New director of science, research and evidence will help lead the National Institute for Health and Care Research

  • She has extensive experience and interest in the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized people in research
  • NIHR will continue to support research to improve the nation’s health and wealth

Dr Gail Marzetti has been appointed as the new Director of Science, Research and Evidence (SRE) at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). She will take over the role previously held by Dr. Louise Wood.

Helping to lead the NIHR and shape research in the areas of health and social care, Dr. Gail Marzetti will work under the direction of Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Advisor to DHSC and Chief Executive Officer of NIHR. She brings with her a wealth of relevant experience with a background in research funding and a track record in including vulnerable and marginalized people.

NIHR aims to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Their research helps discover new treatments, improve diagnostics, advance medical technologies and strengthen health and care services.

Health research has been fundamental to fighting Covid and the NIHR was an integral part of that. They co-funded and supported the research behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as well as dexamethasone, the first effective treatment for Covid.

Over the past 10 years, NIHR researchers have reported more than 6,500 cases where their research has influenced health and care policy or impacted practice and guidelines.

Innovation Minister Lord Kamall said:

Health and care research is key to transforming our health service and ensuring the NHS is able to deliver world-class care.

He has been vital in our fight against Covid and in saving thousands of lives – whether through the rapid creation of vaccines or the identification of life-saving treatments like dexamethasone.

I would like to thank and pay tribute to Dr. Louise Wood for her incredible work and leadership. I know Dr Gail Marzetti will build on Dr Woods’ contribution, working alongside Professor Lucy Chappell to ensure the UK remains a world leader in diverse and groundbreaking research.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Director General of the NIHR and Chief Science Advisor to the DHSC, said:

This is an exciting new chapter for the NIHR.

Louise will be sorely missed, but I am confident that Dr. Marzetti brings with her a wealth of experience with a background in research funding and an interest in underserved communities. She will be well-positioned to help achieve the strategic goals of the NIHR, focusing on improving care and outcomes for patients and the public, and addressing inequities in health and care.

Dr. Gail Marzetti, new director of science, research and evidence, said: > I am delighted to join the leadership of the NIHR and to work again in the field of research and evidence. > > Many of the NIHR’s strategic priorities relate to inclusion and health inequities, topics close to my heart, and I am delighted to bring my experience to both the NIHR’s national work and its work in low- and middle-income countries. > > I look forward to collaborating with colleagues in health and care research to help the NIHR fulfill its vital mission.

Dr. Marzetti is a senior civil servant with 25 years of experience in various policy areas. She joined DHSC in March 2020 and is currently Director of Refugees and Head of International Workforce. Prior to that, she worked for the Department for International Development (DfID) for over 20 years. This included six years on the team that created DfID’s Research and Evidence Division, putting evidence at the heart of policies and programmes. Most recently, she was head of DfID Myanmar, leading the UK response to the Rohingya crisis, and before that, head of DfID Nepal.

Dr Louise Wood has been with DHSC since 2005 and has been instrumental alongside Dame Sally Davies and Sir Chris Whitty. Louise has co-led the organization with great integrity and passion, having watched it grow since its inception.

Dr. Louise Wood is leaving DHSC in June 2022 and Dr. Gail Marzetti will take over in July.

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