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Professor Tom Solomon


Professor Tom Solomon is Director of The Pandemic Institute and Chair of Neurological Science at the University of Liverpool, Vice President (International) of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections.  


He studied medicine at Wadham College, University of Oxford, before undertaking a PhD on central nervous system infections in Vietnam with a Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellowship. He had a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship and a Medical Research Council Senior Clinical Fellowship before becoming Chair of Neurological Science at the University of Liverpool in 2007. In 2010 he was appointed founding Director of the University of Liverpool’s new Institute of Infection and Global Health. In 2014 he was made Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, which played critical role’s in the UK response to the Ebola, Zika and COVID-19 public health emergencies. He sits on the UK Government’s Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Expert Working Group on Covid-19 vaccines. In 2021 he became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was appointed as its Vice President (International) later that year. He was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in The Queen’s birthday honours List 2021


Professor Solomon heads the multi-disciplinary Liverpool Brain Infections Group, which works to reduce the global burden of neurological disease caused by infections, supported by more than £50 million in research funding. The group has played a major role in the control of Japanese encephalitis across Asia and studies encephalitis, meningitis and other UK brain infections through the portfolio, which Professor Solomon leads. The group has major programmes on neurological Covid-19 disease in the UK and globally.  


Professor Solomon is an also honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He is an enthusiastic teacher, establishing the annual Liverpool Neurological Infectious Diseases course in 2007, which has now trained more than 1000 doctors from 37 countries. His awards include the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Vincenzo Marcolongo Memorial Lectureship (2003), the Royal College of Physicians triennial Moxon Medal (2014) and the Wolfson Memorial Lecture, University of Cape Town, (2020). 


Professor Solomon is a strong supporter of women in science, publishing on this in The Guardian. He is also a passionate Science Communicator, engaging the public through many newspaper articles, TV and radio appearances. During the coronavirus pandemic he has appeared on BBC TV’s Newsnight, Question Time, and as a regular guest on BBC Breakfast. He won a Guinness World Record for running the fastest marathon dressed as a doctor (2010), and another for his Sci-Art project The World’s Biggest Brain. His popular science book Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine was published in 2016, followed by a linked family show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2017. His 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Covid for Kids, received 5-star reviews including coverage in The Times, Time Out (“One of the Top Ten Shows at the Fringe”), The Scotsman, and The Daily Mail (“If you only have 24 hours in Edinburgh… Covid for Kids is a cracker!”). He hosts the Scouse Science Podcast, and tweets @RunningMadProf. 

The Running Mad Professor

As the Running Mad Professor, Tom ran the 2010 London Marathon, raising awareness of encephalitis; this is inflammation and swelling of the brain, often caused by a virus. This video of his training regime has had more than 20,000 hits, and he won a Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a doctor, raising £21,000 for the Encephalitis Society. 

Interview with Jonathon Edwards

Tom was interviewed for BBC 1 on the start-line just before the London marathon by the Olympic Gold Medalist, Jonathon Edwards

The World's Biggest Brain

To increase awareness of encephalitis, and other brain infections, for World Encephalitis Day 2014, I created the World’s Biggest Brain, made up of 687 people, which won a Guinness World Record. This included a Performance Art Project which explored brain function and injury caused by encephalitis.  

BBC Breakfast

Tom Solomon CBE is Naga and Charlie's first guest on the famous red sofa since the start of the pandemic, talking about receiving his award in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021

BBC Breakfast - Coronavirus and brain complications

Professor Tom Solomon joins Charlie and Naga on BBC Breakfast to discuss coronavirus patients who develop brain complications, such as encephalitis and stroke. But its his four-legged friend Peggy who steals the show!

The One Show - Developing diagnostics in Liverpool to tackle Coronavirus

A feature on the One Show looking into what we are doing to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, including our work at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

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