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Ageing expert appointed NIHR Senior Investigator

Professor Louise Robinson, Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and NIHR Professor, has been appointed Senior Investigator to the NIHR College

Professor Robinson, who is also Professor of Primary Care in Ageing at Newcastle University, is one of 41 new award holders in 2017, following the 10th annual competition.

Senior Investigators are the NIHR’s senior leaders. They are critical to augmenting success and developing the health research capability, fit for the challenges we must meet in order to improve the future health of the nation.

They are Faculty members who lead and conduct research. This includes all research staff working on a research project: lead researchers, other senior researchers and research assistants.

Within their roles, NIHR Investigators are expected to provide advice on research issues within their expertise, including by serving on review panels and by carrying out peer review. With nine of the previous award holders remaining in place, the new 41 appointments brings the total College to 200 Senior Investigators and 93 Emeritus Senior Investigators.

Professor Robinson’s expertise is in primary care in ageing, dementia care and end of life care. As an NIHR Senior Investigator, she is able to feedback knowledge on these areas to colleagues across the whole NIHR and NHS.

The focus of ageing research in the NIHR

Ageing represents a key are of commitment for the NIHR. The focus is on promoting health, preventing illnesses and improving treatments for older adults.

Newcastle holds a strong position with regards to ageing research and the provision of excellent care and treatment for the elderly.

Professor Robinson is the Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing – a network of interdisciplinary ageing researchers across Newcastle University whose activity is linked to external impacts in healthcare, social care and policy.

Her research tackles the clinical, economic and social priority of rapidly ageing populations, and their influence on NHS service provision. Through her research, she demonstrates commitment to the third translational gap; the knowledge gap between Universities and industry, by ensuring that her findings are brought to the forefront of patient care.

The NIHR Senior Investigator appointment is testament to this commitment of bringing academic research into patient-care settings.

Professor Robinson comments: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded the Senior Investigator role with the NIHR, as it cements my efforts in ensuring the focus of research into the needs of the older person is maintained, and brought to front-line services in the NHS”.

Newcastle’s research excellence within the NIHR

Newcastle also hosts the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre. This centre is a partnership between the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University and has the remit of improving lives through world-class research in ageing and long-term conditions, in order to meet the health needs of a growing older population.

The Centre has a key role in the early stage of translational research into this area, with the eventual remit of meeting the needs of patients.

Professor Robinson adds: “Newcastle has a highly valued reputation for translational research into ageing and conditions that affect the older person. My appointment to the NIHR College as Senior Investigator, as well as the recent NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre Award, demonstrates the value that is placed on us as a Trust, University and city when it comes to leading the way in ageing research that benefits the lives of patients.”

Professor Robinson’s Senior Investigator position is alongside Emeritus Senior Investigators also within Newcastle University; Vice Chancellor and Professor of Liver Medicine, Professor Chris Day; Professor of Pharmacology, Professor Gary Ford and Professor Ian McKeith, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry.

published on: 24 March 2017