Two Trust experts appointed to prestigious national research positions

Two honorary consultants at Imperial College Healthcare have been appointed senior investigators by the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Professor Graham Cooke is one of 43 new NIHR Senior Investigators in 2024, with Professor Alun Davies among 21 reappointed this year. NIHR senior investigators positions are given to those who are deemed to be the most outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research funded by the NIHR. They provide research leadership, promoting clinical and applied research in health and social care. They also act as a key source of advice to the Department of Health and Social Care’s chief scientific adviser.

Professor Graham Cooke

Graham Cooke is an honorary consultant at Imperial College Healthcare and Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trusts and professor of infectious disease, vice dean (research) at Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine. He is also the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) theme lead for infection and antimicrobial resistance.

He has played a leading role in research to underpin the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat through multidisciplinary studies including clinical trials (in the UK and Vietnam), diagnostic development and studies of disease burden. He co-ordinated the recent update of the Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology commission on accelerating the elimination of viral hepatitis and led the expert group on viral hepatitis for the Infected Blood Inquiry which will report in May.

In response to Covid-19, he was a member of the WHO Covid-19 treatment guidelines group and was a principal investigator for the REACT studies which recruited over 3 million people to self-testing studies for Covid-19. 

Reacting to his appointment, he said: “I'm delighted to be rejoining the NIHR Academy at what is crucial time for research in the NHS if we are to have an impact on both the health and the wealth of the UK."

Professor Alun Davies

Alun Davies is an honorary consultant surgeon and clinical director of private care at Imperial College Healthcare and professor of vascular surgery at Imperial College London’s Department of Surgery and Cancer. 

Regarded as a world expert in the management of in the management of arterial and venous disorders, Professor Davies is the editor in chief of Phlebology, and past president of the European Venous Forum and the Venous Forum at The Royal Society of Medicine. He is a distinguished fellow of the American Venous Forum, life fellow of The American Venous and Lymphatic Society, honorary fellow of Australian College of Phlebology, Vascular Surgical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the European Society of Vascular Surgery. He is currently president of the European College of Phlebology. He is a fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

He was the chairman of the Varicose Vein Guideline Group for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and a member of the NICE abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) guideline committee. He is currently a member of the NHS England Specialised Commissioning Committee and an NIHR funding committee.  

He worked extensively on many aspects of vascular disease, leading a large research group and writing over 600 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He is committed to mentoring junior colleagues. 

Responding to his reappointment, Professor Davies said: “I am delighted to have my senior investigators award renewed for a second term and thank everyone who has helped me obtain this honour”.

Professor Waljit Dhillo, who is Dean of NIHR Academy alongside his roles at Imperial College Healthcare and Imperial College London, said: “I look forward to working with our new and returning senior investigators over the next four years. These prestigious researchers are fundamental to NIHR, supporting our strategic priorities and providing visible leadership as NIHR ambassadors.”

Read more about the appointments on the NIHR website.