SalfordFASD Professor Becomes Pro-vice Chancellor

Professor Penny Cook, the founding lead of the SalfordFASD research group has been appointed as the Interim Pro-Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise of the University of Salford. Penny is a professor of Public Health and Epidemiology with keen interest in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and has grown the SalfordFASD team to become the largest and most expert team in the UK when it comes to research on FASD. 

Penny earned her PhD from the University of Liverpool in 1996 and subsequently embarked on a Royal Society funded fellowship at Stockholm University. She joined Liverpool John Moores University’s Centre for Public Health in 1998, where she progressed from a research fellow to a Reader in Public Health Epidemiology by 2007. During her tenure at LJMU, Penny conducted research funded by the Department of Health on the intersection of population-level indicators of alcohol use, teenage pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections in teenagers. Her work also contributed to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on HIV and sexual health.

In June 2012, Penny joined the University of Salford, initially joining to teach on the MSc Public Health program and later being appointed as a Professor in 2013. Alongside her teaching responsibilities, Penny has been involved in several significant research projects, including the NIHR-funded ‘Communities in Charge of Alcohol’ project, which explores how communities can provide support and influence local alcohol licensing decisions.

Penny’s research in public health also extends to areas such as physical activity and the health benefits of greenspace. She has also pursued interests in ecology, co-authoring books on ecological methods and studying invertebrates. Outside of work, Penny enjoys playing tennis and following her adult children’s achievements. In her new role as Interim Pro-Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Penny expressed her enthusiasm for supporting the University’s researchers and nurturing its research culture to ensure continued excellence and impact. She will officially assume her new position on 1st of April, 2024.