Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer for England. As a clinician, she specialised in the treatment of diseases of the blood and bone marrow. She studied Medicine at Manchester Medical School, and qualified as a doctor in 1972 and later gained a Master of Science degree from the University of London.
She described her early years in clinical practice as "brutalising" and had a four-year break from medicine as a "diplomat's wife" in Madrid, before returning to medical training with renewed zest at the end of the 1970s.
Dame Sally is an expert in sickle cell disease: a blood disorder that mainly affects people of African heritage and causes painful 'crises' triggered by physical stress.
She joined the Civil Service in 2004 to take up a research position in London and was soon promoted to Director-General of Research and Development at the Department of Health. In 2006, she expanded the NHS's research base through the creation of the National Institute for Health Research and went on to become the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Health Secretary, before taking on her present role as Chief Medical Officer in 2010.