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2016 Speakers

The speakers for the 2016 Annual NHS R&D Forum are shown below. The speakers are shown in alphabetical order of surname.
 Hannah Antoniades
Hannah AHannah is the Associate Director for Research and Development at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, and has worked to support research in the NHS for over 6 years. In her role, Hannah supports all teams across the R&D directorate to maximise opportunities for service users, carers and staff to be involved in research.  She has worked hard to foster collaboration with partner organisations, including NIHR networks, local universities and other NHS trusts to develop  research activity in the trust, which will benefit service users, staff and services.  Hannah is committed to the use of high quality research to make research part of everything we do in the NHS. Hannah completed a BSc in Psychology and is currently completing a Masters in Epidemiology with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Amanda Blatch-Jones
BlatchJonesAmanda Blatch-Jones is the Lead Senior Research Fellow for the Research on Research programme, which is an internal programme of work contracted through the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre. She is responsible for leading the RoR team and the strategic development of the programme. Amanda has worked at NETSCC for the past eight years in various roles including portfolio management of HTA projects and the Technology Assessment Reviews (TARs) programme. She has experience of conducting research funded by the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme as well as holding numerous research positions at the University of Southampton for 15 years.
 Dr Peter Brindle
BrindlePeter Brindle has been a GP in Bristol since 1999 and during that time he has combined General Practice with research related activities and completed his Wellcome Fellowship and MD in 2005.   Peter started work with the Clinical Research Network in 2006 as the Primary Care Research Network South West, North Hub director and between 2010 and 2014 he was the director the South West Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network.  He was also the Clinical Lead for dementia care in Bristol. between 2010 and 2015.As well as doing General Practice for about a day week, Peter has three other roles: i) Since 2006 he has been the R&D Programme director of the Avon Primary Care Research Collaborative – 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups ii) from 2014, Leader for commissioning evidence informed care for the West of England Academic Health Science Network – and iii) Evaluation and commissioner liaison lead for CLAHRC West since July 2015.
Paul Carlin
Paul is an Innovation Research and Development Manager. Paul has worked in the health service since 1989, primarily within paeds oncology, after completing training in Belfast in 1993.  Began working in formal R&D as a Research Nurse in 2006, and now manage a team of governance staff, research support staff and the governance process with the South Eastern H&SC Trust. I sit on a variety or regional and national fora with a particular interest in IRAS. I am also research active, with interest in the use of technology for healthcare delivery, prevention and service redesign.
Dr. Christopher Cotterill-Jones

Cotterill-Jones_200Christopher Cotterill-Jones is the Senior Permissions Service Manager at Health and Care Research Wales. He is is a pharmaceutical scientist who has worked in the healthcare and clinical research field since 1998.  Christopher currently manages the delivery of the Health and Care Research Wales Permissions Service for NHS Wales formulating and directing the plans to implement UK and Welsh policies for research governance and NHS permission. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the regulatory and research environment at a local, national and international level.  In previous roles, he has:

  • Established clinical research quality strategies, quality management systems and audit programmes to ensure regulatory and procedural compliance; and
  • Managed research studies through the entire study life cycle from concept to licensing submission.

As part of the Health and Care Research Wales “Enhancing NHS Approvals” programme for Wales, he is leading on the following projects:

  1. Establish operational processes/systems facilitating compatibility with Health Research Authority (HRA) Approval and subsequent changes to other UK research permissions systems;
  2. Identifying and implementing enhancements to NHS permissions processes in Wales, continually aligning to UK models of good practice for the review of cross border research studies; and
  3. Ensure approval processes/systems are compatible with the EU Clinical Trial Regulation [Regulation (EU) No. 536/2014].

Christopher aspires to make Wales an excellent place to carry out healthcare research, supporting and enabling the set-up and delivery of clinical trials in NHS Wales.

Sarah Daniel
Daniel_200Sarah has been in post for the past year as the Research and Development Manager at Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, which is a large mental health and learning disabilities trust in the North of England. Prior to her current post, Sarah worked with the national Join Dementia Research team to develop training materials and support the roll-out and implementation of Join Dementia Research across all of the Local Clinical Research Network regions. Sarah has a clinical research nursing background and has worked in the dementia research field since 1998 managing the North East DeNDRoN network from 2013-2014. Currently Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS FT is supporting a project in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society to promote a direct referral pilot to Join Dementia Research.
Bill Davidson
Bill Davidson, Joint Head of Policy, Health Research Authority. Bill is responsible for developing and implementing policies that better protect and promote participants’ and the public interest in health and social care research. This includes new statutory guidance to replace the RGFs and set out principles for managing and conducting research. Bill was previously acting Deputy Director at the Department of Health, where he led reforms to make research faster and easier, including establishing and sponsoring the Health Research Authority and improving NIHR standards and support. Before that, he held posts in NRES, COREC and NHS R&D management.
Simon Denegri
DenegriSimon Denegri is National Director for Patients and the Public in Research at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and Chair of INVOLVE – the national advisory group for the promotion and support of public involvement in research funded by NIHR. He was Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) from 2006 until 2011 and, prior to this, Director of Corporate Communications at the Royal College of Physicians from 2003. He also worked in corporate communications for Procter & Gamble in the United States from 1997 to 2000. He has a long-standing personal and professional interest in the needs and priorities of people with dementia and their carers and currently chairs the Lay Champions Group for the national portal on dementia research that is to be launched this year. He is a member of the NIHR Advisory and Strategy Boards, and a Board member of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC), Farr Institute and care.dataprogramme respectively. He blogs about the public and health research at
 Professor Sir Muir Gray
grayMuir Gray entered the Public Health Service by joining the City of Oxford Health Department in 1972 after qualifying in medicine in Glasgow, the city of his birth. The first phase of his professional career focused on disease prevention and health promotion , for example on helping people stop smoking, and health in old age. He became Regional Director of Public Health for the Oxford Region and then Director of R&D  for Anglia and Oxford and was involved in the development of the Cochrane Collaboration and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and Healthcare. Then he developed all the screening programmes in the NHS, for pregnant women, children, adults and older people for example offering man aged sixty five screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm and , for both men and women, screening for colorectal cancer. He also developed services to bring knowledge to patients and professionals.  Working on the principle that the delivery of clean clear knowledge was analogous to the provision of clean clear water he saw the  organisation and delivery of knowledge as a public health service, for example developing NHS Choices , which now has over 50 million visits a month, and setting up the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in Oxford. During this period he was appointed as the Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS and was awarded both a CBE and later a Knighthood for services for the NHS.He is a Visiting Professor in Knowledge Management in the Nuffield Department of Surgery. He set up charities to promote urban walking and an Oxford based Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. He is now  working with both NHS England and Public Health England to bring about a transformation of care with the aim of increasing value for both populations and individuals and published a series of  How To Handbooks for example, How `to Get Better Value Healthcare, How To Build Healthcare Systems and How To Create the Right Healthcare Culture. He has published books called Sod 60! and Sod70! To encourage people from sixty on not to worry about the ageing process but to adopt a positive attitude and take action by getting fitter and reducing the risk of preventable diseases.He is director of Better Value Healthcare and is setting up a Value based Healthcare programme in the University of Oxford
 Professor Trish Greenhalgh
GreenhalghTrish Greenhalgh is Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. She studied Medical, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and Clinical Medicine at Oxford before training as an academic GP. She has previously worked at University College London (1986-2010) and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (2010-2014).Trish leads a programme of research at the interface between the social sciences and medicine. Her work seeks to celebrate and retain the traditional and the humanistic aspects of medicine and healthcare while also embracing the unparalleled opportunities of contemporary science and technology to improve health outcomes and relieve suffering. Three particular interests are the health needs and illness narratives of minority and disadvantaged groups; the introduction of technology-based innovations in healthcare; and the complex links (philosophical and empirical) between research, policy and practice. She is the author of 250 peer-reviewed publications and 8 textbooks. She was awarded the OBE for Services to Medicine by Her Majesty the Queen in 2001 and made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014.
Matthew Harris
harris_smallMatthew has worked within research and development for over 15 years. Matthew started his career as a researcher working on a large European Commission funded project, evaluating the Information needs of older people with Parkinson’s disease and achieving an MPhil before pursuing a career within R&D Management. Matthew has  held positions in NHS R&D, Universities and the Wales National NHS Coordinating Function before taking up the position of HRA Assessment Manager within the Health Research Authority.
 Kathleen Meely
meely200Kath Meely joined the MHRA in July 2005 as a Good Clinical Practice Inspector. Since joining the inspectorate she has been promoted to Senior GCP Inspector in 2008. Whilst at the Agency she has been involved in performing a variety of National as well as EMA inspections. Kath attends the EMA GCP IWG meetings and has sat on EMA sub-groups with respect to CHMP-GCP assessment inspection findings and the benefit-risk balance. She is currently involved in the drafting group for one of the guidance documents being developed in relation to the new Clinical Trials Regulation. Kath studied Pharmacology at Liverpool University and has over 13 years of experience in clinical research, within the pharmaceutical industry holding positions in monitoring and Project Management before joining the MHRA.
 André Tomlin, The Mental Elf
MentalElfAndré Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He has worked in the NHS and for the University of Oxford where he helped to set up the Centre for Evidence Based Mental Health. In 2002 he spun out a company from Oxford University (, and he has spent the last decade building health websites for charities and the public sector. Most recently he has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf blog, which is part of a series of health evidence blogs designed to help health and social care professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. Perhaps inevitably, André and his colleagues have named this new endeavour the National Elf Service (
Dr Janet Messer
MesserJanet Messer is Director of Research Systems, Standards and HRA Approval Programme at the Health Research Authority (HRA), implementing a new integrated system for approval of health research in England. She also works collaboratively with a wide range of partner organisations to fulfil the HRA’s aims to make it easier to do good quality ethical research in the UK. Prior to working at the HRA she was Head of Research Management and Governance at the NIHR Clinical Research Network. She has a PhD in biochemistry from University of Cambridge, followed by many years’ experience of clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry and leading national initiatives to improve research management in the National Health Service
Christine McGrath
McGrathChristine is Director of Research and Development at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. In this role Christine directs R&D support and activities for the Trust, and develops hospital-university partnerships with their leading clinical academics, Medical Director for the Trust and Dean of Medicine for the University of Southampton. Christine provides strategic leadership in developing the Trust’s research investment and support for clinical areas, drawing on her expertise in R&D strategy, policy, funding and governance to deliver high quality research for the benefit of patients. Her time at Southampton has seen a four-fold increase in the Trust’s research income, the establishment of senior research leads across divisions and implementation of core teams and posts that have delivered year-on-year increases in research volume and efficiency. Christine joined Southampton in 2006, a key part of the Trust’s newly established 2020 vision to become a world class clinical academic centre of excellence. Dedicated to ensuring that clinical research thrives in the NHS, UK academic and industry sectors, Christine moved into research management in 2003 following a career in research nursing, completing her Masters by Research with the University of Bristol
Professor Jonathan Montgomery
montgomery1Jonathan Montgomery is Professor of Health Care Law at University College London. He has published widely in the field of health care law. His editorships include Medical Professions in Halsbury’s Laws of England (5th ed Vol 30(1), 2011) and the Butterworths Family Law Service (1996-). Current public service roles include chairing the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (the UK’s national bioethics committee), and the Health Research Authority (which oversees research ethics committees for England). He chaired the UK’s Human Genetics Commission from 2009-2012 and was a panel member on the Morecambe Bay Investigation into maternal and neonatal deaths (2013-5). He was a member of a local NHS research ethics committee from 1992-99 (two years as chair). Between 1998 and 2013 he served as chair of a number of NHS organisations in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, including providers, commissioners and a Strategic Health Authority.
Mark Taylor
taylorMark Taylor is currently on secondment to the Health Research Authority from the University of Sheffield. He is seconded as data policy advisor and has responsibility for supporting a number of data related initiatives.  Within the university he is a Senior Lecturer in Law and Deputy Director of Sheffield Institute for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics.
Louise Thornhill
Thornhill200Louise Thornhill is Study Support Service Facilitator for the NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre. Louise has been working at the CRN for over 7 years now and in her most recent post since June 2015. Her responsibilities include ensuring the CRN Study Support Service is successfully implemented and coordinating the individual elements under one consistent service.
Dr Patrick Vallance
VallancePatrick was appointed President, Pharmaceuticals R&D, in January 2012. Prior to his appointment he was Senior Vice President, Medicines Discovery and Development. He is a member of the Corporate Executive Team. Patrick joined the company in May 2006 as Head of Drug Discovery.
Prior to joining GSK Patrick was a clinical academic and led the Division of Medicine at University College London. He has over 20 years’ experience of research clinical medicine, general internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine and clinical pharmacology.He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999. Patrick has been on the Board of the UK Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) since 2009.
Dr Charles Weller
weller_smallCharles Weller has an honours degree and PhD in structural biochemistry from the University of Dundee. He worked as a postdoc and honorary lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at St Andrews University before moving into NHS research management with NHS Tayside in 2000. As an NHS research manager he has experience of working on a wide range of areas, including primary care, commercial research, CRF Management, research networks and clinical imaging. In 2013 he was seconded to CSO where he carried out a review of the Scottish Research Networks and Specialty Groups. In Dec 2014 he took up his current post as General Manager of the newly-formed NHS Research Scotland Central Management Team.
Dr Janet Wisely
WiselyJanet Wisely is the Chief Executive of the Health Research Authority. Janet obtained a degree and PhD in Physics from the University of London, joined the NHS in 1992 and has spent her entire working career associated with research and the NHS. Janet is an innovative leader with a track record of successful change management who, as the Director of the National Research Ethics Service, has transformed the UK ethics service into an internationally recognised system for ethical review. She has also been instrumental in delivering wider change through the provision of the Integrated Research Application System which streamlines the application processes for researchers. As Chief Executive of the Health Research Authority, Janet is leading work to further improve the environment for research to make it easier to do good quality ethical research in the UK.
Janet is an honorary fellow of the faculty of pharmaceutical medicine and in July 2013 was selected onto the inaugural HSJ Inspirational Women list.