Mark Samuels joins board of the UK’s largest pioneering clinical research facility

Medicines Discovery Catapult

The UK’s largest Clinical Research Facility (CRF), Manchester, has been strengthened by the election of Mark Samuels to its Governance Board. Mark is Chief Business and Strategy Officer at the Medicines Discovery Catapult.

Mark was elected to the Board on account of his commercial expertise spanning the drug discovery, diagnostics and medical technologies industries, as well as Whitehall. He was a founding Strategy Board member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) which is responsible for NHS research across England with an annual budget of over £1bn. Previously Mark also headed business development for Roche’s UK Diagnostics Division, co-chaired the establishment of NICE’s programme to evaluate diagnostics, and contributed to the Prime Minister’s strategy for life sciences.

NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF) comprises purpose-built clinical research facilities across four sites: Manchester Royal Infirmary, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, The Christie and Wythenshawe Hospital. It carries out the highest quality experimental medicine, drawing on the Greater Manchester population of three million people. Combined, it forms the UK’s most comprehensive CRF, trialling breakthrough science for the first time in humans. It has facilities for all disease areas including cancer, respiratory illness and paediatrics, and carries out experimental medicine studies on patients from cradle (fetal life) to grave (life threatening diseases).

Manchester CRF includes one of the largest specialist facilities for children in the UK, with state-of-the-art child-friendly treatment and play rooms, and specialist play workers to support sedation-free imaging and treatment of very young patients.

During Mark’s tenure, which begins 30 November, he will join the Board in overseeing the strategic direction of Manchester CRF, ensuring it continues to lead the way in clinical research. The Facility is funded by the NIHR to the tune of £12.5m until 31st March 2022.

Mark Samuels, Chief Business and Strategy Officer of the Medicines Discovery Catapult, says:

“The recent devolution of Greater Manchester’s £6bn health and social care budget provides an exciting opportunity to involve the entire Greater Manchester population in our studies. This will enable us to continue to deliver world-class experimental medicine to benefit patients from all backgrounds, both locally and nationally.

“Manchester CRF is uniquely placed at the very forefront of clinical research, testing breakthrough medicines in humans. Its patients and research staff know the vital importance of clinical research and the impact it has on people’s lives, and I am delighted to be joining the Board at this time.”

Professor Nick Webb, Director of the Manchester CRF, said:

“Mark’s unusual breadth of expertise – encompassing the drug discovery, diagnostic and medical technology industries, clinical research and government – will be extremely valuable to us as we work to turn ground-breaking science into cures for patients. The pioneering research Mark has led nationally, establishing successful collaborations in areas ranging from stem cell transplantation to HIV, make him a superb addition to our Governance Board.”

For more information about Manchester CRF visit: