Avan Aihie Sayer is William Leech Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University and an Honorary Consultant Geriatrician at Newcastle Hospitals. She is Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) where the research vison is to transform lives through world-class research in ageing and multiple long-term conditions. She was appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2018.
Avan is internationally renowned in the field of Geriatric Medicine for her research on sarcopenia, frailty and multimorbidity (two or more long-term health conditions). With an ageing UK population, addressing these common ageing syndromes is core business for the NHS yet the need for translational research focused on older people is little recognised. Her goal is taking findings from the epidemiology and biology of ageing through to innovative experimental ageing medicine studies involving lifestyle as well as drug interventions, and on to trials to advance diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies. Capacity building in this area of patient need is both a passion and a priority.
Since moving to Newcastle in 2016, Avan has established the interdisciplinary AGE Research Group which includes a growing number of academic clinicians and researchers from a wide range of disciplines as well as involvement of members of the public from diverse backgrounds. She co-leads the Faculty of Medical Sciences Long-Term Conditions and Multimorbidity Research Theme. She led the successful Newcastle Hospitals/Newcastle University Partnership bid for the NIHR Newcastle BRC in the 2017 NIHR BRC competition and in 2021 became Principal Investigator of the MRC/NIHR funded collaborative research programme ADMISSION involving six partners from across the UK that aims to transform understanding of multimorbidity in hospital.
Avan was invited to give oral evidence at the 2019 House of Lords Inquiry on Ageing and contributed to its influential report. She was appointed to the MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board and the NIHR Multimorbidity Oversight Group in 2020. She sits on the Academic Board of the European Geriatric Medicine Society, is Co-Chair of the British Geriatrics Society Special Interest Group on Sarcopenia and Frailty Research and is recent past Secretary to the UK Association of Academic Geriatric Medicine. She was an Associate Editor at Age and Ageing until 2019.
Avan also co-chairs the very first National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Multiple Long-Term Conditions Cross NIHR Collaboration (MLTC CNC) – hosted by Newcastle University, the CNC aims to bring together the NIHR’s translational, applied and policy research infrastructure to identify common research priorities and work together to tackle key questions in MLTC research, such as how people with multiple conditions can best navigate the healthcare system.
Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Newcastle University Honorary Consultant in Older People’s Medicine at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.