Professor Downing is an experienced palliative care nurse, educationalist and researcher, with a PhD that evaluated palliative care training in rural Uganda. She has been working within palliative care for 25 years, working internationally in Uganda, Africa, Eastern Europe and throughout the world developing palliative care services for adults and children.
She is the Chief Executive of the International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and an Honorary Professor at Makerere University, Kampala. She has extensive experience in research, presenting at conferences and writing for publication, and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Palliative Nursing (IJPN).
Prof Downing serves on the Boards of several NGOs and is a Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University and the University of South Wales in the UK and the University of Belgrade in Serbia. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow with the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation at King's College London, England. She has been the recipient of various awards over the past few years recognising her work in palliative care.
When not working in palliative care, Julia is a musician and is involved in running a music school in Kampala, and various local choirs and orchestras. She is also the Director of Music at her local church.