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Professor Douglas R Higgs has been announced as the new Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) at the University of Oxford, following the retirement of eminent immunologist Professor Sir Andrew McMichael.

Professor Higgs, who will continue his role as Director of the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit and Professor of Molecular Haematology at the University of Oxford, takes up his new role on October 1st 2012.

Of his appointment, Professor Higgs said: "It is a great honour to follow Sir David Weatherall and Sir Andrew McMichael as Director of the WIMM. The challenge will be to ensure that the Institute continues to lead the field of molecular medicine and remains true to its founding principles of applying first class basic science to important biomedical problems. In my view the key to this will be to recruit and retain the finest scientists, to provide a cutting edge infrastructure and to encourage adventurous science within the stimulating, collegiate environment created by previous Directors."