Professor Jane Hirst appointed to role devoted to global women’s health

Professor Jane Hirst appointed to role devoted to global women’s health

We are thrilled to share the news that Professor Jane Hirst has been appointed Clinical Chair in Global Women’s Health at The George Institute for Global Health, UK, and the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.

Professor Hirst will lead The George Institute Global Women’s Health Programme (GWHP), focused on improving women’s health throughout life and championing an evidence-informed approach to addressing the leading causes of death and disability for women worldwide, namely non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injury, as well as important women-specific conditions.  

“The global health burden of NCDs among women, particularly those in marginalised communities, is accelerating and yet action too often overlooks context and fails to recognise the realities of women’s health across life. I am honoured to lead the GWHP and work to improve the lives of women and girls around the world”, said Professor Hirst.

As Chair, Professor Hirst will develop and lead the GWHP across the Institute’s offices in Australia, China, India and the UK, as well as globally, albeit being primarily based in London, UK.

Professor Otavio Berwanger, Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health, UK, said: 

“We are delighted that Jane has been appointed to the position of Chair in Global Women’s Health. Jane is a dynamic clinical researcher focused on investigating innovative and efficient approaches to improve health care delivery for women around the world. We are confident that she will bring these skills to bear in this position and so make significant steps towards our mission to improve the health of billions of people worldwide.”

Professor Hirst is a Consultant Obstetrician in Oxford, UK and holds a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. Prior to joining Imperial, she was Associate Professor in Obstetrics at the University of Oxford. She has longstanding research links with The George Institute, having been appointed a Senior Research Associate in 2017. Notably, she is Principal Investigator of the SMARTHealth Pregnancy trial in India, which is evaluating a community-based healthcare intervention to integrate NCD screening and management into pregnancy and postnatal care. Professor Hirst is also leading a new program exploring the sex-specific impacts of environmental change, including research to understand the effects of extreme heat on pregnancy outcomes.

The George Institute’s GWHP was established in 2018. It builds on the global expertise of Institute staff, taking a multi-faceted approach to improve women’s health through research, policy, and advocacy, with work ranging from improving the management of high-risk pregnancies to addressing the burden of critical gynaecological issues, including cancers. 

“Professor Hirst’s appointment will strengthen the program’s work to improve the health of women worldwide, achieve gender-based equity and empower all women. She will work closely with the newly-established Network of Women’s Health at Imperial College London,” said Dr Carinna Hockham, Program Manager for the Institute’s GWHP in the UK.

Professor Deborah Ashby, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, said:

“We are looking forward to working closely with Professor Hirst. Her impressive clinical and research background will enrich the women’s health research and teaching that is being carried out across the Faculty of Medicine and the College.”

You can find out more about the work of the Institute’s GWHP here and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on our work.