Citysession: Dame Nancy Rothwell in conversation with Rowena Burns

Date: - 20:00
Organiser: CityCo
Location: The Entrance Hall, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3BB

In this special CitySession, Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of University of Manchester, will be in conversation with Rowena Burns, Chief Executive at MSP.

Professor Rothwell will be talking about science in Manchester and the valuable contributions that the University of Manchester has made to Manchester’s economy, business community and knowledge exploration in the city.

Date: Wednesday 28 October 2015
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Location: The Entrance Hall, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3BB
Cost: Free

To attend this event please click here. If you are not a CityCo member please contact

Our Speakers

Dame Nancy Rothwell

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, FRS, is President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester. She joined the Victoria University of Manchester in 1987, became Professor of Physiology in 1994 and held an MRC Research Chair from 1998 to 2010. Concurrent with her Faculty posts she has also held University roles as Vice-President for Research (2004-2007) and as Deputy President & Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2007-2010). Her own research in the field of neuroscience, which is ongoing, has contributed towards major advances in the understanding and treatment of brain damage in stroke and head injury.

She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in June 2004 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 2005, in recognition of her services to science.

Professor Rothwell became President and Vice-Chancellor in July 2010, the first woman to lead The University of Manchester or either of its two predecessor institutions. She was the founding President of the Society of Biology and has also served as a non-executive director of AstraZeneca. She is currently co-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, a Royal Society Council Member, a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester and a member of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board.

Professor Rothwell takes a strong and active interest in public communication of science and regularly gives talks to schools and the public and contributes to television, radio and press, particular on sensitive issues in science. In 1998 she delivered the Royal institution Christmas Lectures, televised by the BBC.

Rowena Burns

Rowena took up the role of Chief Executive at Manchester Science Partnerships in summer 2012.
Educated at the University of Wales and at University College London, and having trained in nursing, Rowena’s early career was spent with the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority and Manchester City Council, working in a variety of transport and economic development roles, including the first phase of Manchester’s Metrolink light rail system. Over ten years she moved through a number of roles with the Manchester Airports Group, including latterly that of Group Commercial Director, where her brief included airport acquisitions, economic regulation and overall business strategy, as well as responsibility for revenue generation.

Rowena returned to the city in March 2008, as COO in commercial property company Bruntwood, a role which took her into every part of the business, with a strong focus on service improvement and organisation development. She took up the reins as Chief Executive at MSP after Bruntwood invested in the company in 2012. She remains a Director of Bruntwood. She describes the MSP role as perfect, a public/private sector partnership focused on driving growth and opportunity in the most vibrant and innovative sectors of the economy. Rowena’s professional feet are very firmly planted in city life, where she is active in several boards and initiatives.

Away from work, she has a passion for all things rural, and is rarely found indoors other than round a dining table with family or friends.