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Greater Manchester professor takes on NIHR national role covering four specialties

Critical care consultant Professor Paul Dark has been appointed to a key role in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN). 

From April 2021 he will be the national academic and clinical oversight strategic lead for a cluster of four NIHR specialties:

  • critical care
  • trauma and emergency care
  • anaesthesia, perioperative medicine and pain management
  • dermatology   

He will also provide strategic oversight for NIHR’s Imaging Group, continue as the NIHR CRN national specialty lead for critical care and advise the Department of Health and Social Care on urgent public health research into vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

Professor Dark is professor of critical care medicine at The University of Manchester and a critical care consultant at Salford Royal. He has extensive experience in clinical trials, with a particular interest in sepsis, novel diagnostics, the development of integrated pathways of
care and improving global humanitarian responses.

In his new role, he is one of nine national ambassadors for clusters of research areas and will work with senior colleagues in the public sector (including UKRI and the medical Royal Colleges), charities and major research funders, and commercial partners to shape and drive
future research.

He will champion a culture of collaboration, innovation and continuous improvement as well as making sure patient experience and inclusion are a fundamental part of future research.

He has held numerous leadership roles in critical care research and is particularly keen to develop stronger multidisciplinary approaches to research, as well as developing the next generation of clinical researchers.

Professor Dark said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this national NIHR senior leadership role and I look forward to helping guide completion of the UK’s internationally-leading portfolio of urgent public health research studies. An exciting challenge will be to successfully steer the recovery of NHS clinical research beyond pandemic, learning from our recent successes and preparing research systems to respond again in the face of future urgent public health crises.”