Please click on the photos below to read each biography.
Scientific Director, Safer Medicines Trust
Professor Pierscionek is Associate Dean of Research and Enterprise at Kingston University’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. She qualified with clinical and scientific degrees (PhD in protein chemistry and optics) from the University of Melbourne and obtained an MBA and legal qualifications in the UK including the theoretical degree required for practice as a solicitor in England and Wales as well as a Masters degree in Law (LLM). Her scientific expertise is in the area of eye and vision research. She is a pioneer of multidisciplinary approaches leading to new insights into the vision of the ageing eye that have potential to improve outcomes for cataract patients in the design of new intraocular implants. She also works on the ethico- legal aspects of medical and biomedical research.
Medical Director, Safer Medicines Trust
Chris Foster is the Scientific Director of HCA Healthcare Laboratories, London and Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Liverpool. He is a specialist in the pathology of human cancers, particularly of the prostate, bladder and breast. Professor Foster received his BSc in Biochemistry at University College London and qualified in Medicine at the Westminster Medical School. He received his PhD from the Institute of Cancer Research and his MD at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the National Institutes of Health, Washington DC. In 2002, Professor Foster was awarded a DSc for his contribution to understanding “The Cellular and Molecular Biology of the Metastatic Process”. He is the author of several standard diagnostic pathology texts, the most recent being “Molecular Oncology of Prostate Cancer” (2007). Professor Foster has also served as Director of Workforce Planning for the Royal College of Pathologists and Chairman of the National Committee on Modernising Pathology Careers (UK).
Dr Bob Coleman
Dr Bob Coleman is a pharmacologist with a keen appreciation of the value of using human cells and tissues in the search for new medicines to treat human disease. He worked for 30 years for the Glaxo group of companies, where he gained a wide experience of the drug discovery/development process. In 1995, he left GlaxoWellcome, and joined a colleague in founding Pharmagene, now Asterand (www.asterand.com), the first drug discovery and development company to work exclusively on human biology. In November 2003 he was awarded an honorary DSc by DeMontfort University, Leicester, in recognition of his scientific achievements and his contributions to the experimental use of donated human tissues in drug research. Bob Coleman is now an independent consultant in drug discovery.
Dr Katya Tsaioun
Dr Tsaioun is a widely-recognised expert in preclinical drug discovery research. Before founding Pharma Launcher, of which she is the President, she was Chief Scientific Officer of Cyprotex, the world’s largest specialist ADMET company. She founded Apredica, an innovative drug-discovery contract research organisation, specialising in rapid preclinical in vitro assessment of compounds’ ADME Tox properties for optimising and advancing drug leads, in 2005. Apredica was acquired by Cyprotex in 2010. Prior to founding Apredica, Dr Tsaioun pioneered new technology platforms at Surface Logix and GPC Biotech (formerly Mitotix). She earned her MS in solid-state chemistry from the Leningrad Institute of Technology, and her PhD in Biochemistry from Tufts University, followed by post-doctoral training in Neurochemistry at Harvard Medical School. Dr Tsaioun is active in many local and international professional and business societies and serves on the Scientific Review Boards of the National Institute of Aging, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and International Rett Syndrome Foundation. She co-edited “ADMET for Medicinal Chemists”, which is recommended reading for pharmacology and medicinal chemistry courses.
Professor Geoff Pilkington BSc PhD CBiol FRSB FRCPath
is a leader in the field of brain tumour research and was instrumental in the formation of the charity, Brain Tumour Research. He directs the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence Programme at the University of Portsmouth, whose goal is to fast-track promising laboratory successes to the clinic, for patients diagnosed with deadly brain cancers. During 43 years in brain tumour research, Professor Pilkington has developed various all- human 3D in vitro models to study tumour invasion and the blood-brain barrier. He is a passionate advocate of human models for human diseases. We are very honoured that he has chosen to support Safer Medicines Trust.
He says: “We owe it to the patients to get re-purposed and reformulated agents into the clinic immediately; that may be achieved with the use of 3D in vitro models rather than through the use of laboratory animals.”
Professor Sir Ian Wilmut
Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, FRS FRSE, is a pioneering embryologist renowned as the 'father' of Dolly the sheep, the world's first mammal cloned from an adult cell. This accomplishment opened the door to the field of therapeutic cloning, to which Professor Wilmut turned his attention in 2005, in the search for treatments for Motor Neurone Disease. Professor Wilmut is currently the Chair of Reproductive Biology at the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh. He believes that induced pluripotent stem cells adapted from adult cells hold greater promise than embryonic stem cells for the treatment of degenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease, and to treat stroke and heart disease patients, and this is his current focus of study. In 2008, Ian Wilmut was knighted for his services to science.
Professor Gerry Thomas
Professor Gerry Thomas is a serial biobanker. Following a degree in Pharmacology and a PhD in Pathology, she worked as a researcher at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities. In 2002, she returned to Wales, just as a grant was awarded from the Welsh Assembly to establish the Wales Cancer Bank, a national collection of blood samples and tissue from cancer patients and was appointed as its Principal Scientist. In 2007, she took up a position as Professor of Molecular Pathology at Imperial College London, where she is involved in developing the Imperial Tissue Bank to underpin translational research. She has also coordinated the Chernobyl Tissue Bank since its inception in 1998. She combines her tissue banking activities with research on the molecular pathology of thyroid and breast cancer, and is also actively involved in translational studies related to clinical trials in breast cancer both in the UK and internationally.
Dr Kelly BéruBé
Dr Kelly BéruBé is Director of the Lung & Particle Research Group at Cardiff University. With a background in electron microscopy and lung toxicology, she has built an international reputation in the field of air pollution and human health and holds numerous appointments in the USA and UK on funding bodies, advisory councils, professional societies and journal editorial boards that focus on environmental health. Dr BéruBé is a prolific science writer and popular invited-speaker, and has worked extensively on communicating research through public engagements of science for schools, laymen groups and professional learned societies. Her research, including exciting advances with human ‘microlungs’, which could allow thousands of drugs to be screened at once, has been recognised with a number of awards and keen interest from pharmaceutical companies.
Professor Chris Hillier
Chris Hillier is Technology Transfer and Innovation Coordinator at the University of the West Indies. For 15 years, he was Professor of Physiology at Glasgow Caledonian University. He has founded, and ran as CEO, two successful biotechnology companies: Biopta Ltd, a CRO specializing in human tissue-based drug screening tests that he led for five years utilising innovative approaches to drug development; and Sistemic, a high growth R&D company focused on using epigenetic biomarkers, particularly miRNA, for drug profiling and toxicology screening. Both companies have won Best Company Awards in Scotland. From 2006 to 2007 he was Visiting Professor with Integrated DNA Technologies (Iowa, US), the world’s largest manufacturer of nucleic acids. Professor Hillier has published and presented extensively internationally in both science and business and has won many awards including a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship and a John Logie Baird Award for Innovation, two NEXXUS Best Company Awards (for Biopta and Sistemic), two Scottish Executive SMART Awards and a SPUR Award.
Anup Patel MS, FRCS (Urol)
Anup Patel is a Consultant Urological Surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital, London. He qualified with CCST, FRCS (Urol) and MS, after gaining MBBS and BSc at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. He then completed double certified supra-specialty fellowships at UCLA in Complex Endourology-Laparoscopic Urology and Uro-Oncology, which he established as specialist interests on returning to NHS practice in London. Mr Patel Chairs the Clinical Studies Committee of the European Association of Urology Research Foundation and is a Member or Board Member of 10 national or international Urology Associations. He is a Journal Reviewer or Editorial Board Member for 20 urology and surgical journals, a Scientific Advisor to the Prostate Cancer Charity and the Pro-Cancer-Research Fund and has been a Reviewer to the National Cancer Research Network and St. Peter’s Trust. He has over 100 publications to his name, as well as many visiting professorships and is regularly invited onto specialist panels at international congresses.
Dr Jarrod Bailey
Dr Jarrod Bailey is a Research Associate in the Institute for Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University. Following his PhD in viral genetics, he spent 7 years examining the causes of premature birth in humans, during which time he became increasingly aware of the lack of relevance of animal studies to human clinical progress. He is also a Science Consultant to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), and Science Director of Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories, a campaign of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), Boston, USA.
Dr John Pippin
Dr John Pippin is a cardiologist who has served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, among other institutions, and is the recipient of a five-year American Heart Association Clinician-Scientist research award. He is the author of over 60 peer-reviewed medical publications, and was the founding director of several clinical and research programs, including the James D. Harvey Cardiovascular Research Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is the Director of Academic Affairs and Chair of the Physician Steering Committee for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in the US.
Professor Claude Reiss
Professor Claude Reiss initially trained as a physicist at the University of California, San Diego. He then studied biophysics, before progressing to molecular biology and subsequently, toxicology. He has expertise in fields including molecular biology, genetics and toxicology. For 30 years he was the Research Director of the Molecular Genetics Centre of the French National Centre for Scientific Research. His many positions currently include Presidency of 3 non-profit organisations: Alzheim' R&D - dedicated to the early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases; Reverse Therapies - dedicated to a novel AIDS therapy and Antidote-Europe - dedicated to science-based toxic risk assessment.
Dr Christopher Anderegg
Dr Christopher Anderegg is a medical doctor and biologist, who received his MD and PhD at Yale University School of Medicine. He performed animal experiments in the United States and Switzerland from 1979 until 1988. In 1990, he founded the Association for the Abolition of Animal Experiments in Zurich, Switzerland; an organisation dedicated to exposing the dangers of animal experimentation to human health, and to promoting the use of safe, scientific research methods including epidemiological studies on population groups, clinical investigations of patients, biopsy and autopsy investigations, and experiments with human cell, tissue and organ cultures.
Dr Frank Rinaldi
Dr Frank Rinaldi is a director and co-founder of Evolution Bioscience Ltd. He holds a PhD in Breast Cancer Research and an executive MBA sponsored by one of the world’s largest bioscience players.
Frank specialises in commercial strategy formulation of innovative bioscience technologies for revenue generation. He is well known and respected in the industry and has a wide global client network including university bioscience establishments, start ups/SMEs, large blue chip organisations, as well as the venture capital community.
In the area of in vitro and ex vivo toxicology and disease models, he has worked with a number of promising alternatives to traditional animal model approaches. This experience has made him a passionate advocate of consideration of these technologies.