifying the risk of cancer in patients presenting to their general practitioner with a particular symptom or symptoms, and what testing should be available.

He created the CAPER research unit within the University of Bristol, initially funded by the NHS research practice scheme, but now moved to the University of Exeter, and largely funded by a NIHR programme grant, DISCOVERY (2010-15), and through the Policy Research Unit for Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis (2011-18).

Read more information about Prof Hamilton’s research.

Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova - Co-Director

Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova is Professor of Mathematics for Healthcare in the Living Systems Institute and the Department of Mathematics at the University of Exeter (UoE), UK.  

She received her MSc (Mathematics) from the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria and PhD (Applied Mathematica) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She joined the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol in October 2007 as a lecturer and was promoted to a Reader in Applied Mathematics in 2012.

Krasimira moved to the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter in July 2013. Her research and professional activities aim to inform novel applications of mathematics to enable the development of quantitative methods for healthcare and healthcare technologies. In her research, she develops and analyses mathematical models for applications to personalised prediction and clinical decision support in prevention, diagnosis or treatment of health-related conditions. She also serves as Associate Dean for International and Development in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at UoE (2018-2021).

Chrissie Walker - Project Manager

Chrissie is TREE's Project Manager.  Her background is in scientific publishing, having worked on a wide range of journals and reference works at Nature Publishing Group, the University of Oxford and the Royal Society before more recently moving into website development and project management while at the Institute of Physics.

Chrissie's role is to manage TREE by supporting the research fellows in managing their projects, managing seed corn project and secondment recruitment as well as promoting the Centre within the University and the wider community.