Professor Jonathan Weber has been appointed as Director of Research at Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre. The post combines Professor Weber’s two separate roles as director of research at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Vice Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London and will enable him to drive forward translational research within the AHSC.

This key role will mean greater co-ordination between the two organisations and will play a critical part in developing the research reputation of the Imperial AHSC both within the UK and internationally.

Jonathan Weber first came to St Mary’s in 1982 to set up the UK’s first dedicated HIV clinic. He then worked at the Institute of Cancer Research before moving to the Hammersmith Hospital in 1988. Since 1990, he has been Jefferiss Professor of communicable diseases and genito-urinary medicine at Imperial College London and has undertaken extensive research on HIV and AIDS, HTLV-I and other sexually transmitted diseases. As Director of Research for the AHSC, he will now be responsible for guiding the ground-breaking research that will cement the AHSC as one of the world’s leading biomedical research centres.

Professor Jonathan Weber, Director of Research at Imperial College AHSC, said:

“This post is fundamental to the AHSC and shows its central position within both the College and the Trust strategy. It formalises the linkage of our research between the two organisations and facilitates translating the College’s internationally renowned scientific excellence into the clinic. This close relationship between the Trust and the College is central to our AHSC and distinguishes us in the UK.

“My immediate objectives are to increase the number of research studies that we undertake across the Trust, and to make more opportunities for patients to engage with and contribute to our research across our hospitals. Speeding up the process of undertaking clinical trials will be one of the most important processes to address.

“It is extremely important that we are able to involve all our patients in our research strategy and ensure that all who wish are able to access new therapies and devices. We will need to be constantly vigilant in ensuring that our clinical trials are efficiently designed and professionally completed. Excellent communication about our research with our patients needs to remain a high priority for the AHSC.

“Keeping attention and focus on the quality and quantity of our research is a high priority, especially in a time of great service change, as the NHS goes through a reorganisation process.”

Professor David Taube, Director of Imperial College AHSC said:

“I am delighted that Jonathan is combining his two previous roles to lead research at Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre. His new role is crucial at this time when our organisations work even more closely to drive translational research towards new discoveries, leading to better care for patients.

“Jonathan has an international reputation as a clinical academic and translational researcher in HIV. He has shown his success through securing the 2012 reaccreditation of our Trust and College as the largest of the UK’s eleven NIHR Biomedical Research Centres – the most outstanding NHS and university research partnerships in the country.”