Sharon Peacock CBE appointed Director of the Bloomsbury Research Institute

Professor Sharon Peacock has been appointed as the first Director of the Bloomsbury Research Institute, a partnership between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and UCL dedicated to addressing the global challenge of infectious disease.

She will lead the development of a circa £50 million research facility that will bring together more than 200 leading scientists to find new treatments, vaccines and diagnostics for prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Research at the Institute will focus on the major global killers - tuberculosis, HIV and malaria - as well as neglected tropical diseases and emerging pathogens. It will also contribute to the international effort to address antimicrobial resistance and develop new antimicrobials, a key priority for the World Health Organization and the UK Government.

Professor Peacock, who was this year awarded CBE for services to medical microbiology, is currently Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Cambridge. She has already started work with the Bloomsbury Research Institute and will take up her post full-time from September.

Professor Peacock said: "It will be a privilege to lead this Institute, which has grown out of a compelling vision to bring together the complementary knowledge and skills in infectious disease research in two world-leading academic institutions. I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping an outstanding group of scientists to come together and deliver excellence in research.

"The Bloomsbury Research Institute is very well placed to rapidly translate important new advances, and deliver a programme of work that has a positive impact on global health. Long-term benefit to global health also requires a sustained commitment to teaching and capacity building, and training people to take their place amongst the next generation of science leaders will be an essential component of our strategy."

Professor Peacock is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Faculty Member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and deputy chair of the Medical Research Council Infection and Immunity Board. She also contributed to the UK Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report on antimicrobial resistance, and led the working group on scientific priorities for the infectious diseases component of the Department of Health 100,000 genome project.

Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "We are delighted that Sharon Peacock will be joining us to lead this vital work - a strategic priority for our institutions, and for global health. Infectious diseases are far from under control and we need innovative research and development to save millions of lives worldwide."

Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, said: "The Bloomsbury Research Institute is an exciting partnership between our two institutions and is a timely opportunity to accelerate the understanding and treatment of infectious diseases."

In January, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and UCL were awarded a grant of £7.5 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund to develop the Institute.

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