Professor Tom Solomon is Chair of Neurological Science at the University of Liverpool and Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections.
He was brought up in Manchester, and studied medicine at Wadham College, University of Oxford (1984-90), before undertaking a PhD on central nervous system infections in Vietnam, with a Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellowship (1994-8). He then became a Clinical Lecturer in Neurology, Medical Microbiology and Tropical Medicine at the University of Liverpool, and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship (1998-2005). This included two years as a visiting scientist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas (2001-3), before returning to Liverpool.
He was made a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Neurology in 2005, and awarded a Medical Research Council Senior Clinical Fellowship the same year. He became Chair of Neurological Science in 2007, with adjunct positions in the Department of Medical Microbiology and at the School of Tropical Medicine.
In 2010 he was appointed founding Director of the University of Liverpool’s new Institute of Infection and Global Health, which brought together 100 leading scientists working on major infection and global health challenges in new state-of-the-art £45 million facilities. 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 recent Ebola and Zika global public health emergencies. Professor Solomon heads the multi-disciplinary Liverpool Brain Infections Group, supported by more than £25 million in research funding from the Medical Research Council, NIHR, Wellcome Trust and others. The group works to reduce the global burden of neurological disease caused by infections through: greater understanding of the pathogenesis (how the microbe causes the disease); improved disease recognition and diagnosis; better patient management with the development of new treatments; work with Governments and the World Health Organization to improve disease control. The group has played a major role in the control of Japanese encephalitis across Asia. In the UK, the group’s studies on encephalitis, meningitis and other brain infections are managed through the BrainInfectionsUK.org portfolio, which Professor Solomon leads.
Professor Solomon is an also honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital (since 2005). He has published more than 20 book chapters and 200 papers in the medical journals including the Lancet, British Medical Journal, and New England Journal of Medicine.
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. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator. His many 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 Athasit Oration of the Neurological Society of Thailand (2017).
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 TV and radio appearances. 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 to great critical acclaim, and was followed by a smash hit family show that completely sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2017.