A focus on helping patients

Dr Giovanni Biglino is FLIER participant and a Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics at the University of Bristol. He is interested in a multidisciplinary approach to health and is a proponent of patient involvement in research. Here he tells us what he has learned on the FLIER programme and how it’s helping him to focus on helping patients.


Q: What have you learnt on the FLIER programme and how are you putting it into practice?

A: FLIER has allowed me to frame my ideas, ambitions and curiosities into a vision and provided tools and concepts for implementing it. I find myself mapping my ideas and how they can be positioned in the broader health sector, being more ambitious, but at the same time more realistic about the possibilities.  

Q: Has there been anything surprising about the programme?

A: For my cohort, FLIER started right at the time of the COVID pandemic in February 2020, so the Academy redesigned the programme into an online experience. I was surprised how much our group bonded, despite never really meeting up, and how we could develop conversations, while also having fun and supporting each other. I am really inspired by the people on the programme. 

Q: What issue in health research do you want to take on and why?

A: As a biomedical engineer with a passion for the arts, I would like to bring ideas from the arts and humanities into the design of medical technology for patient benefit. I’d like to see a shift in our focus from a medical problem we are trying to solve to the individual who is experiencing that problem.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

A: On the FLIER programme, we have been discussing the importance of saying no. But I’m not sure I would recommend it to my younger self, because that would imply not having some of the experiences that have taken me to where I am now. What I would recommend is to be more aware of my restlessness and those times when impatience may have led to overlooking the content of what I was doing. Being enthusiastic does not mean being restless all the time. On the contrary, a less hurried approach can help you focus on the subject of your enthusiasm. 


Dr Giovanni Biglino is a participant in Round 2 of the Academy of Medical Sciences’ FLIER programme, a unique programme that will develop leaders of the future who can create collaborations across academia, industry, the NHS and government to drive innovation.

The FLIER programme is generously supported by the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation and the Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ‘Investment in Research Talent’ fund. You can find out more about our funding model and explore our donors here, or visit our Support Us webpage to explore ways to help our work.