Dr John Brown
Dr Brown has a portfolio of non-executive directorships in both the public and private sectors. He also holds an honorary position as Professor at the University of Edinburgh and was awarded CBE in 2011.
He is a pharmacologist by training and began his career in research with Glaxo Group Research and over a five-year period carried out research and development activities related to novel analgesic molecules. Since then he has worked in a leadership role in several life science companies engaged in the development of novel, drugs, vaccines, diagnostic tests, cell therapies and medical devices. He was Chief Executive of Acambis plc, a leading producer of vaccines to treat and prevent infectious disease from 1995 until 2004. He is Chairman of Synpromics Ltd, and Senior Non-Executive Director of Acacia Pharma plc and BioCity Group Ltd.
In addition to MRC Council, Dr Brown holds a ministerial public appointment as Chair of the Cell Therapy Catapult. He receives £30,000 per year as Chair of the Cell Therapy Catapult. He currently chairs the Roslin Foundation charity and the Easter Bush Development Board and is a Trustee of Medical Research Scotland.
He is a Fellow and Treasurer of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Professor Kim Graham
Kim Graham is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Enterprise at Cardiff University. In her PVC role, she is responsible for Cardiff’s research and innovation activities, including leading preparations for REF 2021 and increasing the wider reach, commercialisation and broader economic impact of Cardiff’s research.
Professor Graham obtained her first degree from Edinburgh University, prior to moving to Cardiff University in 2007. She is based at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, where her research group applies structural and functional neuroimaging, including ultra-high field MRI, to study the neurocognitive networks affected in dementia. She is an author on the award-winning book, ‘The Evolution of Memory Systems’.
Professor Graham is currently a member of the CBI Wales Council, Cardiff Capital Region Economic Growth Partnership and Wales Science and Innovation Advisory Council. She is the current Chair of the GW4 Alliance Board.
Dr Roger Highfield
Roger Highfield is the Science Director of the Science Museum Group and Visiting Professor of Public Engagement at the Dunn School, University of Oxford, and the Department of Chemistry, UCL.
Previously, Roger was the Editor of New Scientist magazine between 2008 and 2011 and the Science Editor of The Daily Telegraph between 1988 and 2008. Roger has also written eight books, including two bestsellers, and contributed to various publications, including Wired, Mosaic, Observer, Tortoise, Esquire, Sunday Times, Guardian, Evening Standard and the Economis.
He is also one of the judges for the MRC Max Perutz Science Writing Award.
Professor John Iredale
John Iredale is Pro Vice Chancellor Health and Life Sciences at the University of Bristol. He holds the chair of Experimental Medicine, and his areas of leadership and responsibility are for the research, teaching and management strategy for the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Biology and Psychology across the relevant faculties at the University of Bristol. He also holds Honorary Consultant contracts with the North Bristol NHS Trust and the University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust.
Previously Professor Iredale was the Regius Chair of Medical Science, Dean of Clinical Medicine and Vice Principal Health Services at the University of Edinburgh where he led the Medical School.
Professor Iredale graduated from the University of Southampton with honours in Clinical Distinction in 1985 and was awarded a DM in 1995. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1999 and The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 2007. He was made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2003 and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011. His research interests are focused on tissue scarring and regeneration and he has published extensively on these subjects. For 10 years, John was the scientific chair of the UK’s leading liver disease research charity, The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, and took over as chair of the Lister Prize Fellowships in 2017.
Always supportive of young academic talent, Iredale established (with Walker) the Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track Scheme (ECAT), to establish a mentored training scheme for the best aspiring clinical academics and has recently recapitulated this model as GW4CAT across the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. He has played an active role in mentoring activities including the SUSTAIN programme at the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Dr Precious Lunga
CEO and Co-Founder Baobab Circle
Dr Precious Lunga is the CEO and Co-Founder of Baobab Circle. Her company developed the award-winning health platform Afya Pap which delivers personalised management of chronic health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension across the African continent via mobile phones. She was previously at Econet Wireless where she established Econet Health, launching several services including the HealthTips platform which acquired more than 750,000 users within a 6-month period.
Previous roles have included working in biotechnology research and development, clinical trials and policy implementation. She has held positions as an advisor at UNAIDS Geneva and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Dr. Lunga trained as an epidemiologist and sits on the boards of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Malaria Consortium. She has a PhD in Neuroscience from Cambridge University and is a Yale World Fellow.
Mr Richard Murley
Richard Murley read Jurisprudence at Oxford University and qualified as a solicitor. He has worked for the major part of his career in the city of London providing corporate finance advice to public and private sector clients in the UK and overseas. He is currently a Vice Chairman of Rothschild, an independent financial advisory group. Before joining Rothschild, he was seconded from Goldman Sachs & Co. as Director General of the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers, regulating public company takeovers in the London market. Richard also chairs United Trust Bank Limited, a privately-owned specialist lender based in London.
From 2010-17 Richard was Chairman of University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, one of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals. UCLH has a close partnership with University College London and, together with UCL, devotes significant resources to biomedical research.
Richard is a member of the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers. He is also a Trustee of the Royal Society of Medicine, of Macmillan Cancer Support and of Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.
Professor Jill Pell
Jill Pell is the Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow.
She is trained in both general practice and public health. Jill has championed the use of routine data and record linkage as a resource for epidemiology and health services research for more than 20 years. She is a member of: the British Heart Foundation’s Programme Grants Committee and Cancer Research UK’s Epidemiology Expert Review Panel.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Her study on the impact of smoke-free legislation on myocardial infarction, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was voted by the American Heart and Stroke Associations to be the most important research advance of the year. She was awarded the CBE in 2017 for services to public health research.
Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed
Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed (MB ChB, PhD, FRCPE, FRCP, FBPhS, FMedSci) is David Weatherall Chair in Medicine at the University of Liverpool, and a Consultant Physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He is Director of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Sciences, and Director of the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine. He is an inaugural NIHR Senior Investigator, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK, and a Commissioner on Human Medicines and has recently been appointed as a non-executive director of NHS England. He was awarded a Knights Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015. His research focuses on personalised medicine, clinical pharmacology and drug safety.
Dr Andy Richards CBE
Andy is an entrepreneur and investor with an established track record in founding and scaling up innovative Life-science, Biotechnology and Digital Health companies in the UK. He is currently Chairman of Congenica, Abcodia, Closed Loop Medicine, Arecor and the Babraham Research Campus and is a Director of Ieso Digital Health, Owlstone Medical, and Cancer Research Technology (the commercial board of CR-UK). He is an advisor to several investment funds including Cambridge Innovation Capital and the UCL Technology Fund, is Chair of the CRUK Seed Fund and is a director of the Scale-Up Institute.
Andy is a Cambridge Graduate with a PhD in Chemistry and an early career spanning positions with ICI (now AstraZeneca) and PA Technology. He was a founder and executive director of Chiroscience plc until its merger with Celltech in 1999 and since that time he has founded, invested in and helped to scale more than 25 innovative ventures including companies such as Vectura, Arakis, Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd and Geneservice. Andy is also a founder member of the Cambridge Angels.
Andy is passionate about science and the translation of science to do good for society. The Life-sciences and Healthcare sectors provide the perfect arena for translating science into technology that can help people around the world. He received a CBE for services to the life-sciences in 2015.
Professor Eleanor Riley
After graduating from Bristol University with degrees in Cellular Pathology and Veterinary Science, Eleanor Riley interned in veterinary pathology at Cornell University and obtained her PhD in immunology and parasitology from the University of Liverpool.
After 5 years at the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia, Eleanor moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow prior to her appointment to a personal chair at LSHTM in 1998. In September 2017, Eleanor moved back to the University of Edinburgh to take up the role of Director of the Roslin Institute in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. In 2020 Eleanor moved to the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.
Eleanor’s research focuses on mechanisms of immunity to malaria, how the immune response can contribute to disease, how immunity affects the distribution and transmission of the parasite and how malaria infection affects resistance to other infections. In addition, Eleanor has a long-standing interest in the biology of natural killer (NK) cells and their role in resistance to infection. Eleanor has previously served as Committee and Strategy Panel chair at BBSRC and as deputy chair of MRC Infections and Immunity Board.
Dr Graham Spittle
Dr Spittle was appointed Chair of Health Data Research UK in 2017 having taken on the role of interim Chair in July 2016. He was, until recently, IBM’s Chief Technology Officer, Europe and Vice President, Software Group.
Previously he held several senior executive positions within IBM: Vice President, Software UKI (UK & Ireland); Vice President, Worldwide Integration Development; Director of the IBM Hursley Laboratory in the United Kingdom, and Director of MQ Development. In June 2008 Dr Spittle was appointed as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to industry.
Professor Irene Tracey
Professor Irene Tracey holds the Nuffield Chair of Anaesthetic Science and is Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford.
Irene did her undergraduate and graduate studies at Oxford from 1985-1993 followed by a postdoctoral position at Harvard Medical School. In 1997, Irene was a founding member of the now world-leading Oxford University Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB – recently renamed Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging) and was its Director from 2005 until 2015. Over the past 18 years her multidisciplinary research team has contributed to a better understanding of pain perception, pain relief and nociceptive processing within the injured and non-injured human central nervous system using advanced neuroimaging techniques. More recently, they have been investigating the neural bases of altered states of consciousness during anaesthesia.
Irene has served and continues to serve on many national and international committees, such as the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), REF2014, British Neuroscience Association (BNA) and the Lundbeck Brain Prize Committee. She is a trustee of the mental health research charity, MQ. Irene was Deputy Chair of the MRC’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Board until 2014, and an MRC Council member from 2016-2018. She is a passionate advocate for women in science and is involved in several mentorship schemes. In 2008, she was awarded the triennial Patrick Wall Medal from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and in 2009 was made an FRCA for her contributions to the discipline. In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, won the Feldberg Foundation Prize in 2017 and was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Neuroscience award from the BNA.
Professor Fiona Watt
Fiona Watt obtained her DPhil, in cell biology, from the University of Oxford and carried out postdoctoral research at MIT.
She established her first research group at the Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology and then spent 20 years at the CRUK London Research Institute before moving to Cambridge for 5 years.
In 2012 she moved to King’s College London to found the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine. She is internationally recognised for her work on stem cells in healthy and diseased tissues and has a research interest in oral cancer.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences. She is currently on secondment as UKRI Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council.
Professor Charlotte Watts
Charlotte Watts is Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of International Development (DFID). In this role she is Director of the Research and Evidence Division and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession for DFID.
Professor Watts is seconded to DFID from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she is Professor of Social and Mathematical Epidemiology.
Originally trained as a mathematician, with a Ph.D. in theoretical mathematics from the University of Warwick, she became interested in global health whilst conducting post-doctoral research on the epidemiology of HIV at the University of Oxford. Moving to LSHTM in 1994, after gaining further training in economics and social science, and fieldwork experience in Zimbabwe and other developing countries. she founded the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology Group. The multidisciplinary group uses mathematical, epidemiological and economic research to assess the impact of current and new HIV prevention technologies, and evaluate interventions that tackle the determinants of HIV risk.
Professor Watts is a global expert in violence prevention. She was Senior Technical Advisor to the WHO 10 country population surveys on women’s health and domestic violence; led the systematic review of the global prevalence and health burden of interpersonal violence, and has been senior researcher on 5 cluster randomised controlled intervention trials in sub-Saharan Africa - showing that violence is preventable.
Professor Watts is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Medicine. She has 200 academic publications, and has served on numerous UN technical and Government advisory boards.
Dr Pauline Williams
Pauline Williams is SVP and Head of Global Health R&D at GSK. A physician by training, she has spent most of her career in drug discovery and development. She has worked across several therapeutic areas developing new approaches to translational medicine. In 2007 Pauline formed a new research unit focussing on innovative models of partnership with academia. In 2013 she created the Maternal and Neonatal Health R&D Unit, which includes oversight of the research and development activities of the GSK-Save the Children Partnership. She initiated and led a project to develop a chlorhexidine gel product for prevention of neonatal sepsis, which is now approved in 13 countries with high neonatal mortality. She also founded the GSK Non-Communicable Diseases Open Lab which provides support to African researchers to understand and address the rising burden of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa. Pauline has led Global Health R&D since 2017, which includes dedicated R&D teams working on Malaria, TB, Enteric and Kinetoplastid Diseases. She is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (Royal College of Physicians), a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Council Member of the UK Medical Research Council.
Dr Louise Wood
Louise Wood is Director of Science, Research & Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care. Alongside the Department's Chief Scientific Advisor, she leads the National Institute for Health Research and has responsibility for policy research and science policy.
Previously, she has worked in drug safety regulation, was founding Director of the General Practice Research Database Division (now CPRD) and a member of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's Executive Board for four years.
She also worked on secondment as Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Association of Medical Research Charities. Louise has an honours degree in physiology and PhD in biomedical science.