Monday 29th April 2024

Health Tech Spring Conference

Date & Time

April 29 · 2pm - April 30 · 5pm


Titanic Belfast, 1 Olympic Way Belfast BT3 9EP

Our Sponsors

About Event

Hosted by the Health Innovation and Research Alliance NI (HIRANI), Health Tech Spring is a two-day conference taking place in Belfast on 29 & 30 April 2024.

With local and global partners, the conference will focus on two strands; digital ecosystems to integrate diagnostics and therapeutics; and community people-centred design to accelerate innovation and adoption of health technology.

Following on from a sold-out summit last year, HIRANI have expanded the event into a two-day conference which will include a “Life Sciences, Life Support” event for businesses who provide support services to the life science industry. With Innovation zones and pitching events, global keynotes and local thought leaders, Health Tech Spring promises to be an iconic conference hosted in the Titanic Building.

Day one Monday 29th April 2024 FREE EVENT
1.30pm to 5.30pm followed by a HIRANI pulse networking event.

Taking place in The Andrews Gallery at the Titanic Building in Belfast,  our Life Sciences, Life Support event will showcase everything from funding to design, regulation to promotion – all  you need to know to start or expand your innovation journey.

With 25 exhibitors, masterclasses, bootcamps, and networking events – this is a day not to be missed for anyone involved with, or interested in, NI Health and Life Science. From communications to legal, finance, investment and regulatory workshops,  the event will provide opportunities to innovators to network and connect with the support they need to progress their idea from concept to market.

Day two Tuesday 30th April 2024 
From 9.30am to 5.30pm

Following on from a sold-out summit last year, HIRANI have expanded the event to include Innovation zones and pitching events, global keynotes and local thought leaders.

Over 50 speakers from global and indigenous industry, academia and health along with 500 delegates will share case-studies and take part in multi-disciplinary panel sessions to explore contemporary issues.

PLEASE NOTE: With the Health Tech Spring Full Conference Ticket, you are permitted to attend the Life Sciences, Life Support free event and do not require to purchase an additional ticket.

Conor Murphy

Conor Murphy MLA was appointed Economy Minister on 3 February 2024.

Having first been elected to the Assembly in 1998, Mr Murphy served as Finance Minister between 2020 and 2022 and Minister for Regional Development between 2007 and 2011. He has also been a member of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr Murphy was MP for Newry and Armagh between 2005 and 2015.

Dr Victoria Manax

Medical Oncologist

Victoria Manax M.D., is a medical oncologist with over 20 years of experience in solid tumor cancer states. She specializes in global drug development, medical affairs, and patient advocacy. Dr. Manax has been involved in the development, approval, and launch of multiple billion-dollar drugs including the standard of care for pancreatic cancer, Abraxane. Most well-known for innovative clinical trial designs, Dr. Manax has managed many $100M global clinical trial programs and is a well-known panelist amongst regulatory agencies around the world.  She currently holds several clinical advisory positions, patents, and chair positions for multiple data, safety, and monitoring boards. Dr. Manax is on the board for TrovaNOW, Data Safety Monitoring Chair (DSMC) of REMAP-CAP for COVID-19, and DSMC co-chair for ATTACC (Antithrombotic Therapy to Ameliorate Complications of COVID-19). She most recently served as the Chief Medical Officer of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and was the GI Disease Lead at Celgene.

Victoria is also part of the US Life Sciences Advisory Board to Northern Ireland

Dr Hakim Yadi

Chair of the Board

Hakim is a Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Closed Loop Medicine. Closed Loop Medicine (CLM) is a new breed of therapeutics company focused on care pathways, outcomes and the provision of dynamic personalised regimens. The company combines proven drugs with digital therapeutics and, where relevant, devices and diagnostics, through a single prescription enabling the digitisation and data capture of an entire care continuum.

He joined CLM from the Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd, the pan-Northern health partnership which brought together for the first time 20 research-based NHS hospitals, the North’s Academic Health Science Networks and Universities to collaborate on improving health outcomes across the North.

He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and in 2017 he was awarded an OBE for services to Healthcare Technology and the Economy. Hakim is also Chair of the HIRANI Board of Directors.

Rebecca Walsh

Rebecca is an award-winning service designer, engineer and digital health expert. A Chartered Mechanical Engineer (IMechE), Rebecca holds an MEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast and brings over ten years of experience in user-centred design and service innovation to her role as Service Design Director at Big Motive.

Rebecca is responsible for the delivery of high-quality experience health design projects for a range of Big Motive’s clients, spanning private health technology startups to large public sector health systems. As a teacher and advisor, Rebecca is member of Matrix, Northern Ireland’s Science Industry Panel and delivers an interactive design-led module for the MBA programme at Queen’s University.

Professor William Gallagher

Professor of Cancer Biology
University College Dublin Co-Lead
All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI) Scientific Director
St. Vincent’s-UCD Cancer Centre

Professor William Gallagher is Full Professor of Cancer Biology at University College Dublin (UCD) and Deputy Director of Precision Oncology Ireland, a large-scale Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Strategic Partnership Programme involving 5 academic institutions, 6 cancer charities and 7 companies ( He is also Scientific Director of the recently established St. Vincent’s-UCD Cancer Centre (

Currently, Prof. Gallagher is a primary driving force behind the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI), which is creating an overarching framework for cancer research across the entire island of Ireland ( AICRI-linked programmes were recently awarded over 12 million euro under the recent HEA North-South Research Programme, including an all-island Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine (AICRIstart) which Prof. Gallagher co-leads.

From 2016-2021, Professor Gallagher was Director of the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, one of Ireland’s largest biomedical research facilities. From 2013-2019, he was the Director of BREAST-PREDICT, which was the first Irish Cancer Society Collaborative Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) to be funded ( This country-wide CCRC, which was supported to the level of 7.5 million euro and involved 6 academic institutions, as well as Cancer Trials Ireland, focused on developing more personalised treatment approaches for breast cancer.

Prof. Gallagher has received a number of awards for his research and innovation achievements in the oncology arena, including the inaugural Irish Association for Cancer Research Medal in 2017, the SFI Entrepreneurship Award in 2019 and the SFI Researcher of the Year Award in 2021. Prof. Gallagher has co-founded two molecular diagnostics companies, OncoMark Ltd. and OncoAssure Ltd., the former being acquired in March 2021 by the US company Danaher (Cepheid division).

Richard Kennedy

Richard Kennedy is Professor of Medical Oncology at Queen’s University of Belfast and Global VP and Medical Director at Almac. He graduated in medicine from Queen’s University Belfast in 1995. As a post-graduate he trained as a medical oncologist and received a PhD in Molecular Biology in 2004. From 2004-2007 he worked as an Instructor in Oncology at Harvard Medical School, USA, where he identified novel biomarkers and drug targets for cancer treatment.

This work was published in several high impact journals and the associated patent was in-licensed by a Boston-based start-up company in 2007. In August 2007 he joined Almac Diagnostic Services as a College of American Pathologists approved molecular lab director and has been responsible for the development and delivery of precision medicine biomarkers in over 300 clinical studies on behalf of multiple large pharmaceutical companies.

In 2011 he also established a research group In Queen’s University Belfast focussed on various aspects of precision medicine. He continues to publish regularly in this field. He currently sits on the MATRIX NI Government science advisory panel and the Royal College of Physicians Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine Oncology Advisory group. He is a past member of the MRC Stratified Medicine Panel and the CR-UK new agents committee.

Kerry Curran

Director, GB & Eu Trade Division, Department for the Economy

Kerry leads the Departments work to ensure Northern Ireland business opportunities are maximised in both the UK and Europe. She also has lead responsibility for the development of the Life and Health Sciences focus in the 10X Economy Strategy.

Kerry previously led the InterTradeIreland strategy, policy, research, and partnerships functions. She has more than twenty years’ experience of working in strategic policy research roles and has held similar roles at Queen’s University Belfast, The Environment Agency (GB) and Renewable UK.  She has a degree in Environmental Science, a Masters in Economics in Policy Analysis and a Masters in Business Administration and more than 5 years of Charity Board experience.

Professor Tony Young

Associate Medical Director

Tony is a practicing frontline NHS surgeon, Associate Medical Director at the Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group, Director of Medical Innovation at Anglia Ruskin University, and has founded 4 Med-Tech start-ups. He has also co-founded the £500 million Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus.

In 2014 he was appointed as National Clinical Director for Innovation at NHS England and in February 2016 became the first National Clinical Lead for Innovation. In this role he provides clinical leadership and support in delivering improved health outcomes in England and drives the uptake of proven innovations across the NHS, promotes economic growth through innovation and helps make the NHS the go to place on the planet for medical innovation. In 2015 he founded the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur programme. This has become the world’s largest entrepreneurial workforce development programme for clinicians and under the NHS Long Term Plan is set for a major expansion to include entrepreneurs.

In the 2019 New Year’s Honours list Tony was awarded the OBE for services to clinical leadership.

Prof. Mahendra Patel

Professor Mahendra G Patel OBE PhD FHEA Alumni FNICE FIPA (India) Hon DHealth FIIOPM FRPharmS

Mahendra is a leading pharmacist and trailblazer in the world of pharmacy. He is a multi-award winner and the first to gain a Fellowship from NICE. He is a founding member and Director of the Centre for Research Equity University of Oxford.

Mahendra is a national lead at the University of Oxford in the world’s largest recruiting clinical trials for Covid-19. His presentation will be about improving inclusive research through two large-scale clinical trials in primary care, which has been showcased on international platforms, including the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.

In 2022 he was made Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for contributions to pharmacy.

Rory Campbell

Rory is a Partner in Lewis Silkin’s Technology & Communications division on Belfast. For over 25 years he has advised clients on technology investments, acquisitions, and deals. Rory’s experience ranges from advising start-ups on the nimble art of protecting and selling their creations at the same time, to advising government departments and public sector bodies on how to ensure value for money and fulfilment of requirements in multi-million-pound IT procurement projects. Rory is passionate about being at forefront of the continual development of best practice tech law as it races to catch up with technological change. He regularly writes and lectures on technology issues, including IT licensing structures, open-source software and data privacy by design in tech products.

Prof. Joan Condell

Professor Joan Condell leads the Human Centred Computing team in Ulster University (Northern Ireland) focusing on data analytics, AI and (wearable/ambient) IoT sensors for a range of applied sectors.  She manages a team of PhD researchers and Research Associates/Fellows across multiple national, EU and commercial projects (has led over 100 projects in her career).  Professor Condell has published over 250 papers and actively secured grants from external sources with a total project value over £56M. 

Professor Condell has considerable commercial experience; she is CEO of a spinout company ActionSense Ltd and exited a previous spinout company (HidInImage Ltd).  She has numerous patents filed in UK and US; and has completed trials with key industrial players with a range of technologies.  Joan has won Innovation and Enterprise awards for this commercialisation work for creativity and bio-entrepreneurship.  I plan to present the latest prize our team has won, with Dr Frances Duffy, the Longitude Prize for Dementia and ongoing work in NI with NHSCT and eClear.

Colum Lowe

Director, Design Age Institute at the Royal College of Art

Colum is a senior design leader with a significant track record of developing inclusive products and services in the private, public and charitable sectors.

He has been Head of Design at a range of organisations including Sainsbury’s Homebase, Ministry of Justice and the NHS, where he delivered a multi-partner programme to advance the patient safety agenda for the NHS.

He has worked closely throughout his career with marginalised user groups, including those with age-related physical and mental frailty. His experience includes running the design firms Crabtree Hall and CaulderMoore, as well as his own consultancy and founding the Independent Safeguarding Service CIC.

Colum also spent 15 years helping the Design Council to develop and deliver its flagship design intervention programme, Designing Demand. He holds an MBA in Design Management from the University of Westminster and originally trained as a product designer at Chelsea School of Art.

Gráinne McVeigh

Gráinne McVeigh is Director  of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering and Life Sciences, at Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s economic development agency, responsible for promoting and developing companies in these sectors to compete internationally and encouraging  new investment

In her career at Invest NI, Gráinne held the position of Head of International Sales and Marketing and before joining Invest Northern Ireland, Gráinne worked for SkillSoft Corporation, an online learning company where she managed global accounts. 

Gráinne has a degree in French from Lancaster University and an MBA in International Business from University of Ulster. Gráinne also holds a Diploma in Marketing, a Diploma in Personnel Management and a Diploma in Company Direction, from the Institute of Directors. 

Prof. Judy Bradley

Professor Judy Bradley is currently the SRO/CEO iREACH Health. She is Director of the Wellcome Trust-Wolfson Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility & is also a Co-lead Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (Respiratory Health)

Prior to this, Professor Bradley held a joint appointment in Physiotherapy between Ulster University and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. She completed her degree B.Sc. in Physiotherapy in Ulster University in 1994 after which she worked as a Physiotherapist within the UK. In 1999 she completed her PhD which focused on the development and testing of a field exercise test for CF.

In 1998 she was appointed as Lecturer Practitioner/Reader in Physiotherapy, between Ulster University and Regional Adult CF Centre, until 2012 when she was appointed as Professor in Physiotherapy at Ulster University. She joined Queen’s University Belfast in July 2015 when appointed as Director of the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility. In March 2022 Professor Bradley was appointed SRO/CEO of iREACH Health which is One of the innovation projects within the BRCD.  iREACH Health will build a wider healthcare ecosystem to support the development of new treatments that will be rapidly assessed in early phase R&D programmes. This will allow the Belfast region to leverage additional industrial investment and funding for R&D, attract and retain skilled individuals to ensure sustainability in the Life and Health Science (LHS) sector, drive economic growth and ultimately deliver better treatments to patients in NI.

Professor Bradley is currently lead applicant on a NIHR grant, in excess of £1million, evaluating the efficacy of mucolytic therapies in bronchiectasis and leads this trial within up to twenty sites across the UK.

Professor Bradely is a Co-investigators on the study iREHAB from January 2022 Remote multicomponent rehabilitation compared to standard care for survivors of critical illness after hospital discharge: a randomised controlled assessor-blind clinical and cost-effectiveness trial with internal pilot.

Professor Bradley’s research programme is focused on respiratory health. She is involved in several programmes exploring the effectiveness of therapies linked to optimising airway clearance via pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches as well as rehabilitation and adherence interventions. These programmes are funded for example by MRC, NIHR and are multi-centre and employ a wide range of trial designs (RCT, observational) and methodologies (both quantitative and qualitative methods).

Prof. Paul Rodgers

Paul A. Rodgers is Professor of a Design at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He has 25+ years in product design research and has held positions at renowned institutions including Imagination, Lancaster University, Northumbria University School of Design, and the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge. He has published over 190 papers in all of the leading design journals and 16 books including the second edition of “The Routledge Companion to Design Research”. His design books have been published in several languages including Spanish, Italian, and Chinese. Rodgers was a founding member of the Design Disruption Group and has led impactful projects for UK Research and Innovation, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Scottish Government. His Design Research for Change work tackles issues like dementia health and social care, net zero, and sustainable design practices. Currently, Rodgers is the Series Editor for Routledge’s Design Research for Change book series. In Autumn 2023, he secured £4.625M UKRI / AHRC funding for his latest project entitled Design HOPES, one of four UK Green Transition Ecosystem Hubs, that aims to innovate NHS Scotland’s health ecosystem and contribute to the UK’s net zero agenda. More at

Dr Janice Bailie

Janice Bailie completed a PhD in Biochemistry at Queen’s University Belfast in 1990, and post-doctoral research in Ophthalmology at Queen’s, and in the Radiation Science Group, Ulster University.  From 1998-2005, she was Divisional R&D Manager in Molecular Biology at Randox Laboratories Ltd. She joined the HSC R&D Office as Programme Manager in January 2005, and has since managed a programme of infrastructure initiatives and funding awards such as the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Networks, the Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit, the Clinical Research Facility and the Northern Ireland Biobank.  Janice was appointed to the role of Assistant Director of HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency, in June 2013.  She has worked on two Horizon 2020 consortia, in health services and personalized health, and led on a €105m INTERREGVA project, to promote cross-border healthcare interventions in Ireland. 

Lucy George

Head of Innovation for Oncology at Astrazenca UK , working with health systems , academia and technology organisations to forge partnerships that evolve cancer care.

Margaret Grayson

Margaret Grayson lives in Belfast and before retirement worked in the NHS as a Therapy Radiographer with a specific interest in Psycho-Social Oncology. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 with a second diagnosis in 2021. All her treatment decisions were based on research and Margaret believes that excellence in health care is based on excellence in research. She has been partnering with researchers since 2010 and is passionate about research that brings benefit to both patients and the NHS; Personal and Public Involvement is central in this.

She is a member of HSC R&D PIER (Public Involvement Enhancing Research) and the NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum, which she chaired from 2011 to 2021. Margaret is a facilitator for HSC R&D Building Research Partnerships workshop. She is the HSC NI Public Contributor on the HRA/NIHR Shared Commitment Steering Group. She is the PIER representative on the NI Clinical Research Resilience and Growth Oversight Group and co-chairs the PPI and Priority sub-group.

Margaret is Chair of the National Cancer Institute / CRUK Cancer Grand Challenges Global Advocacy Panel and sits with the Scientific Committee. She is also a member of Use My Data and ICPV (Independent Cancer Patient’s Voice).

Margaret was awarded the MBE for services to cancer research in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2018.

Dr Frances Burns

Dr Frances Burns is lead for the Northern Ireland Trusted Research Environment (NITRE), and implementation of regulations for controlled use of confidential patient information for purposes other than direct care. She is Director of the Northern Ireland Public Data Panel (NIPDP) a cross-sectoral infrastructure for public dialogue in Northern Ireland.

Dr Jenny Rivers

Dr Jenny Rivers, Director of Research & Development, Barts Health NHS Trust

Jenny joined Barts Health NHS Trust in October 2023 to develop and deliver the Trust’s research strategy. In this role, Jenny oversees the Trust’s research resources and infrastructure, including the Joint Research Management Office with Queen Mary University of London, the NIHR Barts Health Clinical Research Facility and Biomedical Research Centre and hosts the Local Clinical Research Network, supporting clinical research delivery across North London. 

This is Jenny’s third NHS role; she was at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust for five years, in the role of Acting Director of Research & Innovation for the last seven months, following her role as Associate Director of Research at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to these roles, Jenny has worked in a variety of research management roles at the University of Liverpool, most recently Research and Impact Manager for the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Jenny is an experienced research leader, having led large teams, driven research strategy across the NHS, academia and beyond, and managed operations, governance and finance across complex and diverse research portfolios. Jenny has a BSc in Bioveterinary Science and a PhD in Biochemistry and has held post-doctoral academic positions in higher education and industry.

Prof. Liam Maguire

Professor Liam Maguire is currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Ulster University.

Liam obtained MEng and PhD degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen’s University, Belfast.  He joined Ulster University as a lecturer in 1994 and held Senior Lecturer and Reader positions before becoming a Professor of Computational Intelligence in 2007. Prior to being appointed Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Engineering in September 2014, Liam held several senior positions including Head of School and Director of the Intelligent Systems Research Centre.

His research interests focus on data analytics and machine learning with particular focus on bio-inspired approaches. Author of over 250 research papers, Liam has secured extensive research funding and supervised 20 PhD and 3 MPhil students to completion.

Liam is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a chartered engineer with an extensive network of colleagues in the digital and engineering sectors in Ireland.  Liam is the university representative on the Executive Boards of three of the City/Growth deals in Northern Ireland.  He is also a Director of IUL the wholly owned knowledge and technology venturing company of Ulster University, and Director of C-TRIC: the Clinical Translational Research & Innovation Centre in the NW of Northern Ireland.

Dr Natalie Cole

Dr. Cole is the Head of Innovation at Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin. In this role she is responsible for leading the establishment of an Innovation Centre in one of the largest academic teaching hospitals in Ireland. She joined TUH in July 2021 and has already played a pivotal role in developing an extensive pipeline of innovation projects.Dr. Cole has over 20 years national & international experience in Health Research & Innovation. Dr. Cole will present the journey to date and the future plans for Innovate Health at Tallaght University Hospital

Barbara Orr

Ecosystem Senior Innovation & Growth Specialist with Innovate UK Business Growth working with businesses across Northern Ireland. 

Catherine Davies

Catherine advises digital health companies on how to partner with the NHS as well as advocating for an environment that is conducive to scaling innovation in a publicly funded healthcare system. She is the Director of the Digital Healthcare Council which is a trade body for digital health and care companies. She is a board member of the leading Westminster think tank, Reform and she also hosts the Women in Healthtech Show podcast.

Charlotte McArdle

Charlotte is the  Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Safety & Improvement, NHS England and former NI Chief Nursing Officer. With extensive experience of working in government administration, leading and shaping strategic policy in partnership working, co production, personal & public involvement and patient experience, cancer services, intermediate & community care, global healthcare challenges, health inequity and system transformation. 

Deepak Samson

Founder and CEO of Connected Care Solutions, an innovative company whose vision to develop a range of Smart Hubs for patients, carers and the elderly to enhance independent living and manage chronic conditions within a home setting.

Dr Aiden Flynn

Dr Aiden Flynn has 30 years’ experience in drug discovery and clinical development, with ten years at GlaxoSmithKline as a Director of Statistics and Advanced Analytics. In 2009, he set up Exploristics, a privately owned, Belfast-based company providing statistical products and services in support of clinical trial design and analysis.  

Dr Christina O'Neill

CEO VascVersa, an early-stage regenerative medicine company developing new cell therapies that promote vascular regeneration and repair

Dr David Ribeiro

Dr David Ribeiro is the Chief Operating Officer of ARC Regulatory, a Belfast-based company which delivers integrated solutions to the Precision Medicine sector, supporting the implementation and compliant research of in vitro diagnostics (IVD) in precision medicine trials worldwide. 

Dr Dominic Holmes

Researcher and Lead developer at eXRt Intelligent Healthcare. I am passionate & committed to developing new technology that will revolutionise how we think about and provide healthcare, in a time that healthcare providers are struggling with high demands and limited resources.

Dr Frances Duffy

Consultant Clinical Psychologist working in dementia care for 15 years, an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur, and founder of CLEAR Dementia Care. CLEAR Dementia Care won the Innovation of the Year at the 2016 Alzheimer Society Dementia Friendly Awards and was one of only 24 successful projects selected worldwide in the inaugural round of the Longitude Prize for Dementia. 

Dr Neville Young

Dr Young is Director of Enterprise & Innovation at Health Innovation Yorkshire and Humber. He has a real interest and track record in supporting the delivery of high-quality research and innovation in the United Kingdom that improves patient outcomes and drives health system efficiencies. 

Dr Paul Best

Dr Paul Best is Research Director for the Centre for Technological Innovation, Mental Health and Education at Queen’s University, Belfast. He has published over 50 research articles in the area Digital Mental Health and the use of Technology for Education and Training. 

Dr Roisin McAllister

The UK Government Department for Business and Trade NI Life and Health Science lead. This may come in from Roisin before briefing is sent so keep wee eye out.

Dr Ruth Gray

Dr Ruth Gray is Assistant Director for Quality Improvement and Innovation in SEHSCT. Ruth has 20 years’ experience in healthcare in prisons as the clinical lead for prisnon dentistry and leading the public health and health engagement work. 

Dr Ruth Price

Ruth graduated from Ulster University with a BSc Hons (first class) in Food Science and Technology with a Diploma in Industrial studies, followed by a PhD in Nutrition.  She was appointed to her current role as Clinical Trials Manager in 2012 where she is responsible for supporting the design, approvals, implementation and monitoring of highly controlled human trials in various population groups, and the governance, legal and ethical issues associated with this work. 

Dr Ryan Lafferty

Dr. Ryan Lafferty holds a Master’s in Pharmacy from QUB and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Ulster University. A pharmacist by background, Ryan’s experience as a consultant pharmacist at a diabetes-focussed startup instilled a passion to better treat metabolic diseases.

Maeve McGrath

Maeve is Head of Healthcare Innovation at Roche in Ireland and a member of the country leadership team. With a focus on driving transformative change, Maeve’s leads initiatives aimed at evolving the healthcare landscape and enhancing patient outcomes through strategic collaborations and partnerships across industries and sectors.

Prof. Christopher Scott

Chris is Dean of Research for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences at QUB. Chris has been involved in the development of a number of companies in life and health sciences in nationally and internationally, including Fusion Antibodies Plc, and is scientific co-founder of Aviceda Therapeutics and AilseVax Ltd. 

Prof. Joann Rhodes MBA

Joann started her career as a cellular pharmacologist at Pfizer, followed by an industrial fellowship at Imperial college where she developed novel immunomodulation biomarkers and therapies for respiratory disease, delivering clinical biomarker rationale for 4+ novel therapeutics to accelerate progression to the clinic. Since 2011, Joann has sought to facilitate industry-clinical-academic partnerships delivering the £16M US-UK Pfizer Rare Diseases Consortium for collaborative commercialisation of small molecule and gene therapy programmes with UK universities e.g. for DMD, Friedreich’s ataxia, NMD and CF. As Chief of staff, at MSD UK R&D Laboratories (Merck in the US) 2018-2020, working with Fiona Marshall, Joann realised the start-up vision for the new collaborative £1.3B UK R&D Innovation laboratories for Neurodegeneration at The Francis Crick Institute, in London. 

Joann’s current role as Chief Executive of HIRANI is building the ecosystem to accelerate commercialisation and adoption of innovation from the lab-clinic-patient-home. She connects knowledge with opportunities and funding to accelerate translation and inform policy to drive health & prosperity for the people and businesses of Northern Ireland, the health services and the wider, global health and life sciences economy. She also holds an Executive MBA from Imperial College and is Visiting Professor of Health & Life Sciences at Ulster University, with advisory or assessor roles at Innovate-UK, TopMD, CTRIC, Discovery Park, and the British Pharmacological Society.

Prof. Manuel Salto-Tellez

Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez (MD-LMS, FRCPath, FRCPI) is the Chair of Molecular Pathology at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), a clinical consultant pathologist and the Lead of QUB’s Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence. He is also the Professor of Integrative Pathology at the Institute for Cancer Research in London (ICR), and the lead of the Royal Marsden Hospital / ICR Integrated Pathology Unit.

Prof. Mark Lawler

Mark is a Professor of Digital Health and Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics at Queen’s University Belfast. He is Scientific Director of DATA-CAN, the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Cancer and Health Lead for the Momentum One Zero Innovation Centre as part of the Belfast Region City and Growth Deal. Mark is Chair of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership, which sets a benchmark for cancer outcomes globally. He is Chair of the Lancet Oncology European Groundshot Commission, the most comprehensive analysis of cancer research in Europe ever. 

Prof. Nigel Hart

Professor of General Practice and Primary Care, Queen’s University Belfast, GP, Medical Education, Primary Care Research, NoMoreSilos, QI, Connected Health, Mountaineer QCommunity.

Richard Phillips

Richard joined the ABHI in June 2015 with over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. 

He holds numerous advisory roles in the HealthTech space and in January will complete a 7-year tenure as a Non-Executive Director at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham.

Rosemary Ash

Rosemary heads up the Missions Team in the Office for Life Sciences, which is responsible for delivering the Life Sciences Vision Healthcare Missions to tackle the UK’s biggest healthcare challenges.  

Seamus Kearney

Seamus Kearney is the founder and CEO of ARC Regulatory, a NI-based specialist regulatory and clinical research organisation, dedicated to supporting companies in the in vitro diagnostic and precision medicine sector.  The company’s mission is to be the preferred partner for the global precision medicine and IVD industry, supporting the development of kinder treatments and expediting the highest quality clinical research for improved patient outcomes.  

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