Viewing archives for The External Advisory Board

Dr Ron Zimmern

Ron Zimmern created the original Public Health Genetics Unit in 1997 and its successor the PHG Foundation in 2007. He stood down as Chief Executive in September 2009 to become Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, where his role is in governance and strategic development.  Since 2015 the Foundation has been a linked exempt charity of the University of Cambridge. 

Ron has enjoyed a distinguished career in medicine, public health and policy, and is the pioneer of public health genomics in the UK. He was until very recently personally active in an international leadership role, working closely with colleagues and institutions around the world, including in the USA, Canada, Europe and Hong Kong. These links continue through the work of the Foundation. 

Ron trained at Cambridge and London, specialising in neurology before entering public health medicine in 1983. During the 1980s he took a law degree and developed an enduring interest in the law and ethics of medicine. He was Director of Public Health for Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Authority from 1991 to 1998, with a special interest in the strategic planning of health care, the relationship between clinical services and teaching and research, and priority setting in the NHS. 

Ron has previously served on the Department of Health’s Genetics Commissioning Advisory Group; the Steering Group for the National Genetic Testing Network, the Joint Committee of Medical Genetics of the Royal Colleges; the Council for the British Society of Human Genetics; and as Chairman of the Diagnostic and Screening Panel of the UK’s Health Technology Assessment programme. He has been a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee of Genomics England since its inception. 

He has close links with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, having formerly held posts as an Associate Lecturer and a Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Ron is also a Fellow of Hughes Hall, Cambridge, and holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Hong Kong. 

Professor Joseph Sung

Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung received his MB BS degree from The University of Hong Kong in 1983, and was conferred a PhD in biomedical sciences by the University of Calgary in 1992, and a MD by CUHK in 1997. Professor Sung holds fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Thailand and from the American College of Gastroenterology, the Royal Australian College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterological Association, the Hong Kong College of Physicians and the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.

As a renowned scientist in gastroenterology, Professor Sung’s research interests include intestinal bleeding, Helicobacter Pylori, peptic ulcer, hepatitis B, and colorectal cancer. Professor Sung and his team proved the relationship between H. pylori and peptic ulcer diseases. They were first in demonstrating that a course of antibiotics lasting a week can cure H. pylori infection and successfully treat peptic ulcers and minimize their relapse. At the same time, Professor Sung and his research team pioneered the use of endoscopic treatment for ulcer bleeding to reduce the need for operative surgery. These research results have a major impact on and have changed the practice of gastroenterology worldwide.

Professor Sung has published over 680 full scientific articles in leading journals, including many in The New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet – top journals in the field of clinical medicine. He has edited or authored more than 15 books, and also refereed for more than 15 prestigious journals.

Dr Magdalena Skipper

Magdalena is a geneticist by training and has considerable editorial and publishing experience: having started in the Nature Publishing Group in 2001, she was Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Genetics, Senior Editor for genetics and genomics at Nature, and more recently Executive Editor for the Nature Partner Journals. She studied sex determination at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK and the role of Notch signalling in the vertebrate gut at the ICRF Laboratories (CRUK today), London. She is passionate about mentorship, transparent science and clarity in science communication and she has a keen interest in innovation in science publishing. Magdalena was appointed as Nature‘s Editor-in-Chief in 2018.

Dr Frances Rawle

Frances Rawle read Biochemistry at St Anne’s College Oxford followed by a PhD in Immunology at the University of London. After postdoctoral research posts at the ICRF Human Tumour Immunology Unit in London and at Emory University in Atlanta she joined the Medical Research Council as a programme manager for AIDS research. She retired from the MRC in 2021 after almost thirty years, having had a variety of roles including Strategic Programmes Manager (when she led for the MRC in planning and setting up UK Biobank), Head of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Head of Corporate Governance and Policy, and most recently Director of Policy, Ethics and Governance. She has a longstanding interest in research integrity, reproducibility and ethics. From 2018 to 2021 Frances was a Board member of Health Data Research UK and of the National Centre for the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). She currently works part-time as an independent consultant and is Chair of Governors at her local primary school.

Professor Dennis Lo

Professor Dennis Lo is the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine, the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received his undergraduate education from the University of Cambridge, and his Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Oxford.

Following his training at Oxford, he was appointed as the University Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry and Honorary Consultant Chemical Pathologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the teaching hospital of the University of Oxford Clinical School. He was also a Fellow at Green College, Oxford.

Professor Dennis Lo returned to Hong Kong in 1997. His research interests focus on the biology and diagnostic applications of cell-free nucleic acids in plasma. In particular, he discovered the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma in the same year and has since then been pioneering non-invasive prenatal diagnosis using this technology. This technology has been adopted globally and has created a paradigm in prenatal medicine. He has also made many innovations using circulating nucleic acids for cancer detection.

In recognition of his research, Professor Lo has been elected as Fellow of the Royal Society, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and Founding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong. Professor Lo has won numerous awards, including the 2014 King Faisal International Prize in Medicine, the 2016 Future Science Prize in Life Science, the 2019 Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award, the 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2021 Royal Medal and the 2022 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

Ian Huen

As a trustee of the Dr Stanley Ho Medical Development Foundation, Ian facilitates advisory, development funding, and access to research resources across Asia and establishes relationships with leading academic institutions to propel innovations in healthcare. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Economics, and earned a MA in Comparative and Public History from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Richard Girling

Richard Girling is one of Europe’s leading healthcare investment bankers with over 25 years of experience and has advised on many of the largest healthcare transactions in Europe, the US and Asia.

Richard established the European business of Centerview Partners in London in 2009. Prior to this he established Merrill Lynch’s European healthcare practice in 1998, and was Global Co-Head of Healthcare investment banking for the last six of those years. Following the acquisition by Bank of America, he was appointed the head of the merged Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific healthcare practices for the combined organization. Mr. Girling joined Merrill Lynch from Salomon Brothers, where he worked from 1989 to 1998 and was head of the European Pharmaceutical and Healthcare team.

Richard is also a member of the Development Board at St Anne’s College, a member of the Development Board of the Anna Freud Centre and is actively involved in supporting oncology research projects with Imperial College Trust, London. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Biochemistry from Oxford University.

Professor Sir Peter Donnelly

Peter is CEO and one of the Co-Founders of Genomics plc, and Emeritus Professor of Statistical Science at the University of Oxford. For the last 20 years his research has focussed on genetics and genomics.

He was fortunate to play leading roles in some of the groundbreaking national and international genomics projects, including the HapMap Project, and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, and was Director of the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford from 2007-2018.

Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, and in 2019 was knighted for services to the understanding of human genetics in disease.

Dame Mary Archer DBE

Mary Archer read Chemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford and did her PhD at Imperial College, London. She returned to Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s and then as a temporary lecturer at Somerville. After a second post-doctoral stint at the Royal Institution, she took up a Fellowship at Newnham College, Cambridge. Since leaving academia, she has held a number of appointments, among them chairing Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for ten years. She was until 2023 chair of the Science Museum Group, and she is Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. She is also President of the UK Solar Energy Society, the National Energy Foundation and the Guild of Church Musicians and President of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. In 2012, she was appointed DBE for services to the NHS.

Professor Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson is a Consultant Physician in HIV Medicine at Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Barts NHS Trust and holds honorary professorial appointments at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry and University College London. She undertook her PhD at London University before graduating as a doctor at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. Her clinical and academic career has focussed on understanding and addressing the impact of HIV on underserved and marginalised communities and the associated health inequalities. In 1990 Jane established dedicated, specialist HIV services at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. In 2004 she established Centre for the Study of Sexual Health and HIV within the NHS at Homerton Hospital and in 2020 was appointed deputy director of SHARE at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, a new research collaborative exploring health equity in HIV and sexual health. Jane’s work crosses disciplinary and organisational boundaries, bringing together biomedical, social, and political sciences in partnership with voluntary sector and community organisations. Jane co-chairs London’s HIV Fast Track Cities initiative ‘Getting to Zero’ which brings together the health and care system to address HIV across the Capital. She is Chair of The National AIDS Trust, and Co-Chair of the pan European HIV Outcomes Collaborative. She was chair of the Public Health England’s External Advisory Group on HIV and Sexual Health until PHE was dissolved in 2021. Jane is past Chair of the British HIV Association and from 2016 – 2020 was a visiting Fellow at the Kings’ Fund.