Dr Vicki Chalker
Vicki did not do too well at school, nearly failing her A-levels yet achieved high marks at University. Vicki has worked on infectious diseases for 23 years. After studying Medical Microbiology In Newcastle and undertaking a PhD in Nottingham she started her career on diseases in dogs, cats, tortoises and animals with the Royal Veterinary College, UK. She implemented the first international PCR test for Mycoplasma felis and a PCR service to screen endangered tortoises for Mycoplasma species entering UK zoos. She then moved to Public Health England work on molecular laboratory quality assessment and human infection. She became the head of the UK national reference unit with remit for human bacterial species causing respiratory and systemic infection, introducing services in respiratory pathogens in neonates and other patients. She has led the development of UK tests for and the first laboratory service for sexually transmitted reference services for Mycoplasma genitalium and contributed to work on antimicrobial resistance and genomics. She worked on the pandemic response in many roles and as Head of Science and Engineering Profession advocated for specialists within government. She is currently the Chair of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) Subcommittee on the Taxonomy of Mollicutes and has led global studies, established international study groups and acts as a mentor for students and young scientists internationally. She has more than 100 peer reviewed papers and several patents from her research. In 2022 she took up the role of Chief Scientific Officer, National Health Service Blood and Transplant, UK.
Guest speaker as part of NHS75.