Centre for Inflammation Research

Professor Tim Walsh

Tim Walsh is Professor of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine and lead for the Edinburgh Critical Care Research Group.

Professor Tim Walsh

Director of Research and Development for NHS Lothian

  • Centre for Inflammation Research

Contact details

Research Overview

My wide ranging research portfolio includes translational research, pragmatic clinical trials, epidemiology, and quality improvement research. In recent years my focus has increasingly been on large multicentre studies within Scotland, UK-wide, and internationally. Through collaboration with clinical scientists in Edinburgh I have had a key role in recent successful translational research projects bridging the gap between the laboratory and patient. My particular clinical interests are in blood transfusion related research, sedation technology, sepsis biomarkers, and recovery from critical illness, but I am involved in a wide range of key UK portfolio studies relating to critical illness either as co-investigator, recruiting centre, or through steering committee and data monitoring committee roles. My translational interests are currently focused on biomarkers to predict ICU-acquired infection, and the immune dysfunction that may predispose patients to its development. Key current collaborations are with Chris Haslett's group in developing and evaluating novel bedside lung imaging techniques for use in ventilated patients, and David Hume's group at the Roslin institute to plan large scale genetic studies for patients with severe acute respiratory infection. My methodological interests focus on outcome measurement for critical care trials, especially the used of mixed methods (combined quantitative and qualitative) approaches, and I have a particular interest in complex intervention trial methodology. I have a high profile as an opinion and research leader in UK critical care and blood transfusion medicine, as reflected through key strategic roles with the National Institute of Healthcare Research (Chair of UK Critical Care Specialty Group), Chief Scientists Office (Critical Care Specialty Group lead and member of the Research Strategy Oversight Group), Blood Transfusion Services (Research Lead, Clinical Effectiveness Group, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service) and through national professional societies (Chairman, Scottish Critical Care Trials Group; Member of UK Intensive Care Society Research Committee).

Biographical Profile

My clinical training was in Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, mostly in Edinburgh. I undertook an MD degree in the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit, studying oxygen transport and metabolism in patients with acute liver failure and undergoing liver transplantation. After appointment to an NHS Consultant position in Edinburgh in 1999 I continued to build a research programme with major interests in transfusion medicine and sedation monitoring. I undertook a Masters degree in Public Health Sciences to improve my skills in clinical studies, epidemiology, and trial design. Following this my focus was increasingly on large scale clinical trials and health services research, while collaborating closely with basic scientists to promote translational research projects. After a period as an NHS based Honorary Professor I formally moved to take up the first University Chair of Critical Care in 2011.

Public Engagement

The Edinburgh Critical Care Research Group has an active programme of engagement with survivors of critical illness. These include the inclusion of patient representatives on our study steering committees, and a wide-ranging portfolio of qualitative work with patients and their families. We have also arranged a range of events to identify research priorities for patients (in collaboration with the James Lind Foundation) and Knowledge transfer events with patients and health service stakeholders. This is an important aspect of our translational activities.


Sources of Funding

Medical Research Council

More information on funding at Tim Walsh's Research Explorer profile.