View all news

Professor John Iredale appointed interim Executive Chair of MRC

Professor John Iredale

20 December 2021

Professor John Iredale, currently Pro Vice-Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences at the University of Bristol, has been appointed interim Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Professor Iredale will step down as Pro Vice-Chancellor when he joins the MRC in January 2022 for a period of up to six months while recruitment for a new Executive Chair takes place.

He will take up the post on a secondment basis from the University of Bristol, where he's been overseeing the research, teaching and management strategy of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Life Sciences since January 2016.

As a clinical scientist, he also holds an Honorary Consultant contract with the North Bristol NHS Trust where he is a Non-Executive Director.

Professor Iredale was previously the Director of the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research and the Regius Chair of Medical Science in Edinburgh. He has also served as a member of the MRC's Council since 2016.

Professor Iredale said: "The Medical Research Council has an outstanding track record in delivering research to better human health; never more so than now.

"The coronavirus pandemic, and the incredible work colleagues are undertaking to address its challenges underlines the importance and value of the Medical Research Council and the vital work of its staff, centres, units, institutes and supported research teams.

"I am looking forward to the challenge and privilege of leading the organisation during such an important period."

Science and Innovation Minister George Freeman said: "The Medical Research Council is one of the jewels in the crown of UK science. I am very pleased that Professor John Iredale is taking up the role of interim Executive Chair. 

"As a distinguished clinical scientist with first-hand experience of the MRC, I look forward to working with him to drive forward our R&D agenda to meet today's greatest health challenges.

"The UK's life sciences sector has been a shining light in our response to COVID-19 and I look forward to working with him to drive forward our R&D agenda to meet today’s greatest health challenges."

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said: "Professor John Iredale is a distinguished clinical scientist, who will be an exceptional interim Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council.

"He brings a wealth of experience from his leadership roles in biomedical research and the NHS, and familiarity with the MRC from serving on its Council."

Professor Iredale succeeds Professor Fiona Watt, who will take up the post of Director of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in January 2022.

The post of interim MRC Executive Chair is a ministerial appointment. A full and open competition will be launched to appoint a permanent Executive Chair in the coming weeks.

Edit this page