Manchester BRC appoints new acting director
The Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has appointed
Professor Graeme Black as its Acting Director.
He succeeds Professor Phil Baker, who is leaving to take up a
new role in Canada. Established in April 2008 with £35 million of
funding, the BRC is a partnership between the Central Manchester
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of
Manchester. It is one of 12 major centres of medical research
excellence across the UK funded by the National Institute for
Health Research (NIHR), and specialises in genetics and
The BRC aims to translate developments in biomedical research
from the laboratory to the Trust's five hospitals, where new
treatments and technologies can benefit patients from Greater
Manchester and beyond. Its work is also funded by the North West
Regional Development Agency.
A key member of the team which gained BRC status for Manchester
in 2008, Graeme Black is Professor of Genetics and Ophthalmology at
The University of Manchester and an honorary consultant at Central
Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He studied
initially at Cambridge, qualified in Medicine from Oxford and then
undertook clinical training in Ophthalmology and Medical Genetics.
He gained a DPhil in Genetics at Oxford in 1994, moving to
Manchester in 1995 to continue his research and clinical work.
Graeme Black's major research interest is the investigation of
genetic disorders associated with visual disability, focusing on
conditions including cataract and retinal degeneration. The
ultimate aim of his work is to improve the diagnosis and treatment
of these conditions.
As a member of the BRC leadership team, Graeme Black has been
instrumental in developing its research capacity and
infrastructure. "My new role is an exciting opportunity to drive
the research agenda forward and enhance our considerable strengths
in genetic and developmental medicine. The BRC partners are keen to
capitalise on the outstanding facilities offered by the £500
million new hospital development in central Manchester, and to use
cutting edge technology to deliver benefits for our patients
through improvement in diagnosis and development of new treatments;
we want scientific breakthroughs made in Manchester to help improve
healthcare for people nationwide."
Welcoming Professor Black's appointment, Trust Chief Executive
Mike Deegan said: "Our thanks go to Phil Baker, who has drawn
together the skills of Trust and University colleagues to begin
establishing Manchester as the home of world class healthcare. We
are very pleased that a scientist and clinician of Graeme Black's
calibre is taking over, and I am sure he will lead the partnership
very effectively in responding to the major challenges of turning
medical research into innovative patient treatments."