Published: 06 Jun 2022 | Last Updated: 06 Jun 2022 15:14:19

Professor Nicola Lewis, an internationally recognised expert in influenza research and surveillance, has joined the Crick as the new director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre (WIC).

Professor Nicola Lewis

The Royal Veterinary College’s (RVC) Professor Lewis joins the Francis Crick Institute in a new role as director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre (WIC). The WIC plays a key role monitoring the strains of influenza virus in circulation and is part of the World Health Organisation’s global network of affiliated laboratories and provides recommendations on which strains of flu should be included in the annual influenza vaccines.

Over the coming months, Professor Lewis will work with John McCauley, the outgoing director who has led the WIC since 2009. The formal handover of responsibilities will take place after this year’s autumnal vaccine recommendation meetings in late September.

This new appointment will further expand Professor Lewis’ expertise and research base which to-date has focused on investigating the ecology and evolution of influenza viruses in animal hosts and the risks that these viruses might pose to the human population. She will maintain a part-time appointment in her role at the RVC, as Professor in One Health Evolutionary Biology, carrying on key aspects of this work and to achieve greater synergy between animal and human influenza surveillance.

Professor Nicola Lewis, Professor in One Health Evolutionary Biology at the RVC, said:

“I am honoured to be appointed to the role of Director of the WIC at the Francis Crick Institute and am looking forward to building on the outstanding reputation of the WIC over many years in addressing key challenges posed by influenza for both human and animal health.”

Paul Nurse, Director of the Crick, said:

“Many thanks to John McCauley for his outstanding leadership over the last 13 years, a period which included the complex process of moving his laboratory from the National Institute for Medical Research into the newly built Crick. “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Nicola, who will bring valuable experience and expertise to influenza surveillance.”

Notes to Editors

The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.

The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

For further information, contact: or +44 (0)20 3796 5252 

About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.
  • It is one of the few veterinary schools in the world that hold accreditations from the RCVS in the UK (with reciprocal recognition from the AVBC for Australasia, the VCI for Ireland and the SAVC for South Africa), the EAEVE in the EU, and the AVMA in the USA and Canada.
  • The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in line QS World University Rankings by subject, 2022.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.  
  • A research led institution with 88% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

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