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New chief exec for Medical Research Council

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable has announced the appointment of Sir John Savill as chief executive of the MRC

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable has announced the appointment of Sir John Savill as chief executive of the Medical Research Council (MRC). He also becomes deputy chair with Sir John Chisholm retaining chairmanship of the MRC.

Announcing the appointment the Secretary of State said: "I am pleased to welcome Sir John Savill as the new chief executive of the Medical Research Council. He has an excellent background as a clinician scientist and is highly regarded in the research and clinical academic communities. With his extensive experience in leadership roles he will be a great asset to the Council.

"As an important funder of medical research and high-quality postgraduate training, the MRC has a crucial role to play in meeting some of the major challenges our country faces to improve people's health and wellbeing."

Sir John Savill said: "I am thrilled to be joining the MRC at a time when there are such bright prospects for the UK to play a leading role in the international effort to beat disease through interdisciplinary discovery science. To ensure rapid translation into health and wealth gains, I look forward to working through the Office of Strategic Co-ordination for Health Research with the National Institute for Health Research, the devolved administrations and the Technology Strategy Board.

"By retaining a university base, I will remain grounded in the realities of medical research in which partnerships with charities, industry, patients and public are so important in developing research and research leaders for the future."

Sir John Chisholm, MRC chair, said: "As an academic, clinician and key strategic leader, Sir John Savill is a perfect choice to take the reins as our new chief executive. He will bring his expertise in science and policy along with him, helping the MRC build on its strong tradition of world-class medical research that has a real impact on everyday health in the UK.

"As we head into a new era in our history, the MRC's ability to deliver economic and social benefits through our work will continue to take centre stage and I'm sure under Sir John's guidance, the MRC will go on to even greater strengths."

The appointment is for three years. Sir John Savill will take up post on October 1, 2010 as successor to Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

2nd August 2010

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