Imperial College London has appointed Prof Hugh Brady as its next president, who will leave his current role leading the University of Bristol at the end of this academic year.
Prof Brady is Bristol’s 13th vice-chancellor and president, having led the Russell Group institution since September 2015. The Irish academic, hailed by Imperial College as a “renowned medic”, will take up the post of president of the world-renowned science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM) institution on 1 August 2022, succeeding Prof Alice Gast.
Bristol hailed its outgoing leader for his dedication to a new research strategy and sustainability and civic initiatives. Bristol has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and has promised full divestment from fossil fuels. The university is at the centre of a huge council-led regeneration project – Temple Quarter Enterprise – of which a new city-centre campus is a part.
The professor of medicine will be the first from his field to lead the 107-year-old institution, widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost STEM research-intensive universities in the world.
I join at a time when Imperial’s strengths, profile and global impact have never been greater
– Prof Hugh Brady
The incumbent president, Gast, who has led Imperial since 2014, apologised in December via an email to the university community for bullying staff, after a campaign by students and the University and College Union (UCU) forced the university to publish an independent review of bullying complaints, led by Jane McNeill QC. Gast remained in post, despite opposition from some. The Office for Students began a formal investigation of “regulatory matters” at Imperial, the Guardian reported in February.
John Allan, Imperial’s chair of Council, said: “Hugh Brady is one of the outstanding university leaders of his generation. His track record in Bristol, Dublin and as a pioneering researcher with a deep understanding of UK and global higher education make him the ideal candidate to lead Imperial through this period of change.
“Imperial’s status as an education, research and innovation powerhouse has reached new heights in recent years. The College is reaching new audiences, forging impactful collaborations, diversifying, growing, and securing new income streams, thanks in no small part to Alice Gast’s leadership. Hugh Brady and the whole community have a tremendous opportunity to take Imperial even further.”
Brady’s research interests include the molecular pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease and pro-resolution pathways in inflammatory disease.
“I join at a time when Imperial’s strengths, profile and global impact have never been greater,” Brady said. “The way the whole Imperial community responded to the pandemic is awe-inspiring: from vital scientific breakthroughs and rewiring digital learning to volunteering on the NHS frontline and helping the most vulnerable,” he added.
Header image © Imperial College London.