Prestigious NIHR Senior Investigator awards for Liverpool academics

Head and shoulder shots of Professor Iain Buchan, Alison Holmes and Tom Solomon

Three University of Liverpool professors from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences have been reappointed Senior Investigators by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Professors Iain Buchan, Alison Holmes and Tom Solomon are among just 56 NIHR Senior Investigators to have been appointed in 2023.

NIHR Senior Investigators are among the most prominent and prestigious researchers funded by the NIHR. They are outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the NIHR research community. Senior Investigators receive an award of £20,000 per year of appointment to fund activities that support their research.

Professor Iain Buchan is Chair in Public Health and Clinical Informatics and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation. As a public health physician and data scientist, he has led data-intensive research to address major societal challenges, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. He is now leading strategic projects and partnerships between the University, NHS, local government and industry partners. He has originated and driven over £200m of research over the past 20 years.

Iain said: “I am delighted to serve my second term as NIHR Senior Investigator, especially in my Liverpool home. I am deeply committed to the NIHR work to embed socially important discovery science, system-wide experimentation, and innovative implementation in health systems. The need for this civic approach has been felt acutely by so many through the COVID-19 pandemic. Health system-embedded, integrative research is essential for addressing pressing and poorly understood problems such as the co-development of mental and physical ill health, which affects the most disadvantaged in our society prematurely and gravely.”

Professor Alison Holmes is the David Price Evans Chair of Infectious Diseases and Global Health at Liverpool with research interests focused on antimicrobial optimisation and the prevention and management of infectious diseases. Alison is also Director of both the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and AMR and the Centre for Antimicrobial Optimisation (CAMO), which are based at Imperial College London.

Alison said: “I am delighted to have my NIHR Senior Investigator Award renewed and to be able to bring it to Liverpool where so much exciting work and investment in global infectious diseases is happening. As we have been reminded very recently, infectious diseases remain a serious global threat to health.  This, together with the pandemic of antimicrobial resistance, means that there is much work to be done and this award will help facilitate research which addresses these serious issues.”

Professor Tom Solomon CBE is Chair of Neurology at Liverpool, with a research interest in emerging infections, particularly those that affect the brain. In 2022 Tom was appointed Director of The Pandemic Institute, a global institute based in Liverpool to accelerate the response to current and future pandemics. He is also Director of the both the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections and the NIHR Global health Research Group in Acute Brain Infections and holds a number of other national roles.

Tom said: “I am delighted to have my NIHR Senior Investigator Award renewed. The NIHR remain a key funder of our work on emerging infections and brain infections in the UK and overseas. Indeed only two weeks ago we had Professor Lucy Chappell Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR visiting us in Liverpool to hear about our future plans for The Pandemic Institute.”