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New Director of the Pankhurst Institute appointed

14 Nov 2023

Professor Alejandro Frangi (FREng) becomes Director of the Pankhurst Institute

Professor Alex Frangi

Congratulations to Professor Alejandro (Alex) Frangi who has taken up the role of Director of the Pankhurst Institute. The Institute promotes needs-led health technology research and innovation, providing end-to-end support for translation into practice, and is the flagship for our University’s rapidly expanding health technology portfolio.

The Directorship of the Institute is a natural addition to Alex’s existing portfolio. Alex is the Bicentennial Turing Chair in Computational Medicine, with joint appointments at the Department of Computer Science and the School of Health Sciences. He is also the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies, with a focus on Precision Computational Medicine for in silico trials of medical devices.

An Alan Turing Institute Fellow and a pioneer of computational medicine, Alex has made internationally leading contributions in fundamental and translational computational medical imaging and image-based computational medicine. He contributed novel statistical analysis methods to the fields of population imaging (UK Biobank) and in silico clinical trials. His highly interdisciplinary work has been translated to cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and neurological diseases areas, accounting for over 40% of the NHS expenditure.

More recently, Alex’s work in haemorrhagic stroke combining digital twins and regulatory science culminated in the first in silico trial of a Medtronic flow diversion device for treating intracranial aneurysms. It demonstrated the possibility of replicating and expanding findings of three randomised controlled trials and international registries for a fraction of their cost and increased thoroughness testing effectiveness and safety.

Professor Chris Taylor, Chair of the Pankhurst Board said: “Alex is a true pioneer and innovator, and I am excited to see how he will take the work of the Pankhurst forward, translating world-leading research into new technologies that address the very pressing health and care challenges the world is facing.

"In congratulating Alex on this new appointment, I also want to thank Professor Niels Peek who is stepping down from the Directorship. As Director, Niels has built on the initial promise of the Institute, strengthened the team and created an effective leadership that has been able to build new partnerships and ensure that this Institute also has a new physical home – no small achievement in itself.

"Niels will be supporting Alex as Deputy Director of the Pankhurst Institute until January 2024 when he will leave us to join the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge.”