Future leaders announced: FLIER programme launch



The Academy of Medical Sciences has announced the first participants of its novel Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research (FLIER) Programme today (7 February, 2019).  

17 participants from organisations across the life sciences landscape have been selected for the first round of the prestigious FLIER leadership programme.

The FLIER Programme aims to equip emerging leaders with skills to help solve the biggest health challenges we will face, and enable them to seize opportunities afforded by new discoveries in science, technology and medicine.

Selected through a competitive process, FLIER will bring together future leaders from academia, the NHS, industry and policy organisations for a two-year, immersive and cross-sector learning experience.

Participants joining the first cohort of the FLIER Programme include:

  • Chelsea Roche, Senior Legal Counsel at LifeArc and an experienced Intellectual Property lawyer
  • Dr Jennifer Logue, clinical reader and honorary consultant in metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow
  • Dr Kinan Muhammed, a clinical lecturer in neurology and neuroscience at the University of Oxford
  • Dr Paul Wicks, who is vice president of innovation at PatientsLikeMe

A full list of the participants is available here.

Professor Martin Humphries FMedSci, chair of the FLIER Programme development Taskforce said:

“The first participants of our FLIER leadership programme exemplify what is different about this scheme. Drawn from fields as far apart as policy making, industry, academia and healthcare, they share a common desire to challenge the status quo and solve complex and intangible health challenges collaboratively.”

“The first cohort will shape the programme as they go through it, leaving a legacy for future participants. We look forward to following how this innovative programme enhances the participants’ leadership and collaboration skills, and how this shapes their approach to the pressing health challenges they hope to solve in coming years.”

The FLIER Programme launch event on 7 February will bring FLIER participants together with existing leaders in biomedical and health sectors, including the UK’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor, the President of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation.

Dr Katherine Sleeman, an NIHR clinician scientist and honorary consultant in palliative medicine at King’s College London who is a FLIER participant, said:

“I was attracted to FLIER because of my vision of building an academic career that does not conform to traditional barriers. Many of the greatest health gains in future will come from collaborations between academic medicine, health services research, social science and policy.”

“I want to lead research that utilises the power of data to understand and improve end of life care, and to integrate this with high level policy engagement to improve outcomes for patients and society. FLIER will allow me to build my leadership skills alongside participants from sectors I will need to work with in the future.”

Dr Elin Haf Davies, is the CEO of digital health company Aparito and will be on the first FLIER cohort, said:

“My experience as a paediatric nurse, caring for children with rare diseases, showed me that some of the tests we currently use to monitor disease are time consuming, redundant and painful. This experience, combined with my time at the European Medicines Agency, inspired me to bring together a diverse range of experts to set up a MedTech company. Aparito is based in North Wales and aims to use medical technology to enable remote realtime monitoring of health conditions.”

“To benefit from a tech product in healthcare, we must really consider its impact on all parts of the life sciences ecosystem, including patients, the NHS, regulators, policy makers and funders. I want the FLIER Programme to give me the skills to navigate these sectors to explore the benefits of using patient data led technology to help patients and healthcare practitioners.”

Emlyn Samuel, Head of Policy Development at Cancer Research UK is also in the first FLIER cohort, he said:

“The UK is a world leader in clinical research, benefiting patients across the UK and ultimately worldwide. But for that to continue we must keep up with scientific advances and adapt quickly to support better ways of testing new treatments and interventions. This is an area I am particularly passionate about, and to make a difference I will need to work across different sectors, including healthcare regulators, industry, the NHS and academia. FLIER gives me the chance to better understand these sectors and find ways to help to bridge the gaps.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies DBE FRS FMedSci, Chief Medical Officer for England, who is attending the FLIER launch event said:

“Developing leaders with skills to navigate multiple sectors in the biomedical ecosystem will be necessary to help tackle some of the most complex health challenges we face, such as Antimicrobial Resistance and our growing rates of obesity. I am looking forward to seeing the FLIER participants develop and redefine what it means to be a leader in biomedical and heath research.”

FLIER was developed with input from a steering group of experts drawn from academia, industry and the NHS, alongside award winning leadership consultants Cirrus. The development of the scheme was funded by the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation and the UK Government through their Investment in Research Talent fund.

The first phase of the programme will expose participants to current national and international leaders across the wider scientific and health ecosystem, and provide face-to-face and virtual workshops, coaching and mentoring to enhance the participants’ knowledge and skills. Later this year the participants will also have the opportunity to increase their network through immersion experiences with other organisations across multiple sectors in the life sciences. In the second year of the programme the participants will undertake a collaborative work-based project, with the support of their cohort, mentor and coaches.

Read about how the FLIER Future Leaders will transform the landscape in a blog from our President, Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci.

Round 2 will be open for applications in August 2019. Visit our FLIER Programme page to find out more.

For enquiries about the programme please contact FLIER@acmedsci.ac.uk.

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