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Message from the Dean

08 Jun 2018

Latest news from Ian Greer

Professor Ian Greer

This week I have been in Boston Massachusetts as part of a Northern Powerhouse delegation, representing the University and the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), at the 2018 BIO International Convention, where I spoke at a session on the global challenges associated with the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

As you will know, this is an issue of particular relevance to our Faculty, which is leading on the University’s flagship programme ‘One Student, One Campus, One Life – Action on Antibiotic Drug Resistance’; and Dr David Allison and Dr Roger Harrison are undertaking great work in this area – the latest iteration of which is highlighted in the SR section of this eUpdate. It also resonates with key opportunitites to work with industry across the North and builds on our links with the UK’s AMR Centre and the Medicine’s Discovery Catapult at Alderley Park, as well as opportunities in clinical trials, where new approaches are needed in the development of new diagnostics and antibiotics to combat AMR.

At the NHSA UK BIO International Networking Breakfast, we were fortunate to meet Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, whose speech highlighted the importance of clusters such as we have in the North of England, to drive the economy through biomedical innovation. I also joined the minister for a press round table at the British Consulate later that day.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make this week’s Town Hall event, but I do know that my colleagues on the FLT provided insightful updates on some of the key priorities for the 2018 – 2019 academic year,  for both our Schools and the Faculty as a whole. If you weren’t able to attend, I would enourage you to listen to a podcast of the event, which is available HERE .

In his opening address, Peter Clayton talked briefly about a new University-wide initiative that will enable all staff to get involved in shaping the future vision of the University, and I would like to reiterate how important it will be for as many colleagues as possible to engage in this process.  The HE sector is changing rapidly, bringing both challenges and opportunities, and we want to harness the full breadth of experience of all of our people to generate some ‘big ideas’ that will help shape our new strategic direction.

From September onwards there will be a variety of opportunities for staff to participate, including ‘World Café’ workshops, an online forum, and two bespoke departmental team meetings; and we will be briefing all of our managers and leaders over the summer on what this will involve. I hope you will see this as a great opportunity – not only to input into the new strategic direction for the institution, but also to spend time with colleagues thinking about our vision for FBMH in general, your School or Division, and future priorities for your discipline or field of expertise.

Next Monday I will be meeting more colleagues from Boston, when Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health  will be visiting Manchester to discuss our ongoing collaborative opportunities in relation to health and social care devolution. The unique opportunity that we have in Manchester has not gone unnoticed on the global stage, and as a Faculty we are ideally placed to deliver substantial impact from research and innovation being adopted in the Greater Manchester health and social care system at many levels.

As an illustration of this, the following day we have a meeting to consider the development of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) research domains in the context of Health Innovation Manchester (HInM) following the integration of MAHSC and the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GM AHSN) to form HInM. This will be a critical interface not only for our own research but also for the future development of our Biomedical Research Centre.

Ian Greer

Vice-President and Dean