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On 2 November 2015, the Health Minister Simon Hamilton welcomed the appointment of Professor Ian Young as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Professor Young will provide leadership across the Health and Social Care (HSC) sector enabling the provision of high quality evidence to improve care for patients, clients and the general population, adding to our knowledge and understanding of health, disease, diagnoses, treatment and care.

One of Professor Young’s early priorities will be working with the Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency and the wider HSC in the delivery and implementation of this Departments Research and Development Strategy, 'Research for Better Health and Social Care'. This strategy defines the Department’s research priorities for the next 10 years replacing the previous 2007 strategy. The Strategy and accompanying Implementation Plan will soon be with the Minister for his consideration of approval for publication. As Chief Scientific advisor, Professor Young will have an central role in ensuring that Northern Ireland maximises the opportunity for patients, the HSC and Academia following the announcement of Northern Ireland's selection as a Precision Medicine Catapult Centre of Excellence.

The Post of The Chief Scientific Advisor has two distinct but complementary roles: Chief Scientific Advisor (DHSSPS) and Director, HSC R&D.