Our people

Meet the MedCity team

MedCity team

Dr Eliot Forster
Chair

Eliot has over 25 years’ industry experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including his current role as CEO of Immunocore.

His previous experience includes CEO positions at biotech and pharma for the UK, US and Asia. He holds a PhD in neurophysiology from Liverpool University and an MBA from Henley Management College.

You can contact Eliot at eliotforster@medcityhq.com or +44 (0)20 3179 8100

Sarah Haywood
Chief Executive Officer

Sarah leads MedCity in positioning the greater south east of England as a world-leading, interconnected region for life sciences research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation.

Sarah has a biology degree from the University of Oxford and was previously an NHS manager, Head of Operations for a neuroscience discovery unit, and led the DTI Bioscience Unit.

Please contact Sarah at sarahhaywood@medcityhq.com or call +44 (0)20 3179 8100.

Neelam Patel
Chief Operating Officer

Neelam is responsible for operations and driving the strategy and relationships with key stakeholders and funders. She is also the lead for clinical trials, supporting companies seeking clinical and research expertise and collaborations.

Neelam has extensive experience in Pharma, R&D, NIHR service improvement & strategy.

Please contact Neelam at neelampatel@medcityhq.com or +44 (0)20 3179 8100.

Phil Jackson
Projects Director

Phil is the go-to for businesses wanting to find workspace, equipment, expertise, and funding, in the region.

Previously, Phil held senior positions in Canadian healthcare; he led the development of the multi-million dollar Health Protection Agency and a re-design of Stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for a population of over 11m people.

Please contact Phil at philjackson@medcityhq.com or +44 (0)20 3179 8102

Hak Salih
Digital Health Lead

Hak supports, connects and grows the digital health ecosystem from mentoring early stage ideas, and explaining the NHS, to connecting innovators and clinicians to corporates looking to collaborate.

Hak has over 20 years’ experience as an investor and supporter of entrepreneurs and innovation and is an award-winning mentor.

If you are in or want to enter the Digital Health space – contact Hak on haksalih@medcityhq.com or +44 (0)20 3179.

Joana Neves dos Reis
Projects Manager - Angels in MedCity

Joana leads the Angels in MedCity programme; connecting life sciences companies and business angels and providing education on the sector and its investment opportunities. Joana has a BSc and an MSc in Biochemical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico and is working towards a PhD in Biochemical Engineering (Regenerative Medicine) at University College London. You can contact Joana at jnevesdosreis@medcityhq.com or call +44 (0)20 3179 8100.

Sinéad Kearns, PhD
Market Analyst – Life Sciences

Sinéad leads on insight and analysis; including investment trends at a global and regional level, research capabilities of the region, and primary and secondary research to address clients’ needs.

Sinéad has a masters in structural biology from the University of Bristol and a PhD in cancer biology from UCL.

Please contact Sinéad at sineadkearns@medcityhq.com or call +44 (0)20 7234 5709.

Prashanthini Jeyarajan, DPhil
Business Marketing Executive

Prasshy leads on MedCity’s event planning and execution, develops integrated marketing campaigns, and maintains relationships with key stakeholders.

Prasshy has 10 years’ experience in life sciences spanning academia, industry and clinical environments and holds a DPhil in genetics and neuroscience from the University of Oxford.

Please get in touch with Prashanthini at pjeyarajan@medcityhq.com or +44 (0)20 7234 5860.

Kim Watson
Communications Manager

Kim leads on communications and PR for MedCity; including media opportunities, digital content, the monthly newsletter, and maintaining stakeholder networks.

Kim has 9 years’ experience in managing media relations, leading campaigns, copywriting, and digital communications.

If you would like to speak about the newsletter, website, or a media comment, contact Kim at kimwatson@medcityhq.com or +44 (0) 7553 374546.

Yaesel Lee
Collaboration & Business Administrator

Yaesel supports the running of MedCity's Collaborate to Innovate (C2N) programme and day-to-day activities of the office; including events organising and finance.

Yaesel has a BA in International Business and experience in business development for Asia Pacific.

If you have a C2N or general enquiry, please contact Yaesel at yaesellee@medcityhq.com or +44 (0)20 3179 8100

Nivashinee Krishnakumar
Business Support Officer

Nivashinee supports the day-to-day activities of the office, including being the first port of call for telephone enquiries, managing the office inbox, and assisting with finance and reporting.

Nivashinee has a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from Queen Mary, University of London.

You can contact Nivashinee at nkrishnakumar@medcityhq.com or +44 (0)20 3179 8100

Management board

Dr Eliot Forster
Executive Chair, MedCity, and CEO, Immunocore

Eliot has almost 25 years of industry experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including his current role as Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore. His previous experience includes CEO of the UK biotech Creabilis, CEO of Boston-based Solace Pharmaceuticals, Head of EU Development and of Development Operations in the EU and Asia at Pfizer, and a number of non-executive posts in biotech companies

Dr Annalisa Jenkins
CEO, Dimension Therapeutics Inc

A biopharma thought leader with nearly 20 years of industry experience, Dr Jenkins has built and led teams advancing programs from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval and into healthcare systems globally. Before joining Dimension, she served as executive vice president, head of Global Research and Development for Merck Serono

Professor Sir Robert Lechler
Executive Director, King’s Health Partners

Robert Lechler became Dean of Hammersmith Campus at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine in 2001 and Head of the Division of Medicine in 2003. He moved to King’s College London as Head of the School of Medicine at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals in September 2004 and became Vice Principal (Health) at KCL in October 2005. In June 2009 he was appointed as Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre

Professor Patrick Maxwell
Regius Professor of Physic, University of Cambridge

Professor Patrick Maxwell was University Lecturer and then Reader at the University of Oxford. In 2002 he moved to the Professorship of Nephrology at Imperial College, followed by the Chair of Medicine at University College London in 2008. He was appointed Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine of the University of Cambridge in 2012

Professor David Lomas
Vice Provost, Health, University College London

David became Chair of Medicine and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at University College London in January 2013 and became Vice Provost, Health, in August 2015. He is Head of UCL Medical School and Deputy Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council and also Medical Trustee of the British Heart Foundation. His research interests are the pathobiology of α1-antitrypsin deficiency, the serpinopathies and COPD.

Professor Matthew Wood
Deputy Head of the Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford

Matthew Wood is Professor of Neuroscience & Deputy Head of the Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford. He directs the Laboratory of RNA biology and Neuromuscular Disease investigating development of RNA-based medicines for neuromuscular disease. He is the founder of the biotech spin-out Evox Therapeutics, an advisor to numerous research funding agencies including the UK's MRC and head of Oxford University Innovation.

Professor Gavin Screaton
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

Gavin Screaton was appointed to the Chair of Medicine at Imperial College in 2004. In 2013 he became the Vice Dean of Academic Development moving on to Dean of Faculty of Medicine in 2015. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences & the Royal College of Physicians, a member of the Association of Physicians, the MRC Strategy Board & the prestigious Henry Kunkel Society

Advisory board

Professor Alan Barrell
Entrepreneur in Residence, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Alan Barrell is a biologist with experience in NHS medical technology, turned salesman turned businessman, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Visiting Professor at the University of Sunderland and in a number of universities in China, Finland and Japan

Professor Sir John Bell
Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford University

Professor Sir John Bell FRS is Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University and Chair of the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research. He was appointed one of two UK Life Sciences Champions by the Prime Minister in 2011 and is on the Genome England Ltd Board and chairs its Science Committee. In 1993 he founded the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics

Kate Bingham
Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences

Kate Bingham is one of the UK's leading life sciences venture capitalists. She currently serves or has served on the boards of companies in the UK, US, Ireland, Sweden and Germany. She has been responsible for past investments in Alantos, Auxilium, ESBATech, EUSA, Hexagen, Kinetix, KuDOS, Leukosite, Mednova, Micromet, PowderMed, RespiVert and current investments including Autifony, Bicycle, Convergence, Pulmocide, Oncoethix,TopiVert and VHSquared

Dame Ruth Carnall
Managing Parner, Carnall Farrar

As Chief Executive of NHS London, Ruth Carnall oversaw an extensive programme of performance improvement and strategic change. She has worked in the NHS for over 30 years and as an independent consultant with public and private sector clients including Department of Health, Monitor, Health Authorities, NHS Trusts, Glaxo, Astra Zeneca, the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Cabinet Office, Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Sir William Castell
Former Chair, Wellcome Trust

Bill Castell was Chair of the Wellcome Trust from May 2006 to October 2015. He was previously President and CEO of GE Healthcare and a Vice-Chairman and latterly non-executive director of the General Electric Company (GE). He is the founding chair of the Foundation for FutureLondon, a new charity that has been created to help realise the potential of Olympicopolis and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Sir Malcom Grant
Chair, NHS England

Sir Malcolm is a barrister and academic lawyer. From 2003-2013 he was President and Provost of University College London, has served as Chair of the Local Government Commission for England, the Agriculture and Environmental Biotechnology Commission and the Russell Group. He became Chair of NHS England in 2011, which is responsible for the budget of the NHS in England and its investment in commissioning healthcare for continuous health improvement

Dr Hermann Hauser
Co-founder, Amadeus Capital Partners

Serial entrepreneur and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, Dr Hermann Hauser CBE has wide experience in developing and financing companies in the information technology sector. He co-founded a number of high-tech companies including Acorn Computers which spun out ARM, E-trade UK, Virata and Cambridge Network. As vice president of research at Olivetti, he established a global network of research laboratories.

Simon Kerry
Operating Partner, Advent Life Sciences LLP

Simon Kerry is a business professional with two decades’ experience of creating and developing innovative life science businesses. From joining Karus in 2006, he has grown the company from university spin-out to a leader in the development of innovative medicines with breakthrough potential in the treatment of inflammatory disease and cancer. In 2010 he co-founded Angels 4 Life Sciences (A4LS), a UK-wide life science focused angel network

Sir Harpal Kumar
CEO, Cancer Research UK

Harpal joined Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) as Chief Executive in October 2002 to drive forward the Charity's technology transfer and early drug discovery activities. In addition to his role with CRT, he became Chief Operating Officer of the charity in July 2004, responsible for strategic direction and day-to-day operational management, before becoming Chief Executive Officer in April 2007

Professor Sir Robert Lechler
Executive Director, King’s Health Partners

Robert Lechler became Dean of Hammersmith Campus at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine in 2001 and Head of the Division of Medicine in 2003. He moved to King’s College London as Head of the School of Medicine at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals in September 2004 and became Vice Principal (Health) at KCL in October 2005. In June 2009 he was appointed as Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre

Professor David Lomas
Vice Provost, Health, University College London

David became Chair of Medicine and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at University College London in January 2013 and became Vice Provost, Health, in August 2015. He is Head of UCL Medical School and Deputy Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council and also Medical Trustee of the British Heart Foundation. His research interests are the pathobiology of α1-antitrypsin deficiency, the serpinopathies and COPD.

Professor Patrick Maxwell
Regius Professor of Physic, University of Cambridge

Professor Patrick Maxwell was University Lecturer and then Reader at the University of Oxford. In 2002 he moved to the Professorship of Nephrology at Imperial College, followed by the Chair of Medicine at University College London in 2008. He was appointed Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine of the University of Cambridge in 2012

Professor Sir Paul Nurse
Director and Chief Executive, The Francis Crick Institute

Paul Nurse is President of the Royal Society and Director of the Francis Crick Institute in London and has served as Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK and President of Rockefeller University. He shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has received the Albert Lasker Award and the Royal Society's Royal and Copley Medals. He was knighted in 1999 and received the Legion d'honneur in 2003

Jo Pisani
Partner, Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Strategy, PwC

Jo Pisani has thirteen years of industry experience in the pharmaceuticals, energy, petrochemicals, and fast-moving consumer goods industries with BP and SmithKline Beecham where she held positions in the engineering, operations, IT, and commercial functions. Before joining PwC, she spent three years with Booz&Co, a strategic management consultancy where she focused on strategic issues in the pharmaceuticals and energy sectors

Professor Gavin Screaton
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

Gavin Screaton was appointed to the Chair of Medicine at Imperial College in 2004. In 2013 he became the Vice Dean of Academic Development moving on to Dean of Faculty of Medicine in 2015. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences & the Royal College of Physicians, a member of the Association of Physicians, the MRC Strategy Board & the prestigious Henry Kunkel Society

Professor Patrick Vallance
President, Pharmaceuticals R&D, GSK

Patrick became President of R&D at GSK in January 2012, prior to which he was Senior Vice President, Medicines Discovery and Development. He is a member of the Corporate Executive Team and is responsible for ensuring that GSK maintains a flow of new medicines through the R&D pipeline from early discovery through to approval. Before joining GSK in 2006 as Head of Drug Discovery he was a clinical academic and led the Division of Medicine at UCL