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The University of Oxford, in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) and the Rosetrees Trust, are delighted to announce two new professorial posts. Professor Michael Douek, the newly appointed Director of the RCS Surgical Intervention Trials Unit (SITU) Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS) and Professor David Beard, the newly appointed Director of the RCS SITU Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS).

From left to right: Ann Berger from Rosetrees Trust, Richard Ross from Rosetrees Trust, Professor David Beard, Professor Michael Douek and Vineeth Rajkumar from Rosetrees Trust

The appointments will add to growth in surgical clinical research activity, both nationally and globally. Professor Beard and Douek will work closely with the RCS Surgical Trials Initiative, other RCS Professorial Chairs, RCS Surgical Trials Centres and Surgical Specialty Leads, to further clinical research activity across the UK.

Commenting on the new appointments Professor Derek Alderson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“The RCS is very pleased to be working with the University of Oxford and the Rosetrees Trust, who are long-term supporters of research at the RCS. Together we will continue our commitment to improve clinical research in all areas and ultimately provide patients with an increased level of care.”

The appointments will act as key links between Surgical Trails Centres and National Clinical Research Networks to aid in the development of new trials, establish clinical networks and develop and deliver innovative trials.

Richard Ross, Chairman of Rosetrees Trust, said:

“Rosetrees is delighted to fund these positions jointly with the University of Oxford and the RCS surgical trials initiative. Rosetrees hopes the RCS tradition of creating awards for ground-breaking research will be reflected in the work these two outstanding Professors will undertake in the coming years and we look forward to a long and fruitful association.”

I am passionate about surgical research and very excited to take on this role - Professor Michael Douek

Commenting on the new appointments, Professor Andrew Carr, Head of NDORMS, said:

“We are very excited to welcome both Professor Douek and Professor Beard to SITU and the Botnar Research Centre as the Rosetrees RCS Directors. They both have a wealth of valuable experience in surgical trials which will allow them to successfully lead and further expand our work in this critical area of research activity, for the benefit of surgical patients in the UK and worldwide.”

Speaking on his appointment, Professor Beard, said:

“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed to this new role. The Rosetrees Foundation have been an essential ingredient in RCS’ surgical evaluation initiative for several years. Their generous support and insight has been a leading factor in the overall success of the surgical trial development in this country.

“The added formal connection with the Division of Medicine here at Oxford creates a further formidable partnership. Now with frameworks, methodology and surgical trial units in the UK all well established, this next phase will see further developments linked to the Future of Surgery, automation, big data, global health and the further advances addressing the methodological nuances of evaluating a complex intervention such as surgery.

“While the need for quality trials remains ever present, consideration must extend to all stakeholders. Naturally the welfare of patients is foremost, but some balance will be required for the needs of surgeons, clinicians, practitioners, innovative industry partners and healthcare commissioners.

“The surgical evaluation team may be a relatively ‘new kid’ on the block in evaluative science, but its role will become increasingly important for healthcare provision of the future.  I very much look forward to being a part of that exciting process.”

Of his appointment, Professor Douek, said:

“I am passionate about surgical research and very excited to take on this role. I am driven by the conviction that novel surgical techniques and clinical devices should be evaluated with the same rigour and governance as established in drug clinical trials”.

News item courtesy of the Royal College of Surgeons

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