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Former Government Chief Scientific Adviser appointed as new Chair of Imperial College Health Partners

Sir Mark Walport, former Chief Scientific Advisor and CEO of UKRI, has been appointed as the new Chair of Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP). Sir Mark will take over as chair of ICHP at the end of January 2022, when the term of current chair Professor Andrew George comes to an end.

Sir Mark has had a long and distinguished career, holding a number of influential national positions in the past, including four years as the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser. He was the Director of the Wellcome Trust and founding Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). His experience spans the NHS, the life sciences sector, government, and national research and innovation funding organisations.

Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP) is a partnership organisation bringing together NHS providers of healthcare services, an Integrated Care System, and leading universities across North West London. It supports its members and clients to realise the potential of healthcare innovation through the adoption of best practice – working at the intersection between industry, academia, the NHS and policy.

ICHP hosts the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Real World Evidence, working closely with industry, the public sector and the public on how best to utilise the benefits of healthcare data to improve care and support research. In addition, ICHP also hosts the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for North West London as well as other national grants.

Responding to Sir Mark’s appointment as ICHP Chair, Dr Axel Heitmueller, ICHP Managing Director, said:
“I am incredibly pleased that Sir Mark will be joining the ICHP Board. He brings with him a wealth of experience across the innovation, life sciences, and health and care sectors. In his recent roles he has provided national and international leadership at the highest level on biomedical research and policy issues.

This is an exciting appointment for our members in the NHS and partners in industry, for North West London and for us as an organisation. We look forward to working with him to tackle some of the most pressing healthcare challenges across our sector and beyond.”


Sir Mark Walport said:
“I am delighted to be joining ICHP. It is a critical time for the NHS, still in the grip of the pandemic. I believe that ICHP has the possibility to act as an integrating and strategic force, and I will bring my experience and skills, gained from my diverse career, to work with partners in the public and private sectors for patient benefit, by bringing together research and innovation for all our benefits.”

ICHP’s current Chair, Prof. Andrew George, reflected:
“I have immensely enjoyed my time at ICHP and am very proud of the positive impact the work of the team has had on the population of North West London. This has ranged from reducing the number of strokes to preventing Cerebral Palsy in preterm babies, and more recently the way the team has supported the Covid-19 response. It is with great honour that I am handing over the baton of Chair to Sir Mark, who I know will support ICHP to go from strength to strength.”

Sir Mark brings to ICHP a wealth of experience, including:

  • Chair of Imperial Academic Health Science Centre (current role)
  • Chief Executive, UKRI
  • Government Chief Scientific Advisor
  • Director of the Wellcome Trust
  • Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London