Experts in the field of infectious diseases and epidemiology have been appointed senior investigators by the National Institute for Health Research.

Professor Alison Holmes, Department of Medicine, and Professor Helen Ward, School of Public Health, have been newly appointed senior investigators for their research work in infectious diseases and epidemiology, the study of the distribution of diseases in populations and their underlying causes.

Helen Ward, Professor of Public Health based in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London

Helen Ward, Professor of Public Health based in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London

The pair are among only 43 senior investigators newly appointed by the NIHR.  They join Professors Sebastian Johnston, National Heart & Lung Institute, Deborah Ashby, School of Public Health, Gary Frost, Department of Medicine and Charles Coombes, Department of Surgery of Cancer who have been appointed emeritus senior investigators. These are awarded to researchers who have completed two terms as a senior investigator.

Professor the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham, Department of Surgery and Cancer and Professor Jane Apperley, Department of Medicine, were also reappointed senior investigators this year. This brings the total number of Imperial researchers who are senior investigators or emeritus senior investigators to 19 to date.

Professor Jonathan Weber, Director of Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC), said:

“I would like to congratulate the eight Imperial researchers who have been appointed senior investigators. Each of them have proven to be exceptional leaders in health and patient care research in their areas and I am pleased that they have been recognised by the NIHR for their substantial contribution. At Imperial we want to lead and drive the healthcare agenda in the UK and around the world and these appointments are a clear example of how we do this. I am sure each of them will excel in their role as senior investigators.”

Professor Alison Holmes, Director of Infection Prevention and Control (DIPC) and Associate Medical Director for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Professor Alison Holmes, Director of Infection Prevention and Control (DIPC) and Associate Medical Director for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Senior investigators are 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 faculty. They provide research leadership to the NIHR faculty, promoting clinical and applied research in health and social care, they also act as a key source of advice to the Department of Health’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

In addition, Imperial’s senior investigators have been awarded £15,000 per year to carry out research projects at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals.

Senior investigators are an example of the education and training opportunities offered by Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership between Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

It aims to transform healthcare by turning scientific discoveries into medical advances to benefit local, national and global populations in as fast a timeframe as possible.