Dr Libby Sallnow appointed as new Head of Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department

Categories: People & Places and Research.

The University College London (UCL) Division of Psychiatry and the UK’s leading end-of-life charity, Marie Curie, are delighted to welcome Dr Libby Sallnow as the new Head of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department. Dr Sallnow previously served as an honorary senior clinical lecturer for the department and will take on the role in April 2024 following Professor Paddy Stone’s retirement.

Dr Libby Sallnow will be a Marie Curie Associate Professor of Palliative and End-of-Life Care. Over the past two decades, she has helped lead and develop new public health approaches to end-of-life care, compassionate communities, and social approaches to death, dying, and loss in the UK and internationally.

Alongside her role with the UCL Division of Psychiatry, Dr Sallnow is an Honorary Consultant at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Palliative Care in Kerala, India, a guest professor in the End-of-Life Care Research Group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium and the first author of the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death: bringing death back into life (2022). She is a community-based palliative medicine consultant covering the London boroughs of Camden and Islington as part of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).

Dr Sallnow described her excitement about her new role and the new opportunities it provides:

“Death, dying, and grieving are universal events that happen to us all, and I’m interested in building interdisciplinary approaches to understand how best we can support people at these times. The answers to this do not sit only within clinical palliative care services.

The Division of Psychiatry at UCL has a strong tradition of high-quality, interdisciplinary work and is an ideal place to situate this research. As the leading charity for end-of-life care in the UK, Marie Curie is a strong partner in taking this work forward and has funded much of the important research on death, dying, and bereavement.”

Glyn Lewis, head of the Division of Psychiatry at UCL, says, “Libby brings a wealth of clinical and academic skills in palliative care and has an ambitious vision for future research in the department. We are delighted that Libby will take on this role and look forward to welcoming her and seeing this important research develop further.”

Director of Research and Policy at Marie Curie, Dr Sam Royston, says, “We are delighted that Dr Libby Sallnow is joining us as the new Head of the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at UCL. Libby will bring outstanding expertise and leadership to the department – particularly through building on her internationally recognised research in developing public health approaches to end-of-life care and compassionate communities.

Marie Curie is very much looking forward to working together with Libby and the department to deliver research which makes a real difference to the lives of people affected by dying, death and bereavement.”

About Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at UCL

The Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department was started in 1999 and is now moving to the Department of Psychiatry at Royal Free Hospital in 2002, before reaching its current position in the UCL Division of Psychiatry.

The department’s mission is to help people with terminal illnesses and their families make the most of their time together by advancing knowledge on best care and delivering and disseminating world-class research.

Professor Paddy Stone was the first Marie Curie Professor of Palliative and End of Life Care at UCL and a consultant in palliative medicine before his retirement in March 2024. Professor Stone was appointed in April 2014 to lead the department. During his tenure, the department has been awarded over £13m in peer-reviewed research grant income from funders such as the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Marie Curie and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Paddy’s own research included being the Chief Investigator on the NIHR-funded Prognosis in Palliative care Study (PiPS2) which validated the PiPS2 prognostic algorithm and other prognostic models and was instrumental in informing the recently published European Society of Medical Oncology prognostic guidelines for patients with advanced cancer. His prognostic work also influenced Marie Curie’s “Scrap six months” campaign, which led to easier access to benefits for patients who are terminally ill.

Glyn Lewis, Head of the Division of Psychiatry, says:

“We owe a massive thank you to Paddy for leading the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department so ably over the last ten years. It has grown from strength to strength during his tenure and has a very bright future thanks to his leadership. We wish him all the best for his retirement.”

Dr Sam Royston, Director of Research and Policy at Marie Curie, says: “Marie Curie is hugely thankful to Professor Stone for his effective leadership of the Department and for building future capacity in palliative and end-of-life care research through the development of early and mid-stage researchers. We were delighted to hold a tribute session to Professor Stone at our recent Annual Research Conference, with presentations from former and current colleagues and Paddy himself, which is available on the Marie Curie website.”


About Marie Curie

  • Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity.
  • The charity provides expert end of life care for people with any illness they are likely to die from, and support for their family and friends, in our hospices and where they live.It is the largest charity funder of palliative and end of life care research in the UK, and campaigns to ensure everyone has a good end of life experience. Whatever the illness, we’re with you to the end.
  • If you’re living with a terminal illness or have been affected by dying, death and bereavement, Marie Curie can help. Visit org.uk or call the free Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309 or email support@mariecurie.org.uk

Whatever the illness, wherever you are, Marie Curie is with you to the end.

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