Joint Research Office


Professor Bryan Williams to step down as BRC Director for new role

21 August 2023

The British Heart Foundation has appointed our BRC Director Professor Bryan Williams as its first Chief Scientific and Medical Officer.

It means Professor Williams will step down as BRC Director towards the end of the year when he takes up his new role. He will continue as a UCL professor of medicine and honorary consultant physician at UCLH.

UCLH and UCL will begin the process of appointing a new Director shortly.

Professor Williams, who became Director of the UCLH BRC in 2012, has led the BRC through three highly competitive NIHR BRC funding rounds – most recently securing over £90m for world-leading research at UCLH and UCL until 2027.

This research is taking place across 14 themes, each led by two co-directors, in a set-up initiated by Professor Williams to enhance leadership and bring in emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds.

Professor Williams, who was also appointed Director of Research at UCLH in 2014 and UCL Chair of Medicine in 2012, said: “I feel so proud to have been part of the amazing leadership teams at UCLH, UCL and the BRC. It was a privilege to lead the UCLH research response to the pandemic and to secure over £300m of NIHR BRC funding over the past 10 years for world-leading research at UCLH and UCL. I have no doubt UCLH is a much stronger research hospital now, than it was 10 years ago, with the relationship between UCLH and UCL stronger than ever. I will be working with the senior leadership at UCLH and UCL and the research team to ensure a smooth transition for my successor.”

Chief Executive of UCLH David Probert said: “I want to say a huge thank you to Bryan on behalf of our patients and staff. He has been a superb director of research for more than 9 years. Our strong partnership with UCL in research is key to the care we are able to offer at UCLH. As director of research Bryan has forged closer links with all our research partners. The next few months will give some time for us to identify a successor and support the transition into role of a new research director.”

Professor Williams’s research and clinical practice is in the field of high blood pressure (hypertension) in which he is recognised as one of the world's leading authorities. He is the current President of the International Society of Hypertension.

He was recently cited by Clarivate as one of the world’s most influential and highly cited clinical scientists. His research has directly influenced clinical practice in the NHS and globally, and throughout, he has continued to work for the NHS, recently completing 40 years as a front-line NHS doctor.”