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New Deputy Lead for University’s Health and Wellbeing Global Challenge announced

The Health and Wellbeing Global Challenge is delighted to welcome Dr Karen Coopman from the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering (AACME) as their new Deputy Lead.

Headshot of Professor Hignett

Professor Hignett (pictured) steps down as Deputy Lead after five years.

As Deputy Lead, Karen will be working closely with Academic Lead Professor Paula Griffiths and Research Development Manager Kate Clift to develop and implement a strategy for the Challenge, and to engage researchers from all disciplines and both campuses who share an interest in health and wellbeing research.

Karen will be helping to build the Challenge community and deliver activities which will support the development of research in this area, bringing people together, promoting new opportunities and strengthening the University’s research base in health and wellbeing.

Dr Coopman succeeds Professor Sue Hignett who has been in the role since 2015.

During her time in the post, Professor Hignett led on activities and research related to ageing, frailty and dementia – one of the Challenge’s research priorities.

Professor Paula Griffiths commented: “Sue has made an enormous contribution to the work of the Challenge for over five years, firstly as the Co-Lead and subsequently as Deputy Lead. She has taken the lead on developing work relating to ageing, frailty and dementia and was instrumental in Loughborough’s involvement in the dementia house. I’d like to thank her on behalf of the Challenge and wish her well for the future.

“Karen joins the Challenge at an interesting time as health and wellbeing is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Her new perspective and extensive cross-campus networks will enrich the work of the Challenge and lead us in new directions as we continue to develop. She is especially keen to lead new initiatives for early career researchers within the Challenge.”

Dr Karen Coopman commented: "I am excited to work with Paula and the team to see how we can continue to develop the Challenge. In particular, I am interested in exploring how we can expand the network across campus and support the next generation of leaders in health and wellbeing research."

Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research, Professor Steve Rothberg added: “I'm delighted Karen is taking up this important role in our Health and Wellbeing Challenge. I'd also like to record my thanks to Professor Sue Hignett who is stepping down after five years of really great service to the Challenge in roles including the original and pioneering job-share of the Lead role with the current Challenge Lead, Professor Paula Griffiths.”

The Health and Wellbeing Global Challenge is one of four of the University’s Global Research Challenges, utilising Loughborough’s disciplinary strengths to develop multi-disciplinary and complex real-world solutions for arguably the biggest societal challenges of our time.

Its research priorities include sport and exercise, global public health, ageing, frailty and dementia and antimicrobial resistance. More information can be found here.

Dr Coopman commences her role from today (Monday 1 June 2020).