Health research NIHR

NIHR appoints two new directors for major research programmes

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has announced changes to its leadership as two new programme directors are appointed.

From the start of March, Professor Anthony Gordon will be the new lead of the NIHR’s national research collaboration programme (NRCP) and will take over from Professor Danny McAuley who has had the position since its inception in 2021.

The NRCP is a joint venture between the NIHR and NHS England which commissions high-quality evidence for treatments where research is particularly difficult or might not progress.

“Under his leadership NRCP will continue its important work co-producing research…”

Prof Gordon is chair in anaesthesia and critical care at Imperial College London and an intensive care consultant in St Mary’s Hospital.

He is also the UK’s chief investigator for the REMAP-CAP trial for Covid-19 and influenza.

The NIHR’s deputy chief executive, Dr Gail Marzetti, said on Prof Gordon’s appointment: “Under his leadership NRCP will continue its important work co-producing research and identifying the best possible methodology for studies that otherwise might not progress.”

Prof Gordon added that he wanted the NHS to be a “self-learning health care system” that offers patients world-class evidence-based care.

Coinciding with this news is the appointment of Professor John Simpson as director to the NIHR’s efficacy and mechanism evaluation programme (EME).

“…John evidently has the experience and vision to guide the EME…”

Simpson, also taking over from Prof McAuley from 1 March 2024, is a professor in respiratory medicine at Newcastle University and NIHR senior investigator.

EME is a collaboration between the NIHR and the Medical Research Council (MRC), which funds studies looking to understand if a selected intervention performs as expected in a population, while also exploring the underlying mechanisms of diseases and their treatments.

“EME’s vibrant and diverse portfolio of clinical trials, led by a world-leading community of UK clinical researchers, identifies potential new treatments for a broad range of diseases every year,” said Prof Simpson. “It is incredibly exciting to be in a position to help grow such a unique research programme.”

Dr Marzetti added: “Having already worked with NIHR and MRC, John evidently has the experience and vision to guide the EME Programme in delivering real benefits to our healthcare system, and the patients it serves.”

Image credit: iStock

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