Professor Paul Dark has been appointed as Deputy Medical Director of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre.
In this important national leadership role, he will work with the wider NIHR, higher education institutes and NHS organisations, particularly clinicians, to maximise reach, impact and delivery of the CRN’s research. It includes 15 Local Clinical Research Networks – including Greater Manchester – and 30 specialties who coordinate and support the delivery of high-quality research.
Professor Dark, who is Consultant in Critical Care Medicine at Salford Royal and The University of Manchester’s Professor of Critical Care Medicine, will lead on strategy to promote the importance of research in best patient care and act as an ambassador for the NIHR .
He is one of three new Deputy Medical Directors who will support Professor Nick Lemoine CBE in leadership of health and care specialties and NHS engagement from April. Professor Dark and colleagues Professor Phil Evans and Professor William Rosenberg all have extensive experience from senior roles within the NIHR.
They will provide senior leadership to the national specialty leads and will also have strategic oversight of specific projects to encourage cross-specialty work.
Professor Dark will end his term of office as the current national Clinical Research Network academic and clinical oversight strategic lead for a cluster of four NIHR specialties but will continue as NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Respiratory Non-fungal Infections Programme Lead and Research Professor at the University of Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.
He played a key role in the research response to the Covid-19 pandemic, advising the Department of Health and Social Care on urgent public health research into vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests, and was recently appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in recognition of his research leadership.
Professor Dark said: “I am delighted to be appointed as Deputy Medical Director to help contribute to maintaining and developing NIHR as the leading integrated health and care research system internationally.”