Professor Patrick Chinnery appointed as MRC Executive Chair

Patrick Chinnery headshot

The Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan has appointed Professor Patrick Chinnery as the next Executive Chair of MRC.

Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, said:

Professor Chinnery brings a wealth of experience as a practicing clinician and an already established and valued member of the Medical Research Council.

By heading up one of the UK’s key public funding bodies for medical research, he will spearhead delivery of high-quality training and fellowships for researchers and funding for life-changing discoveries that are so crucial to our country’s health and wellbeing.

I also pay tribute to Professor John Iredale for his work as interim Executive Chair and thank him for his invaluable service.

Professor Chinnery is currently the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Director of Clinical Sciences and Professor of Neurology at the University of Cambridge where he is head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

He is also an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Professor Chinnery’s key research interest concerns the role of mitochondria in human disease and investigating ways to develop new treatments for mitochondrial disorders.

Exceptional leader

UKRI Chief Executive Dame Ottoline Leyser said:

Professor Chinnery is an exceptional leader who will play a key role in the continued development of UKRI and the Medical Research Council, ensuring it maintains its pivotal role in driving excellence in the biomedical and health sciences.

He brings a great breadth of experience from across the medical sciences combined with a deep knowledge of the organisation from his time as MRC’s Director of clinical sciences. I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my profound thanks to Professor John Iredale for his superb service and leadership as MRC’s interim Executive Chair, on which Professor Chinnery will build.

Advancing human health

As MRC Executive Chair, Professor Chinnery will oversee the council’s full range of funding programmes alongside infrastructure and other cross-cutting UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding allocated to MRC.

He will be responsible for MRC’s portfolio of institutes as well as for the council’s wider role in providing training and support for the UK medical research community.

Professor Patrick Chinnery said:

Opportunities to advance human health through research have never been greater, and the UK is in a very strong position globally.

It will be a real privilege to lead the MRC at this exciting time, working with colleagues in UKRI and across the sector to deliver scientific and clinical impact.

UKRI senior leadership team

Professor Chinnery will also join the other UKRI Executive Chairs as a member of the UKRI senior leadership team and will work closely with them, UKRI’s Chief Executive and the UKRI Board to collectively manage and oversee UKRI’s strategy, funding programmes and infrastructure.

Professor Chinnery will succeed the current interim Executive Chair of MRC, Professor John Iredale.

Professor Chinnery is expected to start in October.

Further information

The post of Executive Chair of MRC is subject to pre-appointment scrutiny by the House of Commons Science, Innovation and Technology Select Committee.

The committee have reviewed details provided by Professor Chinnery and decided they do not require a hearing for this appointment.

Top image:  Credit: UKRI

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