Meet the speakers for our 2023 event “Rediscovering the MedTech journey”.

Richard Brady – Consultant in IBD and colorectal surgery at Newcastle Hospitals


Richard is a consultant in IBD and colorectal surgery at Newcastle Hospitals, UK. He is an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University. He undertook basic surgical training in Northern Ireland prior to higher training in Edinburgh with specialist fellowships in Newcastle, Japan and Salford. His postgraduate research degree was awarded on the chemoprevention of colorectal cancer at the University of Edinburgh.

Richard has a specialist interest in minimally invasive and robotic IBD surgery, stoma technology and improving patient outcomes. He has been at the cutting edge of surgical social media throughout its evolution, bringing the technology into effective use at the British Journal of Surgery, European Society of Coloproctology and the NIHR clinical research network in the North-East of England.

Richard has published more than 100 research papers and is an award winning chief investigator on 5 current national NIHR Portfolio trials since 2021 and leads the Newcastle Centre for Bowel Disease Research Group. His NCBD research group specialises in commercial research studies and translational IBD and digital health solutions to improve the treatment of colorectal disease, modernising care pathways and improving new routes for monitoring or diagnosis.

Becky Crow – Health and Life Sciences Senior Sector Lead, Invest Newcastle

""With a strong background in clinical research and innovation, Becky joined the Invest Newcastle team in February 2022 and works to attract health and life sciences inward investment for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Prior to this, Becky managed the clinical research portfolio at the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre at Newcastle University for 10 years, managing a major Horizon 2020 international drug development project and securing funding from industry leaders like Roche and Biogen to develop comprehensive patient registries, vital to the understanding of disease progression and the impact of new treatments.

As Health and Life Sciences Lead at Invest Newcastle, Becky works with colleagues from Department for Business and Trade, North of Tyne Combined Authority and the region’s universities and hospital trusts to attract capital and inward investment.

Andrew Davies – Digital Health Lead, ABHI

""Andrew is responsible for working with system partners to ensure that the UK maximises the opportunities for citizen health and economic wealth by appropriate investment in data driven healthcare, building on the unique opportunities presented by the NHS.

Andrew has over 30 years experience in the HealthTech sector, having held roles covering UK and international marketing, market access and business development across both capital and consumable equipment. He has wide experience of working at Board level and on national working groups within the health area.

He has a degree in Applied Physics and a post graduate diploma in marketing.

Professor Sam Eldabe – Senior Consultant in pain management at the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

""Professor Eldabe is a senior consultant in pain management at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and clinical professor of pain medicine at the School Medicine Pharmacy and Health Durham University (Honorary).

His main interest within chronic pain management is neuromodulation for management of pin and spasticity. He has extensive experience in neuromodulation research having led a 33-site global study, investigator initiated trials in collaboration with UK and EU centres, and multicentre UK NIHR-funded research.

Through his neuromodulation work, he has developed an interest in medical technology and is on the steering group for MedConnect North, a regional initiative aiming to link the medical technology industry with the NHS and academia.

He is the co-author or the author of more than 60 papers in the area of pain management and neuromodulation and has contributed to a number of book chapters. His current research interests include the use of neuromodulation for rehabilitation of back pain sufferers, spinal cord stimulation for refractory angina, as well as the utility of screening trials in spinal cord stimulation.

Mark Grumbridge – Head of Clinical Investigations, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

""Mark is a registered general nurse and qualified in 1991. Since March 2022, he has been the Head of Clinical Investigations at MHRA, having previously held the role of senior clinical advisor and having worked at the MHRA since January 2012.

He is also a committee member for ISO 14155 (clinical investigation of medical devices) and ISO 18969 (clinical evaluation of medical devices) representing MHRA and the UK.

His role at the MHRA involves managing all aspects of clinical investigations including

  • provision of advice and support for applicants
  • sourcing expertise
  • reviewing applications for clinical investigations
  • managing a team of regulatory handlers
  • implementing regulation

Mark has an NHS career spanning over 35 years and has worked in many clinical areas including Haematology, Acute Medicine, Senior Management, and project management.

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Richard Hall – Director of QMS Consultancy

""Richard has worked in QA, QC, Development and Regulatory positions within the Medical Device and IVD industry since 1994 and was QA & Design Manager for Bio-Rad Laboratories until he started his consultancy in 2014. Richard now focuses on medical device start-up companies, helping them with new product development, gaining ISO 13485 certification and CE Marking their products.

Richard has created a programme for implementing bespoke ‘Drop-In Systems’ specifically designed for medical device start-ups. The system uses proprietary software to enable an ISO 13485 compliant QMS and a CE Technical File Template to be implemented incredibly quickly allowing his clients a faster route to market.

Named as inventor on two patents, Richard thoroughly understands the process of new product development and holds an Expert In Residence position at the University of Oxford & Imperial College London where he lectures in the field of Medical Device Regulations.

Richard now donates every Wednesday to helping start-ups, clinicians, entrepreneurs and academics to better understand the regulatory requirements for medical devices and IVDs (including software).

Find out more about QMS Consultancy

Book a meeting via Richard’s online calendar

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Lirije Hyseni – Senior Health Technology Assessment Analyst, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

""Lirije is a senior health technology assessment analyst at the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) where she has worked for over 3 years. She has extensive experience in assessing medical devices, digital health applications and diagnostic technologies. She was technical lead on NICE’s very first early value assessment topic which considered digital health technologies for the treatment of anxiety and low mood in children and young people.

Before joining NICE, Lirije worked as a researcher at the University of Liverpool in the Department of Public Health, Policy & Systems for 8 years. During this time, she authored 22 articles in high impact peer-reviewed journals, based on a variety of methodologies including systematic reviews, qualitative and quantitative research, stakeholder engagement and modelling studies.

Naz Iqbal – Project Manager, MedConnect North


Naz is a project manager for MedConnect North. She began her research career at Durham University as a Research Associate working on a number of public health research projects including cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity, and health inequalities. In 2018, she pursued a career change in clinical research at South Tees Hospitals as a clinical trials co-ordinator. Prior to joining MedConnect North, she also worked at the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria as a research operations co-ordinator, which involved working with partner organisations in the set-up of clinical trials.

She is extremely passionate about research, particularly in evidence-based practice and its impact on patient and public care outcomes.

Dr Tom Micklewright – Medical Director, ORCHA

""Dr Tom Micklewright is a Cheshire-based GP and Medical Director of ORCHA, an international organisation committed to getting the safest, most effective health apps to the clinicians and patients that need them most. Previously, Tom has held senior positions within the British Medical Association and one of Europe’s largest telehealth providers. He regularly writes, hosts a Youtube channel and has launched a school-based mental health programme in Merseyside, all with the aim of empowering his patients.



Rachel Morris – Associate Director – Operations, Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria

Rachel is an Associate Director at the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC). Rachel’s portfolio of work includes:

  • overseeing the development of the AHSN NENC’s Innovation Pathway, including organisational process and systems and change management
  • leading on the development of the AHSN NENC’s bespoke digital innovation tracker
  • programme director for local programmes of work that aim to improve regional population health and economic growth
  • business planning and reporting of metrics for review by commissioners

Rachel’s background is in mathematics and statistics, including a master’s in clinical research.

Craig Mower – Project Manager, MedConnect North

""Craig Mower is one of the project managers for MedConnect North. He has worked in diagnostic pathology for 13 years and has five years of clinical research experience, working alongside medical technology companies, device manufacturers, clinicians, and research and development departments in NHS trusts. He read English at Teesside University, followed by a PGCert and an FdSc in Health and Social Care Practice. In his current role he supports medical device studies, including the BEST study, Nebula, and Rescue.


Tobian Muir – Consultant in plastic and reconstructive surgery, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

""Tobian Muir is a consultant in plastic and reconstructive surgery, based at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough since 2003. He is the associate lead of Medconnect North and the surgical subspecialist research lead for plastic surgery in the North East. He has a subspecialist interest in the treatment of vascular anomalies. The James Cook vascular birthmark unit has experience of 3000 sclerotherapy treatments over the last 15 years. He is the co-founder of INSPECT, the International Network for Sharing Practice in electrochemotherapy collaboration, which includes 38 European centres and 2000 patients on the registry. He is the Chief Investigator for the BEST (Bleomycin electrosclerotherapy) NIHR study.

Dr Ian Newington – Assistant Director, Innovations, the National Institute for Health and Care Research

""As part of the leadership of the Innovations Team, Ian is actively involved in both the NIHR i4i Programme and the AI in Health and Care Award. He manages a portfolio of funded projects and is involved in many funding competitions, particularly providing support for applicants. He interacts with many SMEs in the sector and seeks to signpost them to appropriate support be that funding, expertise, collaborators or support for clinical studies.

Two years in Big Pharma and a DPhil in chemistry led him to joining Kodak European R&D labs, followed by nine years at GE Healthcare Imaging R&D, leading the Discovery portfolio in diagnosis of neurodegeneration. He is a (co-)inventor on 38 patent applications. He joined NIHR in November 2014.
In his spare time, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a member of UKRI Peer Review College, the External Advisory Boards for CPI HealthTRIP and the NHSE Cancer Innovation Programme. He is a mentor for the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and KQ Labs Accelerator.

Jody Nichols – Associate Director, Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria


Jody works as an Associate Director for the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for the North East and North Cumbria (as of 1 October 2023 it will be renamed Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria). Jody leads on a number of programmes of work including developing a collaborative ecosystem to support the AHSN’s Innovation Pathway and developing the Health and Life Science regional pledge. In addition, Jody is the National lead for implementation and commercialisation of the Clinical Digital Resource Collaborative.

Jody has 20 years’ experience within the NHS in several roles including Senior Commissioner, Senior Researcher, and Senior Health Improvement Programme Manager within primary care and public health. Her overall aim is to improve health outcomes, improve patient safety, build improvement capability, improve processes and outcomes and reduce unnecessary variations in quality whilst identifying innovations. She has a master’s in public health as well as a second master’s in philosophy and is also a qualified higher education teacher.

Professor Amar Rangan – Professor of orthopaedic surgery, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and MedConnect North lead


Professor Rangan is a clinical academic and NHS consultant with extensive clinical and research experience of over 15 years in trauma and orthopaedic surgery. Professor Rangan has broad experience with the use of surgical implants and devices for musculoskeletal conditions, including their clinical testing, evaluation and reporting of performance.

As chief investigator for UK-wide multi-centre and multi-national clinical trials in trauma and orthopaedic surgery, Professor Rangan has extensive experience in the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of such trials. He also holds multiple grants with the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Professor Rangan is chairman of the British Orthopaedic Association research committee, with an established network of research active hospitals and principal investigators across the UK. He is the MedConnect North lead and a member of the NIHR i4i Challenge Awards Committee.

Oliver Sowerby – Head of Surgical Technologies at Team Consulting

""Oliver is Head of Surgical Technologies at Team Consulting, Europe’s largest medical device development consultancy. Using a combination of user-centred design and performance engineering, Team’s project teams develop safe and regulatory compliant medical devices which are loved by end users when they reach their end market.

Oliver’s passion is ensuring the voice of clinicians is heard throughout developments to ensure unmet clinical needs are met and devices become commercially successful.

As an engineer, Oliver has worked on the development of surgical instruments, digital otoscopes, POC diagnostic systems, chemical reactors and automated machinery. He has a first-class degree in product design and is a Chartered Engineer.