Dr Gail Marzetti has been appointed as the director of science, research and evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

As part of her role, Dr Marzetti will help to lead the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and to steer research across health and social care.

With 25 years’ experience across a range of policy areas, Dr Marzetti first joined DHSC in 2020 and is currently director of refugees and head of international workforce. She has a particular interest in the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalised people into research.

Dr Marzetti, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the leadership of NIHR and once again working in the field of research and evidence.

“So many of NIHR’s strategic priorities are about inclusion and health inequalities, topics close to my heart, and I’m excited to bring my experience to bear both on NIHR’s national work and on its work in low and middle income countries.

“I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the health and care research sector to help NIHR deliver against its vital mission.” 

She is replacing Dr Louise Wood, who will be leaving DHSC in June, while Dr Marzetti will start her new role from July. She will be working under the direction of Professor Lucy Chappell, chief scientific advisor and chief executive of the NIHR.

Minister for Innovation, Lord Kamall, said: “Health and care research is crucial to transform our health service and ensure the NHS is able to deliver world-class care.”

He continued: “I want to thank and pay tribute to Dr Louise Wood for her incredible work and leadership. I know Dr Gail Marzetti will build on Dr Wood’s contribution, working alongside Professor Lucy Chappell to ensure the UK remains a world-leader in diverse, ground-breaking research.”

NIHR is focused on improving the health and wealth of the nation through research. It co-funded and supported the research behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as dexamethasone, the first effective treatment for Covid. It has also helped fund a pilot of an AI skin cancer diagnostic tool and given funding to roll out tech that provides data-led insights in bowel care.

Earlier this year Digital Health reported on the departure of Matthew Gould from the DHSC, who was director general for digital transformation, as well as national director for digital transformation at NHS England and Improvement.