Paul Dark

Paul Dark, BSc MB ChB PhD FRCS (Edinburgh) FRCEM FFICM FRCA (Hon)


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Personal profile


1. Professor of Critical Care Medicine

Division of Immunology, Immunity to Infection and Respiratory Medicine

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

2. Research Professor of Humanitarian and Conflict Response

Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

School of Arts, Languages and Culture

3. National Deputy Medical Director

NIHR Clinical Research Network

National Coordinating Centre (Leeds and London)

4. Honorary NHS Consultant

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust

Salford Care Organisation

Twitter: @DarkNatter



Paul originally studied undergraduate physics and then medicine. Graduating from The Manchester Medical School 1989, he went on to study clinical academic surgery, emergency medicine and critical care at the Universities of Glasgow and Manchester in the UK, and at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

As MRC PhD Clinical Training Fellow, supervised by Professor Rod Little, he developed non-invasive methods to transduce and study dynamic cardio-respiratory responses to tissue injury and haemorrhage.

He was appointed to his current clinical academic post at the University of Manchester in 2003, developing clinical services and academic practice in Critical Care Medicine at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (Salford Care Organisation). He developed and provides leadership for a programme of work, funded mainly by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), investigating the clinical utility of emerging molecular diagnostic technologies in the setting of sterile tissue injury and severe infection. Funded by Innovate UK, in partnership with industry, he also leads an ongoing programme of work developing novel technologies aimed at rapid point-of-care infection/sepsis theranosis.

Paul was appointed NIHR Clinical Research Network's National Deputy Medical Director in 2022. He provides strategic leadership for the development and delivery of a large portfolio of national clinical research in NHS acute hospital settings and he represents NIHR internationally. As a former NIHR National Specialty Lead for Critical Care, he served on NIHR's Urgent Public Health Research Advisory Group, providing expert advice on research priority for DHSC and UK's CMOs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addtion, he is Research Professor at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, providing strategic interdisciplinary leadership in health and social justice.  

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

NIHR CRN National Deputy Medical Director (April 2022 - present)

NIHR Senior Investigator (2022-2026)

NIHR National Specialty Cluster Lead, King's College London (April 2021 - 2022)

NIHR National Specialty Lead for Critical Care, King's College London (June 2015 - 2022)

NIHR COVID-19 Understanding and Eliminating - Trials Implementation Panel (CUE-TIP) member (April 2021 - 2022)

NIHR/UKRI College of Experts, Global Effort on COVID-19 (GECO) Health Research (September 2020 - 21)

Member of the national Urgent Public Health Research Advisory Group (COVID-19), NIHR/DHSC/CMOs (March 2020 - 21)

NIHR representative for COVID-19 National Emergency Critical Care Committee (March 2020-2022)

NIHR Steering Group, Improving Inclusion of Under-Served Groups in Clinical Research - the INCLUDE project (2018- 21) 

NIHR Manchester BRC Respiratory Infections (non-fungal) sub-theme lead (2018 - present)

NIHR's international representative, International Forum for Acute Care Trialists, Toronto, Canada (2016 - 2022)

NIHR's international representative, COMBACTE-NET IMI programme, European Union (2016 - 2022)

Critical Care Leadership Forum, Research Lead, Faculty of Intensive Care (2015- 2022)

NIHR Greater Manchester LCRN Critical Care Speciality Group Lead (2011-2016)

NIHR Greater Manchester LCRN Divisional Clinical Lead (2015-19)

Member of National Critical Care Specialty Group Committee (2013- 2022) Chair from 2015 - 2022

Member of UK Intensive Care Society Research Committee (2013 - 2022)

Organising Committee Chair, UK Critical Care Research Forum (2014 - 15)

Director, Greater Manchester Academic Centre for Acute Care and Trauma, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Health Innovation Manchester (2013 - 21)

Board Member, UK Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) (2015- present)

Lead Specialist Member, Diagnostic Advisory Committee, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2014 - present)


BSc (Hons) (Physics) MB ChB (Manchester 1989), FRCS (Edinburgh 1994), PhD (Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, Victoria University of Manchester 2002), FRCEM (London, 2002), FFICM (London 2012), FRCA (Hon, London 2019).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

NIHR Senior Investigator, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

1 Mar 20221 Mar 2026

NIHR Visiting Professor, King's College London

1 Jul 2015 → …

NHS Consultant in Critical Care, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust

1 Apr 2003 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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