Following an international search, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Chairman, Bob Kennedy today announced the appointment of Professor Michael Nilsson as the next Director of HMRI.
Professor Nilsson, MD, PhD, who will take up the position in March 2012, is a neuroscientist with two decades experience in brain and stroke recovery research.
His globally recognised research includes studies of brain plasticity and repair and how the results can be translated into novel strategies for stroke rehabilitation. A particular interest is related to the role of the supportive cells of the brain - the astrocytes - which are shown to be key players in the repair and recovery processes.
Professor Nilsson is currently the Director of Research, Development and Education at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden - northern Europe’s largest university hospital. In his current role he is responsible for the strategic planning and support of clinical sciences.
“HMRI, the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Local Health Network are delighted to have appointed a new Director of such high calibre and standing in the international research community,” Mr Kennedy said.
The HMRI Director will be appointed to the Burges Chair of Medical Science, a position made possible by the generous donation to the University of Newcastle from Stephen and Bill Burges in honour of their parents William and Iris Burges. Further support for the position has been provided through Hunter New England Local Health Network and HMRI.
“Professor Nilsson will be an asset to our community. In addition to his research achievements he has a proven track record in team and relationship building, and managing innovation and change. These combined skills will help to grow HMRI and our research capacity nationally and internationally,” Mr Kennedy said.
“I am truly excited about the opportunity to lead and be part of a strong visionary process based on cutting edge competence and team spirit,” Professor Nilsson said.
“I have for several years actively promoted integration between science and the clinic and I am convinced that HMRI is strategically positioned to be a leader in translational medicine.”
“There are many people who have made today’s announcement possible, including current Director Professor Maree Gleeson,” Mr Kennedy said.
“The progress made by HMRI in attaining its strategic aims of a new building and an internationally recognised and established Director are coming together.
“Professor Gleeson, who accepted her role knowing HMRI would seek an internationally recognised and respected director, has made an invaluable contribution to the Hunter and HMRI over the past four and a half years.
“Under her leadership HMRI has gone from strength to strength and become a research institute of national standing.”