Which team do you work in and what does that team do?
I work in the Syndicates team – we work with UK medical research charities to create disease-focussed, medicines discovery consortia, ‘Syndicates’, that address patient unmet needs, through collaboration.
For example, we have worked with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to create the Cystic Fibrosis Syndicate in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR is an urgent unmet need for people with CF, who are particularly susceptible to developing lung infections, because of the build-up of thick, sticky mucus in their lungs. If these infections are not cleared away effectively, they can cause permanent damage to the lungs and lead to the bacteria causing the infections becoming resistant to treatment with antimicrobial drugs. New drugs are urgently needed where current treatments aren’t working.
The CF Syndicate in AMR is addressing this by bringing together the UK leading medical research charity for CF, industry and the academic community with people affected by CF to drive focussed research efforts to tackle key challenges in the discovery and translation of CF antimicrobials.
What’s your role within your team?
I am the Syndicate Programme Director. My role involves setting the strategic direction for the programme and working with my team to develop robust plans to achieve its objectives and desired impact. My role also involves engaging external organisations and partners, in the UK and internationally, on opportunities for collaboration where we can add value.
How does your role support other functions within the organisation?
My team has developed significant experience into the creation of complex collaborative initiatives, centred around patient need and involving many partners from different life sciences sectors. We work with our colleagues in discovery sciences and informatics to develop collaborative, patient-focused projects and share our expertise and insights to support impactful activities within MDC and externally.
In three words, what would best describe your team?
Passionate, committed and collaborative.
What do you aspire to achieve in this industry?
I have always believed that research can positively impact people’s lives and that collaboration is an essential enabler in this. Through my work on Syndicates, my aspiration is to play, with others, a direct role in enabling the discovery of better treatments and their progression to the clinic, so that they can ultimately reach the people who need them faster and improve their lives.
Tell us something you like doing outside of work.
I love going to art exhibitions. Whenever I can, I escape to the Tate Modern, my favourite contemporary art gallery in London, to enjoy one of their exhibitions or their latest installation in the Turbine Hall.