HUNTER Medical Research Institute (HMRI) will welcome new director, Professor Thomas Walley, in November.
The leading research academic has “distinguished credentials” in clinical governance and health technology assessment, and currently heads the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool.
Professor Walley previously served as Director of the Health Technology Assessment program for the UK-based National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
He will replace outgoing director Professor Michael Nilsson, who was recently appointed as Global Innovation Chair of the University of Newcastle’s Centre for Innovative Technologies in Rehabilitation Settings (CITRS).
HMRI board chair Kyle Loades said Professor Walley’s exceptional leadership qualities, strategic vision and entrepreneurial acumen would help to take HMRI to new heights as the institute celebrates its 20th anniversary and looks beyond.
“The HMRI Board found the right person in Michael Nilsson back in 2011 and we’ve attracted another global leader of the highest calibre to succeed him,” Mr Loades said.
“It followed an exhaustive recruitment process that unearthed an outstanding field of candidates.
“Professor Walley is a highly experienced physician, pharmacologist and administrator with a broad understanding of the translational research landscape through his leadership of the Health Technology Assessment Program.
“This program grew almost sevenfold to become the largest funding stream for clinical research in the UK. I’m confident Professor Walley can continue HMRI’s growth trajectory in both research scope and funding, capitalising on the platform that Michael and his team have laid over the past six years.
“At the same time, we congratulate Michael and sincerely thank him for his six years of service as HMRI Director and for remaining as director during the recruitment process, ensuring a smooth transition.”
Professor Walley also oversees NIHR programs in public health research, health services delivery and organisation, promoting the closer linkage of clinical practice and evaluation.
He has been a major research contributor to clinical pharmacology through his peer-reviewed contributions on therapeutics, pharmaco-economics and drug utilisation.
“I have used all of these positions to promote the greater use of research evidence in healthcare policy, which has led to patient and public benefits,” Professor Walley said.
“Now I’m very excited to move to Newcastle and to help develop HMRI to deliver its potential for improving the health of the people of the Hunter Region and Australia.
“HMRI can become a national and global leader in translating biomedical research into real and immediate benefits for people, building on the excellent work of Michael Nilsson and colleagues.”