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New appointments to the Medical Research Council

13 Dec 2016

Two new members have been appointed to the Council of the Medical Research Council (MRC) by the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson. Professor John Iredale and Professor Irene Tracey, have been appointed as scientific members. The appointments are with effect from 1 December 2016.

Biographies of new members

Professor John Iredale, University of Bristol

Professor Iredale is Pro Vice Chancellor Health at the University of Bristol and he holds the chair of Experimental Medicine. He also holds Honorary Consultant contracts with the North Bristol NHS Trust and the University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust. Previously Professor Iredale was the Regius Professor of Medical Science, Dean of Clinical Medicine and Vice Principal Health Services at the University of Edinburgh where he led the Medical School. He has previously held the Chair of Medicine in Edinburgh (2006-2013), and at the University of Southampton he held the chair of Medicine (2004-2006) and a Personal Chair in Hepatology (2000-2004).

Professor Iredale graduated from the University of Southampton with honours and Clinical Distinction in 1985 and was awarded a DM in 1995. He was made: a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1999; a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2003; and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011.

Professor Iredale’s research interests are focused on tissue scarring and regeneration. For 10 years, he has been the scientific chair of the UK’s leading liver disease research charity, The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, and he will take over as chair of the Lister Prize Fellowships in 2017.

Professor Iredale established the Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track Scheme (ECAT) to create a mentored “cradle to grave” training scheme for the best aspiring clinical academics. He has also played a major role in the AMS mentoring programme, and was one of 20 experienced mentors selected to pilot the Royal Society/AMS Sustain Scheme to support women in science. Professor Iredale has recently been invited by the Department of Health to Chair the Oversight Committee for the review of NIHR Training Schemes.

Between 2010 and 2016, Professor Iredale was Non-Executive Director of NHS Lothian and, in addition to MRC Council, currently holds another public appointment as non-executive Director of the North Bristol Trust. 

Professor Irene Tracey, University of Oxford

Professor Tracey holds the Nuffield Chair of Anaesthetic Science and is Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford. Professor Tracey did her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Oxford from 1985-1993 and then held a postdoctoral position at Harvard Medical School until 1996. In 1997, Professor Tracey helped to co-found the now world-leading Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) at the University of Oxford and was its Director from 2005 until 2015. She was also Head of the Nuffield Division of Anaesthetics and an Associate Head of the Medical Sciences Division at Oxford prior to taking up her current post. Over the past 18 years her multidisciplinary research team has contributed to a better understanding of pain perception, pain relief and nociceptive processing within the injured and non-injured human central nervous system using advanced neuroimaging techniques. More recently, they have been investigating the neural bases of altered states of consciousness during anaesthesia.

Professor Tracey has served and continues to serve on many national and international committees and was Deputy Chair of the MRC’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Board until 2014. In 2008 she was awarded the triennial Patrick Wall Medal from the Royal College of Anaesthetists, and in 2009 was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists for her contributions to the discipline. In 2015 she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


The appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice. All appointments to the Medical Research Council are made on merit, and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. No political activity has been declared.

Both members will receive remuneration of £6,850 per year for the appointment.


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