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Reflect & Connect: Research Before, During and After COVID19

Over five days in May this Virtual Event will cover three Streams on each of the days. There are 14 sessions each of 45 minutes duration over the course of the week. The streams are:

  • Policy & Decision Making (12:00 each day)
  • Inside COVID19 Research (14:00 each day)
  • Making Research Happen (17:00 each day)


Monday 17th May

When science takes centre stage

Presenter: Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Care)

Find out more about the speaker

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam was appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer in October 2017. He leads on health protection.

Career highlights:
• Clinical experience in emergency medicine, anaesthesia, general medicine and infectious diseases
• Clinical academic training in public health medicine
• Became Clinical Senior Lecturer at Nottingham in 1997
• Worked in the pharmaceutical and vaccines industries from 2000 (SmithKline Beecham 2000 to 2001, Roche Products Ltd 2001 to 2002 and Sanofi-Pasteur MSD 2002 to 2004)
• Became Consultant Epidemiologist and Head of the Pandemic Influenza Office at the UK Health Protection Agency in 2004
• Returned to Nottingham in 2007 as Clinical Professor of Health Protection
• Consultant to the World Health Organization on influenza since 2004
• Sat on the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during the 2009 to 2010 pandemic crisis and afterwards
• Chair of UK New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threat Advisory Group (NERVTAG), 2014 to 2017


Inside the COVID19 vaccine trials delivery programme

Presenter: Professor Andrew Ustianowski (Research Lead and Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Tropical Medicine, North Manchester General Hospital)

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Professor Andrew Ustianowski is a Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the Regional Infection Unit, North Manchester General Hospital, UK; the Deputy Clinical Director in Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network; and Joint National Specialty Lead for Infection for the UK National Institute of Health Research.
Currently he is the national clinical lead for the UK NIHR COVID Vaccine Research Programme, is UK chief investigator on 7 COVID studies and has been an investigator on multiple other SARS-CoV2 trials. He is a member of the national NIHR Urgent Public Health Committee.
Dr Ustianowski graduated from Guy’s Hospital, London, UK and subsequently trained in Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine, HIV and General Medicine in the London region.


Recognising the contribution and impact of the nurse and midwifery research workforce throughout Covid-19

Presenter: Professor Jean White CBE (Chief Nursing Officer, Wales)

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Prof Jean White CBE MStJ was appointed as Chief Nursing Officer for Wales in October 2010. Welsh by birth, she trained as a general nurse in Swansea and practised as a theatre nurse in Wales and London. Jean has held positions in nurse education, at the Welsh National Board, Health Professions Wales and Welsh Government. Jean has worked with a number of European Governments and is currently an expert adviser to WHO European Region.

Since appointment as CNO her main priority has been on developing the nursing and midwifery workforce in Wales and is currently engaged in implementing and extending the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act 2016. She has policy responsibility for maternity services in NHS Wales and is focussed on implementing the new Vision for Maternity Service (2019). She is a passionate advocate for human rights. Her team is overseeing the cross government programme, Improving Lives, which supports people with learning disabilities living in Wales.

Jean is an Honorary Visiting Professor to the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Cardiff University, Visiting Professor to University of South Wales, Fellow of Swansea University, Fellow of Bangor University and was made Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute in November 2016. She was acknowledged in the inaugural Nursing Times Nurse Leaders 2014 list. Awarded a CBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list and became a Member of the Order of St John in 2018. She was recognised as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives in May 2020.


Tuesday 18th May

Integrating, Improving, Innovating

Presenter: Janet Messer (Director of Approvals Service, Health Research Authority)

Find out more about the speaker

Janet Messer is Director of Approvals Service at the Health Research Authority. She is responsible for the Research Ethics, Confidentiality Advice, Assessment and Assurance services, alongside the supporting guidance, advice and learning functions. Her team works collaboratively with a wide range of partner organisations to fulfil the HRA’s aims to make it easier to do good quality ethical research in the UK. She has a PhD in biochemistry from University of Cambridge, a Masters in Medical Law, along with many years’ experience of clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry, NHS R&D and the NIHR Clinical Research Network.



Presenter: Professor Christopher Butler (Professor of Primary Care, Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit, University of Oxford)


Public Involvement in a Public Health Emergency

Presenter: Jim Elliott (Public Involvement Lead, Health Research Authority)

Find out more about the speaker

Jim provides leadership to the Health Research Authority on the involvement of patients and the public in health research [part time] as part of his work as an advocate for patients in research. He has been a carer for close family with cancer and other health conditions for many years. His career has been spent in health research management across the commercial, public and voluntary sectors. His combined experiences have led to an interest in helping to ensure that patients and the public can make a contribution to the design, conduct and management of health research. Jim is currently involved as a public contributor in the work of Cancer Research UK, the Wales Cancer Research Centre, Genomics Partnership Wales and two research projects at the Health Services Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen on the retention of patients in clinical trials and is a public involvement adviser to the Good Clinical Trials Collaborative. His involvement in research also includes being a member of the Consumer Forum of the National Cancer Research Institute, Independent Cancer Patients’ Voice and Health and Care Research Wales’ public involvement community.


Wednesday 19th May

The future of R&D in the UK

Presenter: Emma Lowe (Research Policy Senior Manager – Industry Relations & Growth, DHSC)



Presenter: Professor Martin Landray (Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford)

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Martin Landray is Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health and Acting Director at the Big Data Institute, University of Oxford, UK. He leads the clinical trials programme for Health Data Research UK and NHS DigiTrials, the national health data hub for clinical trials. His research focuses on the use of digital technology and quality-by-design principles for large randomized trials of treatments for cardiovascular and kidney disease. He is co-chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial, the national priority platform trial of potential treatments for patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in the UK.
Prof Landray is heavily involved in international efforts to streamline clinical trials and the guidelines and regulations that govern their conduct. He is a member of the European Society of Cardiology Regulatory Affairs Committee and leads the Good Clinical Trials Collaborative, supported by Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and African Academy of Sciences.


Cost of COVID

Presenter: Philip Smith (Associate Director of Research and Development, UKRD/R&D Forum Finance Group)


Thursday 20th May

Regulation for the future

Presenter: Martin O’Kane (Head of Clinical Trials Unit, MHRA)

Find out more about the speaker

Dr Martin O’Kane MRPharmS is Unit Manager of the Clinical Trials Unit in the Licensing Division of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). He studied pharmacy at University of Aston and after completing a PhD in pharmacology and post-doctorate neuroscience research project at the University of Glasgow, moved to Japan to work within the pharmaceutical industry. He joined the MHRA in 2005 as a Pharmacopoeial Scientist within the British Pharmacopoeia and moved to the MHRA Clinical Trials Unit as a Pharmaceutical Assessor in 2007. He became Unit Manager of the Clinical Trials Unit in November 2015 and has been actively involved in development of new clinical trials systems and procedures and well as the UKs exit from the EU. Most recently he has been involved in supporting expedited approval of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics and the recovery and resilience of non-COVID trials.



Presenter: Professor Anthony Gordon (Chair in Anaesthesia and Critical Care and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine, Imperial College)


The future of industry research and rebuilding the charity sector

Presenter: Dr Sheuli Porkess & AMRC (Interim Medical Director, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry)

Find out more about the speaker

Dr Sheuli Porkess is the Interim Medical Director at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and co-Chair of the Advisory Group to the DHSC Clinical Research Recovery, Resilience & Growth Programme. She is also Director of Actaros Consultancy and Chair of the Policy and Communications Group at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.
Sheuli is an experienced pharmaceutical physician and her career began in clinical medicine in the NHS. Sheuli has held a number of medical leadership roles in companies at a national, regional and international level, living and working in different countries as well as expertise in policy development within the UK and internationally. Sheuli is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in the UK and a Global Fellow in Medicine Development with IFAPP.


Friday 21st May

Stop, start, restart

Presenter: Dr William van’t Hoff (Chief Executive Officer, NIHR Clinical Research Network)



Presenter: Professor Chris Brightling (Professor in Respiratory Medicine, Department of Respiratory Sciences, University of Leicester)

Find out more about the speaker

Chris Brightling is a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Respiratory Theme Lead for Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Director Institute for Lung Health and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician, Leicester, UK. He is COVID-19 Leicester research lead, CI PHOSP-COVID, local PI for RECOVERY trial and ERS COVID-19 Clinical Research Collaboration co-chair.
He is Coordinator for the European Union Consortium AirPROM, MRC/ABPI COPD (COPDMAP) Consortium, the MRC Molecular Pathology Node EMBER and Respiratory lead for the IMI 3TR. He was founding Director of the European Respiratory Society Clinical Research Collaborations and is the current ERS Science Council Chair. His research focusses on improving the clinical management and understanding the immunopathogenesis of the airway diseases asthma, chronic cough and COPD. He has published over 390 peer-reviewed articles and has an h-index of 100 (google scholar). He is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians’ Cough Guidelines, the British Thoracic Society, American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Severe Asthma guidelines and is on the scientific committee for the Global INitiative for Asthma – GINA.


Frequently Asked Questions

To register to attend Reflect & Connect please click the button at the bottom of this page. 

Registration is £100 (+VAT) per person. This fee covers attending all 5 days of the event and also gives access to the recorded sessions after the event. 

You can attend as many of the sessions as you want. If you are unable to attend a specific session you can watch the recording of the session at a later date. 

Prior to the event you will be sent a login to a webpage. This webpage will direct you the sessions that you can view online. 

Yes. We will be having live Q&A in as many of the sessions as possible.