Founding Patrons


Founding Co-Chair – Garth Funston

Garth Funston studied medicine at St Andrews and Cambridge. He currently holds an NIH Academic Clinical Fellowship in Primary Care in Manchester. His research interests include primary care and medical education.


Founding Co-Chair – Adam Young

Adam studied medicine at St. Andrews and Cambridge, and is now a NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Neurosurgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.


Founding Honorary President – Sir Mark Walport

Sir Mark Walport was appointed Director of the Wellcome Trust in June 2003. Before joining the Trust he was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, the UK-India Roundtable and the advisory board of Infrastructure UK, and is a non-executive member of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research. He is a member of a number of international advisory bodies, including the Grand Challenges in Global Health Scientific Board and the Council of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. He received a knighthood in 2009 for services to medical research.


Founding Honorary Vice President – Dame Sally C. Davies

Professor Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer for England and also advises the UK Government.  She holds responsibility for Research and Development, and is the Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health. The CMO is the independent advisor to the Government on all medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding Public Health.  In particular, she provides professional leadership for Directors of Public Health and will lead a public health professional network for those responsible for commissioning and providing public health services. The CMO supports the Health Secretary in strengthening the Government’s collective effort to protect, promote and improve the health and wellbeing of the people of England. The CMO carries the rank of Permanent Secretary and advises the Secretary of State for Health on medical matters.  She is also the professional head of the Department’s medical staff and head of the Medical Civil Service.

Dame Sally has been actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment.  As Director-General she established the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) with a budget of £1 billion. Dame Sally led the UK delegation to the World Health Organization (WHO) Ministerial Summit in November 2004 and the WHO Forum on Health Research in November 2008.  She spoke on R&D at the World Health Assembly in May 2005 and is a member of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR).  She also chaired the Expert Advisory Committee for the development of the WHO research strategy, endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2010.  She is a member of the International Advisory Committee for A*STAR, Singapore and has advised many others on research strategy and evaluation including the Australian NHMRC.

Her own research interests focused on Sickle Cell disease. Dame Sally was awarded a DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours 2009 for services to medicine.In September 2011 Dame Sally was conferred as Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London.


Founding Honorary Vice President – Sir John Savill

Sir John Savill has held the role of Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, since 2002. Since 2008, he has also worked part-time as the Chief Scientist for the Scottish Government Health Directorates. Sir John started out in his career with a degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford in 1978, followed by a post-graduate degree in Medicine (Sheffield) in 1981 and received a PhD (London) in 1989.

After junior hospital appointments in Sheffield, Nottingham and London, he spent seven years in the Department of Medicine at the Hammersmith Hospital. In 1993, he moved to the Chair of Medicine, Nottingham, and then in 1998 became Professor of Medicine, Edinburgh, where he was the first Director of the University of Edinburgh/MRC Centre for Inflammation Research. He was a member of the Medical Research Council from 2002 to 2008 and chaired two Research Boards during this period. Sir John was knighted in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List for services to clinical science and appointed as Chief Executive and Deputy Chair of the Medical Research Council in 2010.


Founding Honorary Vice President – Sir John Bell

Professor Sir John Bell FRS HonFREng PMedSci, is Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. Professor Bell went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to train in medicine and undertook postgraduate training in London and at Stanford University. At Stanford he developed research interests in the area of immunology and genetics with a particular focus on characterising the molecular events associated with susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. He returned to Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow in 1987 and was elected to the Nuffield Professorship of Clinical Medicine in Oxford in 1992. In 2002, he became the Regius Professor of Medicine.  He was appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2006 to Chair the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR), the body responsible to co-ordinate the research functions of the NIHR and the MRC.  In 2008 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and was made a Knight Bachelor for his services to Medical Science.  He was President of The Academy of Medical Sciences from 2006-2011.


Founding Honorary Vice President – Dr John Williams

Dr John Williams trained initially as a neuroscientist at the National Institute for Medical Research, London. Postdoctoral training followed at Stanford and Duke. In 1998 he changed direction and embarked on a career in science administration when he joined the Wellcome Trust. John has held a number of roles within the organisation. He is currently Head of Clinical Activities and Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health.


Founding Senior Treasurer – Professor David Lomas

David received his medical degree from the University of Nottingham in 1985 and undertook his PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1990.  He was then awarded an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship and was appointed as a University Lecturer at the University of Cambridge in 1994.  He was elected to the Professorship of Respiratory Biology in 1998.  David has been Deputy Director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research since 2002.  David also serves on the Steering Committees of ECLIPSE and the COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium (USA) and is a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge.