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New Director for Manchester’s Biomedical Research Centre

28 Feb 2024

Professor Anne Barton to lead region’s “beating heart of translational research”, taking over from Professor Ian Bruce

Professor Anne Barton

Professor Anne Barton has been formally appointed as the Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

She will take over the role from Professor Ian Bruce who will be stepping down in March 2024 to become Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast.

The NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) transforms scientific breakthroughs into diagnostic tests and life-saving treatments for patients.

Professor Barton is an Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, a EULAR Centre of Excellence at our University.

An NIHR Senior Clinical Investigator, Professor Barton was Deputy Director of Manchester BRC (2017-22) and is currently Inflammation Cluster Lead and Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases Co-Theme Lead. She will take up this new role from April 1 2024. 

She said: “I am delighted to take up the position of Director of Manchester BRC, the beating heart of translational research across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria, which transforms scientific breakthroughs into diagnostic tests and life-saving treatments for patients.

“Manchester BRC’s mission is to drive health improvements and personalised health and care through cutting-edge research and, together with public partners, industry collaborators, and colleagues across all our partner organisations, I am looking forward to building on our successes and delivering our vision to bring lasting change for all.

“I would like to say thank you to Professor Ian Bruce whose leadership since 2017 was crucial in ensuring two successful BRC bids for Manchester, expanding our research themes and our geographical reach, and we wish him all the best.”

Mark Cubbon, Group Chief Executive at MFT, which hosts Manchester BRC, along with our University, said: “As the largest BRC outside the South East of England, Manchester BRC has the clinical and geographical reach to improve the health and wellbeing of millions of people across our region. Under Professor Barton’s leadership I know the BRC will continue to develop and deliver even more cutting-edge treatments for patients and tackle the health inequalities faced by our wider population.”

Professor Graham Lord, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, said: “As Manchester BRC’s University partner, we are undoubtedly proud of the academic clinical research that has led to real-world impacts, improving diagnosis, testing, and treatments. I know Professor Barton will provide the skills and expertise to enable the BRC to continue to lead the way nationally and internationally in research, innovation, and life sciences.”