Trailblazing Hull York Medical School and York researchers appointed as NIHR Senior Investigators

1 March 2023
simon gilbody
The work of Professor Simon Gilbody Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG) has been recognised with the award of prestigious NIHR Senior Investigator status in the 2023 round.  

NIHR Senior Investigators are recognised as the most prominent and prestigious researchers working in health and social care research. Simon’s research impact and leadership was judged as internationally outstanding when he was re-appointed for a further five years in a highly competitive process. He and two York colleagues, Professor Catherine Hewitt and Professor Yvonne Birks, are elected to the college of UK Senior Investigators, comprising the 200 most outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the UK health research community.

Simon Gilbody is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatric Epidemiology, based in Hull York Medical School and the Department of Health Sciences. His work focuses on rigorous experiments and epidemiological studies to treat and prevent the epidemic of mental ill health and loneliness in the population. He was elected as senior investigator alongside two senior colleagues based at the University of York, Professor Catherine Hewitt and Professor Yvonne Birks.  

Professor Gilbody worked with colleagues at the Medical School during the COVID pandemic when their BASIL COVID-19 trials produced research that has shown how the psychological impacts of lockdown and social isolation can be tackled at scale.  Simon’s research programme is international, and he collaborates with Medical School Professors Najma and Kamran Siddiqi in the NIHR IMPACT Global Health Programme that is led by the School and the University of York in partnership with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Professor Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School, congratulated Simon and his fellow Professors on their awards. She said: "Successful health research is highly collaborative and works across disciplines. Professor Hewitt is a leading statistician, Professor Birks a leading social care researcher and Professor Gilbody is a leading clinician scientist. Their research shows the power of collaboration to drive forward knowledge and improve patient care. We are proud to see the work of Hull York Medical School and University of York researchers recognised in this way."  

Speaking of their award, Professor Kate Fleming, Head of the Department of Health Sciences said: "I would like to congratulate my colleagues Professors Hewitt, Birks and Gilbody. This is a great accolade for the York and Medical School research programme, and their leadership. Their work has transformed the care for many people in the NHS and social care, and it is right that Hull York Medical School and the University of York’s internationally regarded programme of clinical trials is celebrated in this way."

Hull York Medical School is a partnership between the universities of Hull and York. It offers a thriving environment in which to conduct world leading research, research which is advancing improvements in healthcare - treatment, diagnosis and care. Its community of researchers across Hull and York have a global reputation for their work, which includes scientific discoveries that underpin the diagnosis and treatment of some of the world's most aggressive diseases, mental health research which addresses the needs of a wide variety of patients in the UK and globally, research into life limiting conditions, and research which is transforming the way cancer is understood, diagnosed and treated. This work is transforming the lives of people in this region and beyond.