The Rosalind Franklin Institute has appointed Professor Paul Matthews as its new institute director.

The national research institute, based at Harwell Campus near Didcot, specialises in technology development for tackling human health research challenges.

It is funded by UK Research and Innovation via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Having served as head of the department of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, Professor Matthews brings over three decades of experience working on neurodegenerative disorders.

He also led two world-leading research imaging centres, the University of Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, and GlaxoSmithKline’s Clinical Imaging Centre.

On Professor Matthews's appointment, Dame Vivienne Cox, chair of the Franklin, said: "His experience with all elements of the drug discovery pipeline, from early discovery research to late-stage clinical trials, will bring key insights as we develop and apply our technologies to real biological problems."

In response, Professor Matthews said: "I am excited now to lead the Franklin, strengthen partnerships with universities and industry and further realise the Institute’s potential to generate the transformative insights needed to help people live more productive and healthier lives."

During his tenure, Professor Matthews plans to propel the Franklin into its next phase.

This includes broadening its scope of work in tissue study backed by new technological breakthroughs to better understand pathology at multiple scales.