Keele Professor appointed to lead prestigious School for Primary Care Research

Professor Christian Mallen, Head of Keele University’s School of Medicine, has been appointed as the new Director for the NIHR’s School of Primary Care Research, taking over from the University of Oxford’s Professor Richard Hobbs.

His appointment coincides with the start of a new chapter for the School, with a refreshed membership and a new focus on supporting the full spectrum of primary care research and building research capacity.

This new phase of the school’s activities has been awarded £22 million and will start in April 2021, running for a five-year period. The school has also received funding of £10 million from the NIHR Academy to support capacity building in primary care research.

Professor Christian Mallen, NIHR Research Professor in General Practice and Head of Keele’s School of Medicine, said: "I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed director of the NIHR School of Primary Care Research. The renewed membership provides a real opportunity to build on past success whilst extending our remit to work with a broader group of partners.

“Over the past 15 years, the NIHR SPCR has been pivotal in raising the profile of academic primary care. I am particularly grateful to Professor Richard Hobbs, outgoing Director, for working so tirelessly to achieve this.”

The SPCR carries out world-leading research in primary care, providing a focus for primary care research within the NIHR and supporting the development of primary care research.

The core research priorities for the refreshed SPCR are organised around some of the challenges facing national and international primary care and focus broadly on:

  • Changing patterns of morbidity and mortality
  • Challenges around new technologies
  • Workforce and skill mix in primary care
  • Globalisation, health and inequalities

Professor David Amigoni, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Keele University said: "The NIHR School of Primary Care Research brings together nine of the powerful, world-leading UK centres in this all-important partnership promoting research excellence - never more important than now, as primary care plays a leading role navigating us through the pandemic.

“Keele University, with its world-leading reputation for Primary Care research, is proud to be a member of the School. We are especially proud and delighted that Professor Christian Mallen, Head of the School of Medicine and an inspirational leader of Primary Care research at Keele, has been appointed as Director of the partnership, bringing the directorate of the School to Keele. We know that Christian will bring the outstanding leadership that he practices at Keele to the strong leadership traditions of the School."

Professor Pauline Walsh, Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Keele University added: "I am delighted that Professor Christian Mallen has been appointed to this really important role for which he will provide strong and inspirational leadership. Christian is an outstanding researcher with a passion and commitment to drive forward primary care research innovation and practice. In addition, the move of the directorate to Keele is fantastic for the university, strengthening our already world-leading primary care research."