Scientific Advisory Panel
To ensure that we fund only the highest quality of scientific and medical research, we have a scientific advisory panel made up of internationally renowned researchers. They provide an invaluable source of guidance and advice and help shape our research strategy. You can find out about them below.
Professor Patrick Maxwell FMedSci – Chairman
Patrick Maxwell is Regius Professor of Physics and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge.
As a clinician scientist he has been centrally involved in a series of discoveries that have revealed how changes in oxygenation are sensed, and how genetic alterations cause kidney disease.
Patrick is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Academy of Medical Sciences, Director of Cambridge University Health Partners and a Non-Executive Director of Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge Enterprise, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and the International Biotechnology Trust. He is Chair of the Medical Schools Council.
Professor David Katz – Special Academic Advisor
Professor David Katz is an Emeritus Professor of Immunopathology at University College London (UCL). His long-standing research interest has been in antigen presentation, in particular the role of dendritic cells in the induction of immune responses in health and disease. His joint research group (with Professor Benny Chain) was internationally recognised for original work investigating how these cells function, and how they can be injured, leading to immunopathology.
He edits the International Journal of Experimental Pathology and for 16 years he served on Fitness to Practice Panels, chairing many Tribunals for the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. David is the joint lead on UCL medical ethics grand round presentations and was on the GMC Advisory Panel on End of Life issues. He is currently co-deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s Medical Academic Staff Committee (MASC).
Professor Roger Barker FMedSci
Roger Barker is the Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and Consultant Neurologist at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge. He is a guest professor at the University of Lund, Sweden and a Principal Investigator (PI) in the MRC-Wellcome Trust Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge. For the last 25 years, he has run research that seeks to better define the clinical heterogeneity of two common neurodegenerative disorders of the CNS – namely Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). This has helped him define the best way by which to take new therapies into the clinic. In this respect, he has been heavily involved in gene and cell-based trials for patients with these conditions and currently co-ordinates an EU-funded transplant programme using human fetal tissue for patients with PD, following on from an earlier MRC funded trial using similar tissue in HD. He is part of a global initiative (GFORCE-PD) that is seeking to take stem cells to trial in these disorders.
Professor Áine McKnight
Áine is Professor of Viral Pathology at Queen Mary University of London, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (since 2006). She began her career with the study of human and non-human primate retroviruses focussing mainly on Human and Simian Immunodeficiency viruses (HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIVs). Her earliest work involved studies on the antibody mediated neutralization of HIV for vaccine development. A Wellcome Trust early research scientist award and an MRC Senior fellowship were the main drivers for her independent research into post-entry cellular factors that orchestrate the cell’s intrinsic immunity to viruses. Currently, her group studies the molecular details of the steps in the HIV replication cycle targeted by anti-viral factors in cells. She used a whole genome siRNA screening approach to identify cellular factors and pathways involved in anti-viral responses to HIV infection. She currently uses transcriptomic, epigenomic and proteomics approaches to gain deeper insight into the global interactions of host cells and virus infection. During the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic she repurposed her group to study the neutralization of and the virus-host interactions of SARs viruses.Áine McKnight
Professor Farzin Farzaneh
Farzin Farzaneh was awarded the Chair in Molecular Medicine (1996), elected to the Fellowships of the Royal College of Pathologists (1996), the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture & Commerce (1997), and to the Royal Society of Biology (2011). He co-founded the International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy of Cancer (ISCGT) and served as its president in 2007/2008. Having studied the functional analysis of the genome and interactions between cancer and the immune system, he established a GMP facility for the production of Cell and Gene Therapy based Investigational Medicinal Products (IMPs), at King’s College London in 2001. This laboratory has produced the largest number of viral vectors for cell and gene therapy clinical trials in Europe. Farzin has been the European Editor for Experimental Biology and Medicine (since 2006), has published two edited books (the Functional Analysis of the Genome and Cancer Gene Therapy), plus over 250 papers with an average of >30 citations each. He was awarded the Distinguished Scientist Award by the US Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine in 2016.
Professor Molly Stevens FRS
Molly Stevens is currently Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine & Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Department of Materials, Department of Bioengineering and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. Her research is on designing and developing innovative bio-inspired materials for applications in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and biosensing.
Molly Stevens’ research has been recognised by over 20 major awards, such as the 2016 Clemson Award for Basic Research from the Society for Biomaterials, the EU40 Prize for best material scientist under the age of 40, a listing in The Times as one of the top 10 scientists under 40 and the European Life Sciences 2014 Research Group of the Year Award. She was recently elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy for Engineering and delivered the Clifford Paterson Lecture for the Royal Society in 2012.
Professor Charles Swanton FRS, FMedSci
Charles Swanton combines clinical duties with laboratory research at the Francis Crick Institute which focuses on mechanisms generating cancer genetic diversity and its consequences on clinical outcome. Charles was made Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in April 2011 and Chair in Personalised Cancer Medicine and Consultant Thoracic Medical Oncologist at UCL Hospitals in November 2011.
Charles is the Chief Investigator of the CRUK TRACERx lung cancer evolution study and was awarded the Royal College of Physicians Goulstonian lecture and Graham Bull Prize for Clinical Sciences in 2013, Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences in 2013, and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015. Charles was awarded the Jeremy Jass Prize (2014), Stand up to Cancer Translational Cancer Research Prize (2015), Glaxo Smithkline Biochemical Society Prize in recognition of distinguished research leading to new advances in medical science and the Ellison-Cliffe Medal and Lecture, Royal Society of Medicine (2016) and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (2018).
Professor Rebecca Shipley
Rebecca Shipley is Professor of Healthcare Engineering at UCL, and Director of the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering. Her research interests lie in mathematical and computational modelling in medicine and biology, tissue engineering and human physiology, with a particular emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches which integrate data from biological experiments, imaging and clinical sources. She co-founded the UCL Centre for Nerve Engineering, which brings together physical, engineering, life and clinical scientists to tackle nerve injury repair. Her research has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Rosetrees Trust Interdisciplinary Prize 2016 for research at the interface of mathematics, computer science and medicine.
In 2020, Becky co-led the UCL-Ventura programme to manufacture non-invasive breathing aids at scale for treating COVID-19 patients, both within the National Health Service in the UK and globally. The consortium of academia, healthcare and industry partners included UCL, University College London Hospital and Mercedes AMG HPP. They reverse-engineered an off-patent device, optimised its design and secured regulatory approval within 2 weeks, manufacturing 10,000 devices for the UK. The design and manufacturing instructions have been made available globally at no cost, with extensive international uptake. The team was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering President’s Special Awards for Pandemic Service in 2020.
In her role as Director of the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering, Becky coordinates interdisciplinary research activities within healthcare engineering across UCL Engineering, School of Life and Medical Sciences, and the hospitals within the UCL Partners academic health system. She is also Non-Executive Director at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust.