Wellcome Trust appoints new heads of Population Health and of Infection and Immuno-biology

The Wellcome Trust has created two new teams within its Science Funding division: Infection and Immuno-biology, and Population Health.

The team formerly known as Pathogens, Immunology and Public Health has been split in two, to generate greater focus on the separate elements. The Public Health team has joined forces with International Activities and will be known as Population Health, with Dr Jimmy Whitworth as its head.

Jimmy has been Head of International Activities at the Wellcome Trust for ten years, developing the scientific portfolio for research in low- and middle-income countries. During this period he has made great strides in several areas, including strengthening our research base in low- and middle-income countries and in building capacity in those countries. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2010 in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of medical science.

He said: "The health of the global population faces many challenges. In establishing a new department within the Trust dedicated to population health, we are highlighting the importance of meeting and addressing these challenges, and I am delighted to be leading the team."

The Trust also welcomes Professor Mike Turner, who has been appointed as Head of Infection and Immuno-biology, also formerly part of Pathogens, Immunology and Public Health. He has joined the Trust from the University of Glasgow, bringing more than 30 years of biomedical research experience.

He said: "I am delighted to be joining the Trust at this time of transition. Immunology and infectious diseases research have always been substantive elements of the funding portfolio, and I look forward to playing my part in continuing this tradition."

Professor Turner joined the University of Glasgow in 1983, and was appointed Professor in 2004. His research has focused on parasite genetics and genomics. Originally trained as an epidemiologist, he has worked on many aspects of parasite biology, including transmission and population genetics, genomics, antigenic variation, developmental biology, and immunology. He has recently completed a Wellcome Trust-funded project to investigate co-adaptation between tsetse flies and trypanosome parasites in collaboration with Dr Dan Masiga at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya.

In addition to his research and teaching commitments, Mike has served the University of Glasgow as Head of Division of Infection and Immunity and as Deputy Dean of the Graduate School. He has also given long-standing service to the Trust and until recently he chaired the Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance's Intermediate and Senior Fellowship Selection Committee.