Imperial College London

Professor Kim Fox retires from the NHLI

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Professor Kim Fox

Former Head of NHLI Professor Kim Fox becomes an Emeritus Professor with the National Heart and Lung Institute.

Professor Kim Fox joined the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) as Professor of Clinical Cardiology in October 2011, and immediately took on the role of Head of NHLI. Professor Edwin Chilvers, current Head of NHLI comments "I would like to pay testimony to Professor Kim Fox and the generosity he has shown me as the new Head of the NHLI. His advice and guidance has been of the highest order and his mastery of ‘who’s who’ in the Department and how the money works is legendary’".

“Thinking about Kim, I am struck by the remarkable breadth of his achievements. For us at NHLI we were fortunate to have had as our Head such an internationally distinguished academic cardiologist" Professor Sir Tony Newman-Taylor

Kim Fox led the Department for over six years until January 2018. Kim is a Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Kim was trained in Cardiology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School before being appointed in 1982 as Consultant Cardiologist at the National Heart Hospital. He moved to the Royal Brompton Hospital when the two hospitals merged. Formerly Kim was a Non Executive Director of the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. 

Professor Fox is a well respected cardiologist of international standing who has taken on many distinguished positions over his time with NHLI.

I asked some of those who have worked with Kim during his time at the National Heart and Lung institute for their insights.

Internationally distinguished

“I have known and worked with Kim from the time of the merger of National Heart Hospital with Brompton in 1991; initially on the Board of Brompton Hospital and more recently during the past 10 years at NHLI” says Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor. “Thinking about Kim, I am struck by the remarkable breadth of his achievements. For us at NHLI we were fortunate to have had as our Head such an internationally distinguished academic cardiologist. As Head of NHLI he ensured the financial viability of the Institute, while leading us into a very successful REF”.

With regards Kim’s work as a scientist Tony comments “He is an outstanding clinician, who has been cardiologist to a number of heads of state and in 2012 was appointed Diana, Princess of Wales Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science. He is a leader in cardiac clinical trials research, often publishing his findings in the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and other prestigious journals. He has been committed to cardiology as an international venture, working closely with colleagues in USA on the Leducq Foundation, as editor of the European Journal of Cardiology and serving a term as President of European Society of Cardiology. Kim is a very thoughtful, yet practical decisive person. Personally I have known him as a kind, generous and loyal colleague and friend. Working with him has been one of the great pleasures of my career”.

Lessons in leadership

Richard Mattin, who has worked alongside Kim as a member of the NHLI’s Professional Services team, reflects “It has always been a great privilege for me and the NHLI admin team to work with Kim as Head of NHLI. I am most thankful for the inspirational leadership, guidance, and support that Kim provided to me and others over many years. The NHLI team has learnt many valuable lessons from his leadership”. Richard adds “I have always admired Kim’s extensive knowledge across the whole of NHLI and way beyond. I will not forget his many contributions to NHLI and have been proud to work with him”.

Decisive decision making

“Kim was a great Dean - he would make decisions rapidly and decisively and cut through nonsense about 'what if' five years down the road. I discovered a secret (and shared!) love for kippers for breakfast, meeting him early one day in the BA lounge. I think these were not permitted at home because of the lingering kipper odour spreading through the house!” comments Professor Andy Bush, Professor of Paediatrics and Paediatric Respirology with NHLI and Consultant Paediatric Chest Physician, Royal Brompton Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. 

Kim and andy

Clinical trials expertise

“I first came across Kim in the 1970s at a meeting of the Junior Cardiac Club , which I seem to recall was held at Gleneagles” remembers Professor Peter Sever. “Cardiologists were always well looked after in those days (and still are!). I was a simple hypertensionologist and surprised to be invited to such a meeting, as traditionally cardiologists weren’t interested in hypertension since there were no devices or interventions that could excite their indulgence. Many years, indeed decades later, their attention has returned to hypertension with the introduction of several devices claimed to be the solution to the treatment of resistant hypertension, but as Kim - an expert in randomised controlled trials knows - most of them don’t work!".

Peter continues “Kim was an obvious choice to chair the Data Safety Monitoring Committee of the ASCOT trial which ran from 1998 to 2005. This was a trial of blood pressure and lipid-lowering. As he has frequently reminded me, this was the only large morbidity, mortality outcome trial which was stopped twice on ethical review! First because of overwhelming benefits of the statin and second because of substantial outcome benefits of one of the blood pressure arms. We shared a few glasses of champagne in celebration”.


Everyone at the National Heart and Lung Institute thanks Kim for all he has contributed to the Department, its staff and students, and wishes him every success in his future endeavours.

Reporter

Ms Helen Johnson

Ms Helen Johnson
National Heart & Lung Institute

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6843
Email: helen.johnson@imperial.ac.uk

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