13 & 14 December 2023
In-person, BMA House, London
Driving real-world impact from health research

Chris Whitty

Chief Medical Officer, England, UK

Prof. Chris Whitty is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, Chief Medical Adviser to HM Government and a practicing NHS consultant at UCLH. Previously he was head of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for International Development (DFID), and interim Government Chief Scientific Adviser. Until becoming CMO he was Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and his work was as an epidemiologist and clinician in Africa, Asia and the UK. He was also Gresham Professor of Physic and served on the BMJ hanging committee for several years.

Ken Gabriel

Chief Operating Officer, Wellcome Leap, US

Ken was most recently president and chief executive officer of The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, an independent not-for-profit research institution that develops innovative technology solutions in the fields of national security, space, biomedical systems and energy. Prior to that, Ken served as deputy director of the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group at Google from 2012 to 2014 and as corporate vice president at Google/Motorola Mobility. From 2009 to 2012, he was the deputy director, and then acting director, of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the Department of Defense. Between 2002 and 2009, Ken was the Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Akustica, a fabless semiconductor company that commercialized Micro Electro Mechanical Systems audio devices and sensors. Ken holds SM and ScD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Elin Haf Davies

Chief Executive Officer, Aparito, UK

Dr Elin Haf Davies founded Aparito in 2014 on the back of 21 years of clinical (as Senior Clinical Research Nurse and Trial Administrator, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, London), research (PhD, University College London, UK) and regulatory experience (as Scientific Assessor at both the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and the European Medicine Agency (EMA)). At the EMA Elin Haf was part of the core team responsible for implementing the E.U. Paediatric Regulation which came into force in January 2007.

Iain Buchan

Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation, University of Liverpool, UK

Iain Buchan is Chair in Public Health and Clinical Informatics and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Liverpool. As a public health physician and data scientist, he recently led world-first evaluation of mass rapid antigen testing, risk-mitigated reopening of mass events for UK COVID-19 responses, and designed the Civic Data Cooperative and Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action. Previously, he founded Manchester’s health informatics research centre, where he raised and led over £150m of research. Qualified in pharmacology, medicine, public health, statistics and informatics, Iain pursues data-intensive methodological and applied research into major population health challenges, and how health systems may respond more systematically. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and won the 2022 Faculty of Public Health Alwyn-Smith Prize.

Charlotte Summers

University of Cambridge, UK

Charlotte graduated in both Biomedical Sciences and Medicine from the University of Southampton, and later undertook a PhD at the University of Cambridge investigating the role of inflammation on the pulmonary transit kinetics of human neutrophils, alongside specialist clinical training in Respiratory (East of England) and Intensive Care Medicine (London). She was subsequently appointed as the UK’s first NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Intensive Care Medicine, and went on to be awarded a Fulbright All-disciplines Scholar Award and a Wellcome Trust Fellowship for Postdoctoral Clinician Scientists. Charlotte joined the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in 2015 from University of California, San Francisco.

Adam Tickell

Vice Chancellor, University of Birmingham, UK

Adam became Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham in January 2022 after five years as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex. Prior to this he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer), and then Provost, at Birmingham and has also worked in leadership roles at the University of Bristol and Royal Holloway, University of London. Adam trained as an economic geographer at the University of Manchester, and, amongst other things, his research explored the political economy and regulation of finance, English regionalism, and the economic ‘common sense’. Adam recently led a review to reduce the burden of bureaucracy across the research system on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and is on the Board of Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA). He has also served on a wide range of public bodies and charity boards.

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology consultant, writer and broadcaster

Rory Cellan-Jones was a reporter for the BBC for thirty years, covering business and technology stories for much of that time. He joined the BBC as a researcher on Look North in 1981, moving to London to work as a producer in the TV Newsroom and on Newsnight. His on-screen career began as reporter for Wales Today in Cardiff, from where he moved to London as a reporter on Breakfast Time. He quickly transferred to business coverage, working across the BBC’s output from the Money Programme to Newsnight, from the Today programme to the Ten O Clock News. The stories he has covered range from Black Wednesday and the Maxwell trial to the dot com bubble and the rise of Google. At the beginning of 2007 he was appointed Technology Correspondent with a brief to expand the BBC’s coverage of the impact of the internet on business and society. His first big story was the unveiling of the iPhone by Steve Jobs in San Francisco. In 2014, he began presenting a new weekly programme Tech Tent on the BBC World Service. In 2001 his first book “Dot Bomb”, a critically acclaimed account of Britain’s dot com bubble, was published. In 2021 “Always On: Hope and Fear in the Social Smartphone Era’ documented his experiences reporting on the smartphone era. It was described by Stephen Fry as “delightfully insightful and intensely readable.” In recent years he has investigated the role technology can play in improving the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, having been diagnosed with the condition in 2019. In 2021 he was made an Honorary Fellow of The National Museum of Computing in recognition of his services to technology education. Since leaving the BBC, he has become an independent technology consultant, writer and broadcaster. He has also started a newsletter about health tech, one of his major interests.

Steve Gentleman

Scientific Director, Imperial College London, UK

Over the past 30 years Steve has run an active research team investigating the neuropathology of neurodegenerative diseases and of traumatic brain injury. He is the Scientific Director of the Parkinson’s UK brain bank at Imperial College London and has extensive experience of brain banking and has worked with colleagues across the world on developing consensus criteria for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related disorders. Having contributed to the diagnostic assessment of over 1000 brains, he has a long-standing interest in the pathological basis for the non-motor symptoms of PD. To aid these studies, over the past 5 years, his team have been developing the Fast Clear technique for making brain tissue transparent to allow 3D visualisation of complex anatomical circuitry and pathology. In some of his earlier work, his team identified pathological changes in the brains of people who had died of a serious head injury which were very similar to those seen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. More recently, his focus has been more on the emerging concept of the tauopathy known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), particularly with respect to boxers and those who play other contact sports. In addition to his research interests, Steve is the Director of Education for the Department of Brain Sciences and plays an active role in the management and delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Tom Foltynie

Professor of Neurology, UCL Institute of Neurology & Consultant Neurologist,National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UK

Professor Tom Foltynie is Professor of Neurology in the Department of Clinical and Movement Neurosciences, UCL Institute of Neurology and Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. He is responsible for Movement disorder patients, particularly Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients undergoing advanced treatments such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Apomorphine and Duodopa. He is chief investigator for a series of trials of Exenatide- a potential neurorestorative treatment for PD, and has been UCL’s PI for multi-centre trials of gene therapy and cell therapy as potential neurorestorative approaches for PD. He is the chief investigator for the Edmond J Safra Accelerating Clinical trials in PD project which will establish a platform for the testing of multiple potential neuroprotective approaches simultaneously in the UK.

Professor Foltynie has published clinical trials of DBS as a treatment for the cognitive problems associated with advanced PD/DLB, as well as successful results of a trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for the treatment of patients with severe Tourette syndrome. He is interested in the mechanisms of action of DBS as elucidated using functional MRI, and developing ways of providing therapeutic DBS with better benefit to side effect ratios.

He trained in medicine at UCL, qualifying in 1995 then working in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge. From 1999 to 2003, he undertook his PhD in Cambridge looking at the heterogeneity of Parkinson’s disease, describing differences in cognitive abilities between patients under the influence of various genes including COMT and BDNF, and Tau. He finished his neurology training between Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, before taking up his consultant clinical academic position in London in 2008. He was promoted to Professor in 2016.