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Clinical Research Network: North West Coast appoint new Clinical Leads

Today we are pleased to announce the appointment of five new Clinical Leads to the Clinical Research Network: North West Coast's new governance structure. Professor Enitan Carrol, Clinical Director for the Network said: “We are delighted to welcome five new clinical leaders to our leadership and governance structures. The new clinical leads are Professor Gerry Davies, Professor Taj Nathan, Dr Deirdre Lane, Dr David Lewis and Professor Alison Birtle. They will work as a leadership dyad with our five Research Delivery Managers (RDMs) in leading their respective research communities, and will support the Clinical Directors and Chief Operating Officers in delivering on our ambitious strategy. We look forward to working closely with them to help provide more research opportunities and delivering better health outcomes to those who live in our region.”

Clinical Leads will play a key leadership role in the ongoing development and performance of the Network, providing leadership, advice and accountability for the activities of their research communities. They will also support Specialty Research Leaders (SRLs) in research delivery within their specialty and contribute towards the success of national research strategies and initiatives.

Professor Taj Nathan, Clinical Lead for the Network’s ‘purple community’ which covers neurology, dementia, mental health, ageing, musculoskeletal health and dermatology commented on his appointment: "I am really excited about taking up the Clinical Lead role and I feel privileged to have this opportunity to work with the excellent senior leadership team to bring the Network’s research strategies to fruition."

Dr Deirdre Lane, Clinical Lead for the Network’s ‘green community’ which covers which covers diabetes, opthamology, renal disorders and cardiovascular also commented: “I am delighted to join the Network as a Clinical Lead and I look forward to collaborating with new and existing partners in the region to design and deliver effective research to achieve better health outcomes and reduce the burden of disease in the North-West Coast population and beyond."

Dr David Lewis who is the Clinical Lead with a research community that includes primary care said: “I am excited to be working with a great team at the Network. We are looking forward to building collaborations between colleagues in primary and secondary care, the community and patients. Our focus is on developing research that is relevant to our populations and convincing all clinicians and patients of how important research is to all of us.”

Professor Gerry Davies, Clinical Lead for the Network's 'blue community' which covers children, genetics, reproductive health and childbirth, anaesthesia perioperative medicine and pain management, critical care, trauma and emergency care, gastroenterology, hepatology, respiratory disorders and infection commented: "The COVID-19 Pandemic has shown us the real value of the CRN infrastructure and of inter-specialty collaboration and I am looking forward to applying the lessons we have learned in this new role".

The appointments commence with immediate effect and will continue to March 2024.


The Network’s Research Delivery Strategy 2020- 2023 is a key strategy that will enable the successful delivery of research and enable more patients and public to take part in research and improve health outcomes for our regional population.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:

  • funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy

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