Alder Hey Welcomes Professor John Chester, Director of Research and Innovation

Alder Hey Welcomes Professor John Chester, Director of Research and Innovation

Alder Hey Welcomes Professor John Chester, Director of Research and Innovation

26th Jul 2021

Professor John Chester joins Alder Hey today as our new Director of Research and Innovation.

Alder Hey are pleased to announce the arrival Professor John Chester as our new Director of Research and Innovation.  

His arrival marks a significant step in continuing to build Alder Hey’s Children’s Health Campus, with a key focus in delivering world-leading Research and Innovation outcomes.

Professor Chester joins Alder Hey after 10 years as Clinical Professor of Medical Oncology in Cardiff University and Honorary Consultant at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. 

Speaking on his appointment Professor Chester said ‘It is a great honour to be joining the Alder Hey team. Alder Hey’s reputation as a leader in paediatric healthcare research and innovation is second to none, and I am looking forward to helping grow these areas over the coming years. We are living through challenging, and exciting, times and we must seize the opportunity to further focus our efforts towards delivering outstanding Research and Innovation.”


Louise Shepherd, CBE, Chief Executive, said:

"Research and innovation at Alder Hey are rightly seen as world leading, and John’s brief is to ensure that we continue to grow from strength to strength. Today’s appointment of Professor John Chester shows just how important this agenda is, to both our patients and families but also to the wider paediatric healthcare and treatment world. His track record of leadership and delivery is exemplary, and will ensure that the best interests of our children and young people are served now and in the future.”

John has been involved in cancer research for more than three decades, with particular laboratory interests in the use of viruses to deliver innovative anti-cancer treatments and in tailoring treatment for individual patients via precision medicine. 

His clinical practice is in adult cancer medicine, where he has led clinical trials of all phases.  He has served as national chief investigator or local principal investigator in a broad range of clinical research studies for patients with bladder and head/neck cancers and germ cell tumours. 

He has been heavily involved in the design and oversight of numerous clinical trials.  He has served on two National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Studies Groups, and been chair or member of various Trial Steering Committees, Independent Data Monitoring Committees and Trial Management Groups.  He sits on a variety of panels which fund clinical trials and research career development.

Professor Chester has held a wide variety of research leadership roles, including: founding Director of the Wales Cancer Research Centre (2015-21); co-Lead of the Cardiff Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (2011-21); Theme Lead for Cancer Research in Cardiff University’s College of Biomedical and Life Sciences (2015-20); and co-Director of the Institute of Cancer and Genetics, within the Cardiff University School of Medicine (2013-15).

Professor Chester qualified in medicine from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School (Imperial College, London) in 1993, having previously completed a first degree in biochemistry at Oxford University and a PhD in molecular biology at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow. After general post-graduate medical training in London and Oxford, he spent 15 years in West Yorkshire, firstly as a specialist registrar in medical oncology (1996-2002) and then as Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds (2002-11).

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