Dr Louise Wood CBE is Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). She leads the NIHR together with Professor Chris Whitty.
Louise has led the National Institute for Health Research with Professor Chris Whitty since 2016 and also has responsibility for policy research and science policy. Previously, she held several roles in the Department’s R&D Directorate, including Deputy Director leading on relations with the life sciences industry, and subsequently for research infrastructure in the NHS and partner universities to support delivery of ground-breaking research to improve patient care and population health and cement the UK’s reputation as a leading international centre for healthcare research and science.
Louise spent her early career working in drug safety at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. She served on the Agency’s Executive Board for four years as founding Director of the General Practice Research Database, forerunner to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. More recently Louise spent a year on secondment at the Association of Medical Research Charities as its Director of Policy and Public Affairs.
Louise has an honours degree in Physiology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in biomedical science from the University of London.
Since 2018, Louise has served as a Council Member for the Medical Research Council and as a member of the Advisory Board to the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter. She was elected an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in 2011 and awarded a CBE for services to health research in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.