Four leading healthcare academics in Oxford have received a prestigious national award.
The University of Oxford professors were named National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigators in recognition of being “among the most prominent and prestigious researchers funded by the NIHR and the most outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the NIHR research community and beyond”.
The researchers to be named NIHR Senior Investigator are:
- Professor Alison Simmons, a leading immunologist and Professor of Gastroenterology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, based at the MRC-Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine.
- Professor Cathy Cresswell, a leading figure in the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and young people, is a Professor of Clinical Psychology.
- Professor Marian Knight is Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health at the Nuffield Department of Population Health’s National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health with Public Health England. She was awarded one of the first NIHR Research Professorships in 2012
- Professor Robert MacLaren, who has been reappointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator, is a pioneer in the field of gene therapy and eye surgery, and Professor of Ophthalmology in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.
Professor Helen McShane, Director of the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, said: “This is a highly competitive award, so the academics who have been appointed and reappointed Senior Investigators should be immensely proud of their achievement.
“These awards provide yet more evidence of the pioneering research that takes place in Oxford to benefit NHS patients. It’s also a testament to the dynamic partnership between the University of Oxford and the city’s two NHS trusts, embodied by our BRCs.”
NIHR Senior Investigator status is awarded to researchers on the basis of their internationally excellent research, its quality and volume, its relevance to patients and the public, and its impact on improvements in healthcare and public health.
They hold their award for no more than two terms, to ensure turnover and to create opportunities for new researchers to participate in NIHR at senior level. The college of Senior Investigators is maintained at around 200 researchers in total.
On completion of a second successful term, Senior Investigators are awarded the title Senior Investigator Emeritus, which they hold as long as they are in substantive employment in England.
In this year’s awards, two prominent Oxford professors have received the prestigious title of Emeritus Senior Investigator in recognition of the work they have carried out as a Senior Investigator and continue to do. They are:
- Professor Keith Channon, a leading cardiologist, is the Deputy Head of the University’s Medical Sciences Division and Director of Research and Development at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is the former Director of the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
- Professor John Geddes, whose research focuses on treatments for people with bipolar and other mental disorders, is Head of the University’s Department of Psychiatry and Director of the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.
Professor Geddes said: “The NIHR Senior Investigator programme has been critical in driving up the impact and visibility of NIHR since it was created and it’s wonderful to see continued engagement and renewal of Oxford’s senior NIHR faculty.”
The NIHR, the UK’s largest funder of health and care research, says its Senior Investigators play a critical role in “developing research capability fit to tackle the challenges facing health of the nation”.