12 Dec 2014   |   Network Updates

Professor Jonathan Weber named as Imperial College AHSC Director

A leading HIV expert at Imperial College London, Professor Weber has taken up his appointment as Director of the AHSC.

The AHSC is a collaboration that brings together researchers, educators and clinicians from Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to drive forward innovation and advancements in patient care. Some of Imperial College AHSC's achievements include research-led improvements in clinical practice such as the prevention of bowel cancer, reducing the impact of birth asphyxia, better survival rates for chronic myeloid leukaemia, and the safer removal of liver tumours.

As Director Professor Weber will be instrumental in furthering the AHSC's work to transform healthcare by turning scientific discoveries into medical advances to benefit local, national and global populations in as fast a timeframe as possible. He will continue to develop the interface between clinical and academic activities of the partners, reporting to both the Dean of the College's Faculty of Medicine and the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust.

He succeeds Professor David Taube, a leading expert in renal medicine, who was the first person to hold the post upon its creation two years ago. Under his leadership, the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre has had its AHSC status confirmed for a further five years - a prestigious designation from the Government's Department of Health which recognises the collaboration as a centre of excellence in healthcare, research and education.

Professor Weber first joined St Mary's Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, 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.

Professor Weber was previously Director of Research for the AHSC where he was responsible for guiding the ground-breaking activities that establish the AHSC as one of the world's leading biomedical research centres.

Welcoming Professor Weber to the role, Sir Gordon Duff, Chairman of Imperial College AHSC Strategic Partnership Board, said: "Professor Weber has already proven himself a most worthy and committed leader in his previous role as Director of Research, and I am delighted that he has taken up this position to steer the AHSC through the next stage of its development. Professor Weber's vision and energy will ensure that the achievements of our AHSC will have impact at home and around the globe."

Professor Jonathan Weber, Director of Imperial College AHSC, said: "The AHSC aims to drive - not follow - the healthcare agenda in the UK and around the world, and be at the forefront of medical innovation. We do this by turning discoveries from basic science into improvements in patient care and clinical practice. As Director I look forward to building on the relationship between the Trust and College so that we can further expand translational medicine, transform patient experience and ultimately save more lives."

Professor Dermot Kelleher, Chairman of the AHSC's Joint Executive Group (JEG), added: "we are delighted that Professor Weber has taken up this position which is critical for the integration of research, education and training towards improvement in outcomes for our patients."

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