On 1 September, leading neurologist Professor Paul Matthews will start his tenure as the new Chair of the Neurosciences and Mental Health Board.
New chair for the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board
Head of the Brain Sciences Division at Imperial College London, Paul is recognised internationally for his research on multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disease and for his work in clinical neuroimaging research.
MRC research boards and panels are made up of a group of leading scientists who play a key role in delivering MRC objectives across the portfolio. The research boards hold their own research budgets and review and manage scientific activity within their specialist areas. Board chair tenure typically lasts for four years.
Paul has more than 30 years’ experience of working on disorders of the brain at both molecular and systems levels. Current work includes investigation into the role of microglia and astrocytes in neurodegeneration in the context of both multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease using a wide range of methods integrated with imaging, including 'omics strategies deployed minimally invasively in blood and in isolated brain tissue post-mortem. His work also encompasses novel and translational imaging technologies
Paul is currently an Associate Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) and leads an active imaging and ‘omics-based research programme in translational neurodegeneration research funded by the MRC Pathfinder grant, Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) and UK DRI.
Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I am delighted by the opportunity to serve the MRC and the neuroscience community with this appointment. There are great opportunities to make a difference both for basic understanding and for transformative approaches to the promotion of mental health and the management of diseases of the brain. I look forward to working with the MRC, the Board members and the broader neuroscience and mental health community across the UK to supporting best efforts to realising this potential!”
Paul was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to neuroscience and elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. He succeeds Professor Patrick Chinnery, who completed his term as board chair in August 2019.
The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health.