Thursday, 13 June 2024
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Thursday, 13 June 2024

Moorfields Eye Charity appoints new chair

Dr Louise Wood CBE has been appointed as Moorfields Eye Charity’s new chair and will succeed Mervyn Walker when he steps down from the role in July 2024.

Louise has worked at national and international levels for over 30 years in organisations dedicated to excellence in research and innovation, enabling a healthier society. She will take on this important role as the charity is growing its grant-making expenditure to over £10 million a year when the new centre for advancing eye health opens in St Pancras, Camden in 2027.

Moorfields Eye Charity is the leading charity in the UK funding research into eye health and innovation and improvement in patient care to help patients at Moorfields and globally. It is a partner in the creation of the new state-of-the-art eye health centre with Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology accelerating the discovery of new treatments which will transform lives. Philanthropy is vital to making this a reality.

Louise brings experience to the charity of strategic leadership, operational delivery and policy-making, with a strong focus on partnership work. She is dedicated to improving lives through research and innovation and committed to realising the opportunities philanthropy provides for speeding up advances in eye health.

Previous roles include as director of science, research and evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC); in their Research and Development (R&D) directorate improving research infrastructure in the NHS and partner universities; and as deputy chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Since December 2022, Louise has been chair of trustees of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), of which Moorfields Eye Charity is a member.

Dr Louise Wood said:

“I’m passionate about the delivery of groundbreaking research, innovations in health care and implementation of evidence-informed public policy to improve people’s health and address inequalities, growing the UK’s reputation as a leading international centre for eye health. As demand for eye care grows so must funding for research and innovation to ensure people receive the best possible care and treatments on a global level. Having cared for my mum who had macular degeneration, I know how vital this is for patients and their loved ones.”

Robert Dufton, chief executive at Moorfields Eye Charity said:

“We’re delighted that Louise will be joining Moorfields Eye Charity at such a pivotal time. Louise brings expertise as a leader in science and health organisations and her drive for shaping policy and pushing forward leading-edge research and innovation will help millions of people with sight loss.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mervyn Walker for his commitment to the charity. I’m proud of our achievements over recent years under his leadership including setting our strategic direction and growing the charity to benefit Moorfields patients. I would like to thank him personally as well as on behalf of Moorfields Eye Charity.”

Dr Louise Wood starts in the role as chair of Moorfields Eye Charity in July 2024.

Find out more about Moorfields Eye Charity’s work at: moorfieldseyecharity.org.uk.

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