Speaker biographies

Dr Tom Beale

Dr Tom Beale is the Commercial Development Manager for Medtech at CPI, where he works with emerging and established medtech companies providing guidance for the commercialisation of medical devices.    Tom has a technical background in medical device development and regulatory affairs.   Prior to joining CPI, Tom worked at Newcastle Hospitals developing medical devices for commercial exploitation, working on multiple projects from point-of-care diagnostic devices, to implantable brain simulators.   Tom has spent several years providing consultancy services in regulatory compliance of medical devices, supporting companies developing regulatory documentation for clinical trials and CE marking.      Before working in the medtech industry, Tom conducted academic research in Physics at Durham University studying novel magnetic materials, including designing and developing x-ray instrumentation for the UK and the Taiwanese national x-ray facilities.

Dr Fanny Burrows

Dr Fanny Burrows is a Senior Programme Manager in the Innovation Team at LGC.Fanny manages a portfolio of NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) projects, Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare projects and AI Award projects. Her main responsibility is to lead the SBRI Healthcare programme and deliver the programme strategic plan.
Prior to working at LGC, Fanny spent a few years in a MedTech company, developing and transferring novel materials for applications in medical devices. Her work involved the research and development of biocompatible technologies, from feasibility stage to regulatory approval and market growth, including technology transfer to global medical devices manufacturers.

Professor Sam Eldabe 

Professor Sam Eldabe is an NHS consultant based at South Tees NHS Foundation Trust with 20 years’ experience. Throughout his career he has been an active user and researcher into the role of medical devices in improving patient care. Professor Eldabe’s background in anaesthesia has given him a broad exposure to all classes of medical technologies from simple Class I devices to the more complex Class IIB. His work as a chronic pain treatment specialist has afforded him experience in research with various class III active implantable devices.

Janet Flowers

Janet is from a mixed background of design consultancy work across a range of disciplines and product areas. She has undertaken mixed private and public sector marketing consultancy and has successfully grown organisational goals to incorporate digital transformation. She has worked in innovation projects in multinational companies and innovation centres in English and Scottish universities. The  programme offers County Durham SMEs the opportunity to create and grow their ideas into products, processes and / or services in the construction, health and Elec-tech sectors. It offers R&D learning from design and data research methods to IP and market discovery. Businesses joining the programme can benefit from trends masterclasses, workshops, LinkedIn group ecosystems, networking events, mentoring and ideas creation, with potential to collaborate with regional R&D experts. There may be funding available to support external R&D collaborations, with further funding available to support in house capacity to drive innovation forward.

Martin Hunt

Martin has over 35 years’ experience in the life science industry, with executive and NED roles in large multi-nationals, SMEs and public companies. During 15 years in international Medtech companies, he had senior roles in sectors including ophthalmic surgery, wound management and chronic care. He joined Tissue Science Laboratories as Chief Executive in 1999 and led the company from a start-up, through angel funding, a listing on the AiM market in 2001 through to trade sale in 2008. Since then, he has been Chair, NED or investor on the Boards of nine early stage Medtech, Biotech and Diagnostic companies and is currently Chair of two, with technologies in regenerative medicine and skin microbiome. 
Martin has worked extensively with the University sector, advising on technology transfer and commercialisation of innovative technologies. He is a member of the Bioengineering Advisory Board, Imperial College London and the Imperial Technology Experts Service. Martin was an Impact Assessor on the Clinical Medicine Panel for the UK Government Research Excellence Framework exercise during 2014.Martin is also Programme Director of NIHR Invention for Innovation, a translational funding programme. i4i aims to support and advance the research and development of innovative healthcare technologies and their translation into the clinical environment for the benefit of patients. The programme has a current portfolio of c£144m invested in 200+ projects and has leveraged additional funding of over £94m. Martin is also a member of the NIHR Strategy Board, and is Chair or Board member of a number of NIHR initiatives.Martin has raised over £50m public / private funding to support innovative technologies and is an active business angel.

Hyder Latif

Hyder Latif is a Project Manager for MedConnect North and has worked in clinical research for the last nine years, giving him a wealth of experience from NHS, academia and life sciences environments. Hyder studied Business Management at Teesside University and then worked in the cancer research team at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and then moved into the commercial research sector as a lead study coordinator at a research clinic before moving on to become a Trial Manager at a Clinical Trials Unit. After a year as a Trial Manager he moved to South Tees to become a project Manager for MedConnect North. In his role as Project Manager, Hyder has supported five MedTech studies, including Best, Nebula and Rescue Study. 

Mr Tobian Muir

Tobian Muir is a consultant in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has been based at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough since 2003. He has a specialist interest in treatment of vascular anomalies. He is in charge of a national vascular birthmark unit that sees 200 new patients per year with experience of 3000 sclerotherapy treatments of haemangiomas and vascular malformations over the last 15 years. His other subspecialist interests are novel technologies and he is the sub specialty research lead for Plastic Surgery in the North East.

Professor Amar Rangan 

Amar Rangan is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, holding the Mary Kinross Trust & Royal College of Surgeons Chair at Department of Health Sciences and Hull York Medical School, University of York.  He also holds a full Professorship with the Faculty of Medical Sciences & NDORMS, University of Oxford.  He is a Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon at South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust in Middlesbrough and is current President of the British Elbow and Shoulder Society.
Amar leads a programme of clinical and translational research, including NIHR funded multi-centre clinical trials. He has published widely in Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery, particularly in the field of Shoulder & Elbow surgery, where his work has influenced clinical practice, national guidelines and policy. He is a member of the NIHR i4i Challenge Awards Committee and is a surgeon member of the Steering Committee of the National Joint Registry.  Amar is a member of the steering group of MedconnectNorth.

George Sampson

George Sampson has greater than 40 years’ experience in the Medical products segment of Healthcare. The majority of this has been in senior roles in Corporations such as American Hospital Supply, Baxter Healthcare, Dräger and Stryker. He has also participated in the construction of commercial organizations in newer ventures – The Urotech Division of Biocompatibles International, Tissuemed, SIRTeX Medical and as CEO of Parafricta. He currently has his own consultancy, Quintain Medical Ltd., working with medical technology companies and innovation organisations. In addition, he was on the Selection Panel for the NIHR i4i Product Development grant awards for 6 years, and is currently on the Board of SEHTA.

Andrew Tasker

Andrew has held a career history in pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare and medical devices for over 25 years, and has a practical track record of commercial success and driving business value. This includes senior posts in Pfizer, Bausch & Lomb, Allergan and Mentholatum. In Pfizer he was Managing Director of the UK consumer healthcare business, led strategic acquisitions and divestments, set up the European Consumer Healthcare organisation post acquisition of Warner Lambert, and integration of Pharmacia consumer brands. During his time at Mentholatum (makers of Deep Heat/ Oxy) he undertook a major refocus of the business, built its international brands and created new innovative pipelines to enter into new markets. At Allergan, he led the acquisition of a daily disposable business and innovated the optician sector, introducing at the time, the first subscription/ di
rect debit based supply of contact lenses to consumers.
As well as holding senior roles in internationally renowned businesses, Andrew has also successful led his own businesses, launching new generation nicotinFe replacement therapy. He successfully established a manufacturing facility in Scotland, delivered an exclusive launch in the UK, negotiating a retail partnership with Walgreens Alliance Boots. He has also worked closely with venture capital funders and has personally led healthcare assets sales of over $150m.Andrew has been focused on female healthcare for the last 5 years, in his role as CEO of Femeda has successfully led the organisation from R&D into commercialisation securing ongoing funding to set up supply chain, and commencing incremental clinical trials.
In addition, Andrew has acquired the Contrelle Activgard product rights from a European multinational, and set up in 2019 Viveca Biomed as a new healthcare business with its own clean room and advanced manufacturing capability in the North East. From its Ashington base, Viveca Biomed will be shortly launching into the health service, pharmacy and retail in the UK and rapidly launching internationally, creating incremental local employment opportunities. A significant new clinical programme is being planned to drive additional clinical support and new product development.

Stuart Watson

Stuart Watson is a Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Psychiatrist in Newcastle. He works with others in the NIHR CRN NENC, particularly Ashraf Azzabi, Angela Birt, James Pitchford, Emma Murray and Lauren Tough in order to help colleagues in the region make the best use of the opportunities presented by Investigator Initiated Trials (IITs). Our hope is to increase the number of IITs on the portfolio, to increase the number of recruits, to increase the inward investment, and, particularly, to support the academic development of clinicians.

Dr Shaun Wellburn

Dr Wellburn is currently employed, in a role co-funded with MedConnect North, as a Health Research Methodologist in the School of Health and Life Sciences at Teesside University. He graduated from the University of Sunderland in 2010 with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Sciences. He went on to study for his PhD at Teesside University investing the information needs of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients and their families; he was awarded his PhD in 2017. 

Dr Wellburn has been employed in a research capacity at Teesside University since 2014 and has worked on a variety of projects across a broad spectrum of disciplines. These include the evaluation of the North East of England Regional Back Pain and Radicular Pain Pathway evaluation and VR4Rehab projects. Dr Wellburn has published several peer reviewed journal articles and conference papers.

Professor Alan Batterham

Alan is an interdisciplinary research scientist with broad interests and expertise in physical activity, exercise and health outcomes, measurement and evaluation issues, and research design and biostatistics. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Royal Statistical Society. Alan is also an Associate Editor of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, a member of the Statistical Advisory Board of BMJ Open and the Editorial Board of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and the Statistics Consultant for the three journals of the Physiological Society.