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Professor Virginia Murray

Public Health Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction, Public Health England


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Professor Virginia Murray is the Public Health Consultant in Global Disaster Risk Reduction for Public Health England supporting her role as member of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) scientific committee, co-sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).and Co-Chair of IRDR’s Disaster Loss Data (DATA). She is also Co-Chair of CODATA’s f Linked Open Data for Global Disaster Risk Research and a member the UNSDSN Data for Sustainable Development. From 2008 to 2017 she has also been the vice-chair and member of the UNISDR Scientific and Technical Advisory Group.


Virginia qualified in medicine and in 1980 joined Guy and St Thomas’s Hospital Poisons Unit and was appointed consultant medical toxicologist. In 1989 she started the Chemical Incident Research Programme and was Director of the Chemical Incident Response Service from 1995 and developed evidence informed guidance for acute and chronic chemical incident preparedness and response and joined the Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) in 2003 as Head of Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards, London. In 2011 she was appointed as Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection, Public Health England and developed evidence base information and advice on flooding, heat, cold, volcanic ash, and other extreme weather and natural hazards events. A Visiting Professor in Health Protection, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Imperial College and King’s College, London (2004) and Honorary Professor at University College London (2013), she has published widely.