Development Dean

A professor takes a selfie in front of shelves full of books

Professor John Cookson

Professor Cookson has been appointed Development Dean of the School of Medicine

Professor Cookson, previously a consultant physician in general and respiratory medicine, joined the University in October 2017 as the Development Dean for the new School of Medicine.

Professor Cookson was previously Foundation Professor of Medical Education and Undergraduate Dean at Hull York Medical School. He was also involved in the establishment of the Medical School at Warwick and a new school in Botswana.

A graduate of Birmingham Medical School, Professor Cookson’s early career included a number of years as a lecturer and senior lecturer in medicine in Zimbabwe. This work was reflected in his MD Thesis on various aspects of asthma in the black population, showing, amongst other things, the seasonal nature of the problem and the links to disturbed immunology.

Professor Cookson’s main research interests in medical education have been in curriculum design and assessment.

Partner Medical Practitioners


Dr Jan Birtle

Dr Jan Birtle joined the University of Worcester as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in 2015.  She is a Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Medical Psychotherapy at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. Dr Birtle’s main clinical and research interests are in personality development disorders and their relationship with mood disorders.

Dr Birtle has extensive experience of teaching medical students at Sheffield Medical School and Birmingham Medical School.  She has supervised undergraduate clinical training, examined medical students and supervised research and audit projects. Dr Birtle is working nationally with the College to introduce regular reflective practice into undergraduate medical education, to be continued throughout their professional development in order to support sustainable medical careers.

A man in a dark suit smiles for a photograph

Professor Ian Jones

Professor Ian Jones was awarded a Fellowship and an Honorary Chair by the University in 2015. He works closely with Professor Lisa Jones and her group at Worcester through the Bipolar Disorder Research Network (BDRN) Collaboration they lead.

Ian Jones is Professor of Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at Cardiff University. He is Director of the National Centre for Mental Health ( and with colleagues leads the Bipolar Disorder Research Network ( NCMH has recruited over 7,000 people with mental health problems in Wales and BDRN has involved over 6,500 people with bipolar disorder from around the UK in research. 

He leads the Cardiff University Psychiatry Service (CUPS) and a clinical service offering pre-conception counselling to women with severe mental illness. He is Director of BEP-C, a big lottery funded group psychoeducation programme for bipolar disorder. His research focuses on bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis. He has authored or co-authored over 250 publications and book chapters. He has been awarded the Marcé Medal for his research on Postpartum Psychosis and was named Academic Psychiatrist of the Year at the RCPsych Awards 2013. In 2014 BEP-C was awarded the British Medical Journal (BMJ) award for innovation in medicine.

Dr Sarah Onions

Dr Sarah Onions joined the University of Worcester as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in 2014. She works clinically as a General Practitioner in South Warwickshire and as a Senior Speciality Doctor in Palliative Care at St Richard’s Hospice, Worcester. She also works with Solihull CCG as a Macmillan GP Facilitator. Dr Onions has research interests in Palliative Care.

Dr Onions came to medicine after a Biological Sciences degree in Leeds, she completed her medical degree at the University of Warwick in 2005 and went on to train as a General Practitioner.  During this time, she developed an interest in Palliative Care gaining her MSc in Palliative Care at the University of Warwick.  She now works as a portfolio GP dividing her time between General Practice and Palliative Care.

Dr Will Roberts

Dr Will Roberts joined the University of Worcester as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in 2016.  He is Consultant in Cardiology in Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.  Dr Roberts’s main clinical and research interest is coronary artery disease and assessment via CT coronary angiography.  He is an interventional cardiologist, performing coronary angiography and coronary angioplasty.

After completing his medical degree at the Leicester Medical School in 2002, Dr Roberts undertook training in the midlands in medicine and moved to London to undertake research in Cardiac CT.  He returned to the midlands to train in cardiology with subspecialty training in interventional cardiology.  Dr Roberts spent a further year in British Columbia undertaking coronary intervention and returned to the UK to take up a permanent consultant position in Worcester in 2014. Since joining the University of Worcester in 2016 Dr Roberts has contributed to teaching Physician Associate students as part of the formal teaching program and providing educational supervision during their clinical attachments.

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Professor Bee Wee

Prof Bee Wee was appointed as Visiting Professor in Palliative Medicine at University of Worcester in 2016. She is Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Sir Michael Sobell House, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Associate Professor in the Nuffield Division of Medicine, University of Oxford.

Originally from Malaysia, Prof Wee trained in medicine, then general practice, in Ireland and worked in Hong Kong, then became Consultant/Senior Lecturer in Palliative Medicine, and later, Deputy Director of the Medical School, Southampton University. She moved to Oxford in 2003 as Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Sir Michael Sobell House, Governing Body Fellow of Harris Manchester College and Associate Director of Clinical Studies at Oxford University, and Head of the Oxford WHO Collaborating Centre for Palliative Care. She is also Associate Professor at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University and Honorary Professor at Sichuan University, China. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal College of General Practitioners.