The organisation that represents medical schools across the UK has appointed Professor Jenny Higham its first woman Chair in its history.

The Medical Schools Council (MSC), which promotes health and knowledge through biomedical research and the medical profession, has elected Professor Jenny Higham, Principal of St George’s, University of London, as its new Chair.

Jenny Higham, who continues to practise as a consultant gynaecologist with research interests in reproductive medicine and simulation in education, said: “I am very proud to take over this prestigious national role and greatly look forward to working with colleagues in the UK’s medical schools and all our other stakeholders.”

She succeeds Professor Iain Cameron, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, who commented: “I am delighted that Professor Higham will succeed me as Chair of MSC. Jenny has made a major contribution to medical education and research and her leadership will be invaluable at a time of significant change for medicine in the UK.”

Professor Higham has held many academic and medical leadership positions including at Imperial College London where she was awarded the Imperial College Medal for outstanding leadership in 2014, the President and Rector’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence, and “Mentor of the Year” at the Women of the Future Awards in 2011.

For six years, until 2015, she had a key role in the development of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore.

Within the Medical Schools Council, Professor Higham has been actively involved with academic medical policy and has previously chaired the council’s Education Sub-Committee and was Treasurer of MSC until taking up this new role. She is also a member of the MSC Assessment Board