Speaker biographies

Katherine Adams, Approvals Manager for HRA Assessment 

Catherine Adams has over twenty years’ experience of working in a research governance environment and has developed an expert knowledge of research legislation, policy frameworks and their practical implementation within the wider research environment.

Catherine joined the HRA in June 2016 working as Approvals Manager where she manages a small team and ensures legislative and governance arrangements are in place prior to approving studies.

Prior to this role Catherine worked in Primary Care providing the lead governance responsibilities for a consortium of primary care organisations.

She has worked on various project areas including a six month secondment with the NIHR programme ENRICH – a programme that encourages research to be undertaken in care home settings.

Irrelevantly Catherine spends her spare time cycling, running and swimming which sounds very much like triathlon training……

Dr Bassil Akra, Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Global Medical Health Services, TÜV SÜD Product Service

Dr Bassil Akra is the vice president of global strategic business development in medical health service of TÜV SÜD Product Service. Dr Akra has long experience in research, development, quality management and regulatory approval of medical devices, combination devices and ATMP products. He is presenting worldwide the requirements in Europe and is involved in the development of several European guidance documents and standards. He is member of the European Clinical Investigation and Evaluation working group and is representing Team NB and NB MED in several European discussions regarding the clinical requirements such as MEDDEV and other Guidance Documents on Innovative Devices. Dr Akra is member of the German MDR Implementation Working Group, the NAKI. He is also member of the new MDR European task forces such as the one on PSUR, SSCP, Clinical Equivalence and sufficient clinical data.

Dr Ashraf Azzabi, MedConnect North Group Member, Inward Investment Lead for NIHR CRN NENC and Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Azzabi graduated in 1992 and has worked in oncology and cancer research for many years now. He is a Consultant medical oncologist based in the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and am actively involved in research. Dr Azzabi is also the Clinical Industry Lead for NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria.

Professor Sam Eldabe, MedConnect North Group Lead and Consultant Anaesthetist at South Tees NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Eldabe was appointed Consultant in Pain Medicine at the James Cook University Hospital in 1997 and Professor of Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at Durham University in 2014. Throughout his career Prof. Eldabe has been an active user and researcher into the role of medical devices in improving patient care. His background in anaesthesia gives him 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.

Dr Teik Goh, GP at the Garth Surgery, Guisborough

Dr Goh works as a GP partner with specialist interest in community geriatric medicine. His fifteen year career started in health economics research at University of Aberdeen, followed by General Practice training and health services research at Newcastle University, and general practice and community geriatric medicine. He is experienced in bringing people together and skilled in facilitating dissemination and implementation of innovations in primary care.

Mark Grumbridge, Senior Clinical Advisor – Medical devices, MHRA

Mark is an RGN and qualified in 1991. He is part of the wider clinical team at the MHRA and one of three senior clinical advisors and has worked at the MHRA since January 2012.

His role at the MHRA involves applying a clinical perspective to the investigation of incidents relating to medical devices, engaging with stakeholders, reviewing clinical trial submissions for medical devices and providing expert advice to the device specialists to enable them to undertake incident investigations.

His role also involves dialogue with manufacturers in relation to safety information regarding medical devices.

Mark has an NHS career spanning over 30 years and has worked in many clinical areas including Haematology, Acute Medicine, Senior Management and project management. He recently graduated with a PG Dip in Healthcare Law and Ethics from the University of Dundee.

Lindsay Howard, Patient

Lindsay has had a spinal injury since 2006 but has been a T12 complete since 2015. She was at the point where painkillers were no longer useful and pain limited her in every aspect of her life so she was referred to Mr Eldabe for the Senza trial.  Lindsay worked full time as a Civil Servant and has a little boy, now 5 years old. Her main passion, apart from her family, is archery. Lindsay took part in the Nevro Senza HF10 trial in 2018-19 and it’s made a big difference to her life.

Rachel Morris, Business Manager for AHSN NENC

Rachel is a Business Manager and is responsible for supporting companies and the economic growth workstream.

Prior to working at the AHSN NENC Rachel was a Research Operations Manager for NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria where she helped found the working medical technology group MedConnect North.

Prior, Rachel worked as a Trial Co-ordinator/Manager for The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, having started her career as a Medical Statistician for The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in 2009. She has a BSc in Mathematics and a MSc in Clinical Research.

Professor Amar Rangan, Orthopaedic Surgeon at South Tees NHS Foundation Trust

Amar Rangan is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery holds the Mary Kinross Trust and the Royal College of Surgeons Chair at the Department of Health Sciences and Hull York Medical School, University of York.  He also has a full Professorship at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Oxford. Amar maintains his clinical base in Middlesbrough as a specialist shoulder surgeon and leads a programme of clinical effectiveness research and has held several substantial grants, including NIHR grants for multi-centre clinical trials. Amar is current President of the British Elbow and Shoulder Society.

Dr Peter Sargent, Head of Business Development at NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI)

Dr Peter Sargent leads a team supporting life science companies globally gain access to expertise, facilities and funding from across the NIHR and wider UK health System. His team also works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, Office for Life Sciences and the Department of International Trade to promote the UK across the globe.

Following obtaining his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from King’s College London, Peter has worked with in a variety of In Vitro Diagnostic and Drug Development companies at senior management level, leading R&D and Business Development functions in the development and commercialisation of healthcare products and services. Now working for the NIHR, he utilises his industry experience to support companies in their product development with the aim to bring new technologies and therapies into the NHS.”

Kurt Scott, Grants and Project Delivery Manager at IBEX

Kurt graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2009 with an MEng in Chemical Engineering. Following his degree, he earned a placement on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership working with Durham Business School and Microbac, a north-east water treatment company, to implement project management practice within the company.

Kurt joined IBEX in 2011 and assisted Gary the Founder and CSO in getting the operation up and running. He now works as the Grants and Project Delivery Manager and oversees the day to day operations of the company, including applying for grants and liaising with project stakeholders.

Dr Lisa Shaw, Principal Research Associate at Newcastle University

Dr Lisa Shaw is the Principal Research Associate with the Stroke Research Group at Newcastle University. She graduated from the University of Oxford 1998 and worked in and around the Oxford area as a junior doctor prior to moving to Newcastle upon Tyne. She joined the Stroke Research Group at Newcastle University in 2006 and was awarded her MD in 2010. She has since been involved in the design, delivery, analysis and reporting of multiple clinical research studies including large randomised controlled trials. Her current portfolio includes two diagnostic accuracy studies evaluating new technology for stroke assessment.