Pembroke Honorary Fellow Professor Irene Tracey nominated as next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford


The Pembroke College Community would like to congratulate Honorary Fellow Professor Irene Tracey CBE on her recent nomination as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, subject to approval by Congregation (the University’s sovereign body). In 2023, Professor Tracey will succeed the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, and will become Oxford’s second female Vice-Chancellor and the first Vice-Chancellor to be educated at a comprehensive school.

Professor Tracey, a renowned neuroscientist, has been part of the Pembroke Community since her election to a Fellowship in 2007 when she took up the role of Nuffield Chair in Anaesthetic Sciences. She played an active part in College life as a member Governing Body and the College’s medical community. She strengthened Pembroke’s interdisciplinary links to neuroscience while leading the FMRIB Pain Analgesia-Anaesthesia Imaging Neuroscience (P.A.I.N) Group, which aims to understand pain perception, analgesia and altered states of consciousness through advanced neuroimaging.

During her Fellowship at Pembroke, Professor Tracey was elected to a Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. In September 2019, she stepped down from her role as Nuffield Chair in Anaesthetic Sciences to take up the position of Warden at Merton, her undergraduate College. In 2022, Professor Tracey was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Medical Research.

Professor Tracey said: “I am delighted that from next year, having already been an academic leader and college head at Oxford, I will have the chance to further give back to a university that I ardently believe in, and to my home city that I dearly love. I am also proud that I will be passed the leadership baton by Oxford's first female Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, whose outstanding legacy will be built upon in the years to come.”

Pembroke College Master, Sir Ernest Ryder, congratulated Professor Tracey saying: “On behalf of everyone at Pembroke, I offer my warmest congratulations to Irene and wish her all the best for the future. We are immensely pleased and proud of her appointment and look forward to working with her once in office.”


Headshot of Professor Irene Tracey