Ron Zimmern is Chairman of the PHG Foundation, the successor to the Public Health Genetics Unit which he established in June 1997. He graduated in 1971 following his medical training at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Middlesex Hospital, London. After specialising in neurology he obtained a law degree and entered public health medicine in 1983. He was Director of Public Health for Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Authority from 1991 to 1998, and was for many years Associate Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Addenbrooke”s Hospital.
He is now retired but has served in the past on many national committees concerned with genomics including among others, the Steering Group for the UK Genetic Testing Network, the Joint Genetics Committee of the Royal Colleges, and the Council of the British Society of Human Genetics. He has an Honorary Professorship in Public Health at the University of Hong Kong and is a Fellow of Hughes Hall in Cambridge. He was a Non-Executive Director at Papworth Hospital until 2019 and continues to chair the PHG Foundation which is now a linked exempt charity of the University. His special interests and expertise, in addition to Public Health Genomics, include strategic planning, the relationship between clinical services and teaching and research, priority setting in the NHS, and the law and ethics of medicine.
More recently he has taken an interest in climate change. He was the instigator and is now Chair of the College’s Centre for Climate Change Engagement. The Centre has as its focus non-executive directors of companies and how their organisation might achieve net zero targets in line with the Paris agreement.