Making the leap from 'theory to theatre'

Health news

A Leeds professor is one of eight of the UK's most promising leaders in medical health research to be awarded a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) professorship.

Each professor will receive around £1.5m of funding to conduct research into conditions that affect millions of patients across the UK.

Professor David Jayne, from the University of Leeds, is to receive the funding for work that aims to improve bowel cancer treatment through the development of new surgical techniques, including robotics, biosensors and fluorescence-guided surgery.

Professor Jayne said: "The quality of surgery can make a real difference to the outcome of treatment for cancer and it is vital that patients get access to the best techniques that are available. This award from the NIHR will help us to bring innovative approaches from engineering and biological sciences into hospitals and clinics, in other words, 'from theory to theatre.'"

Professor David Cottrell, Dean of the University of Leeds' School of Medicine, said: "This award builds on the long track record that we have here in Leeds for academic surgery and for 'translational research', taking scientific advances and turning them into treatments for the benefit of patients and healthcare providers."

Health minister Anne Milton said: "The professors will be given the opportunity to develop their research programmes, but most importantly they won't stop treating NHS patients. This will help make sure that new ideas make the leap from the bench to the bedside.

"We want to see medical research advance, and to do that it is essential that we nurture the very best researchers to the benefit of NHS patients."
Promoting and fostering the kind of research that the new NIHR research professors will carry out is one of the Government's top priorities, and through the Health and Social Care Bill the role that research plays in the health service will continue to be strengthened.

The professors were selected by an international panel of independent experts. The second round of the competition is also opening today, and the next group of NIHR professors will be appointed later in the year.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Health said: "Each one of these professors already has an impressive track record, and I look forward to working with them in the future and seeing them flourish. They will provide much needed research leadership in their chosen field, and help us build more capacity and capability within the NIHR in very important areas.

"Our original intention was to appoint only five new research professors, but the international expert panel found the quality of applications so high that they advised eight awards should be made."

Further information:

For media enquires about translational research at the University of Leeds Press Office, +44 113 343 4031 or email

For media enquiries about NIHR professorships, please contact the Department of Health press office: Tel 020 7210 5221.

A full list of the new NIHR professors, as well as details of their research and contact details is available on request. Alternatively, please click here:

The announcement coincides with the start of a new competition for the second round of NIHR Research Professorship competition. These awards are open to health researchers and methodologists with an outstanding record of clinical and applied health research and its effective translation for improved health. For more information please click on the following link: