The Genomics England Board
The Genomics England Board oversees all of our activities, ratifies all major decisions and sets the overall strategy for the organisation. Genomics England has several independent advisory committees that report to the board. These include the Ethics Advisory Committee, Science Advisory Committee, Data Advisory Committee, Access Review Committee, GeCIP Board and the Audit Committee.
Jon Symonds CBE
Jonathan Symonds CBE was appointed Deputy Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc in August 2018 and has been an independent non-executive Director since April 2014. He has extensive international financial and governance experience.
Jonathan was previously Chairman of HSBC Bank plc, HSBC’s European subsidiary, which offers services to clients in the UK and Continental Europe.
Jonathan was Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG from 2009 to 2013. Before joining Novartis he was a Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs (2007-2009); Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca plc (1997-2007); and a Partner at KPMG (1992-1997). His governance experience includes roles as non-executive Director and chair of the audit committees of Diageo plc and QinetiQ plc.
He is currently Chairman of Proteus Digital Health Inc. and Genomics England Limited. He is also a non-executive director of Rubius Therapeutics, Inc.
Jonathan is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has a BA, First Class Honours in Business Finance from the University of Hertfordshire.
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield FMedSci
Interim Chief Executive, Chief Scientist
Sir Mark graduated in Medicine in 1984 from the London Hospital Medical College and trained in Clinical Pharmacology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts) where he developed a research programme in molecular genetics of hypertension and clinical research. In 2009 he won the Lily Prize of the British Pharmacology Society. He is a Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians.
In 2000 Sir Mark successfully bid for £3.1m to create the Barts and The London Genome Centre at the Queen Mary University of London. Since 2008 he has directed the Barts National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit. In 2012 he become Co-Chair of NIHR Comprehensive Research Network Cardiovascular Sub-Speciality Group.
Sir Mark was appointed Director of the William Harvey Research Institute in 2002 and was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008. His particular areas of research are Cardiovascular Genomics and Translational Cardiovascular Research and Pharmacology.
From 2009 to 2011 Sir Mark was President of the British Hypertension Society. He has also served on the NICE Guideline Group for hypertension and leads the Joint UK Societies’ Working Group and Consensus on Renal Denervation which he has driven from research into NHS care.
In 2013 he became an NIHR Senior Investigator.
Sir Mark became interim Chief Executive of Genomics England in January 2019, and received a knighthood in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to the 100,000 Genomes Project.
Professor Sir John Bell
Professor Sir John Bell FRS is Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, and Chairman of the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research. He recently stepped down as President of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2006-2011). As a Rhodes Scholar (1975-78), Sir John undertook his medical training in the UK and then went on to Stanford University, returning to the UK in 1987. His research interests are in the area of autoimmune disease and immunology where he has contributed to the understanding of immune activation in a range of autoimmune diseases. In 1993, he founded the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, one of the world’s leading centres for complex trait common disease genetics.
Sir John was responsible for the working party that produced the highly influential Academy of Medical Sciences “Strengthening Clinical Research” report that highlighted the need for the UK to focus some of its attention on developing expertise in translational research. In December 2011, Sir John was appointed one of two UK Life Sciences Champions by the Prime Minister.
Professor Dame Sally Davies
Dame Sally became Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Advisor to the UK Government on 3 March 2010. Until 2016 she also held responsibility for Research and Development, and was the Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health & Social Care, succeeded by Professor Chris Whitty.
Dame Sally is independent advisor to the UK Government on medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding Public Health. She provides professional leadership for Directors of Public Health and leads a public health professional network for those responsible for public health services. She is professional head of the Department’s medical staff and head of the Medical Civil service.
Sally was actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment and founded the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) with a budget of £1 billion.
Sally has led UK delegations to WHO summits and forums since 2004 and has played an active role on numerous international committees including WHO Global Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR). She has advised many others on research strategy.
Her own research interests focused on sickle cell disease.
Professor Ewan Birney
Ewan Birney is a Director of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and a Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. He played a vital role in annotating the genome sequences of human, mouse, chicken and several other organisms; this work has had a profound impact on our understanding of genomic biology. Ewan also led the analysis group for the ENCODE project, which is defining functional elements in the human genome. His current areas of research include functional genomics, assembly algorithms, statistical methods to analyse genomic information and compression of sequence information.
Ewan completed his PhD at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute with Richard Durbin, and worked in the laboratories of leading scientists Adrian Krainer, Toby Gibson and Iain Campbell. He received the 2003 Francis Crick Award from the Royal Society, the 2005 Overton Prize from the International Society for Computational Biology and the 2005 Benjamin Franklin Award for contributions in Open Source Bioinformatics. Ewan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014, was appointed Honorary Professor of Bioinformatics at the Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine in 2015 and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the same year.
Professor Michael Parker
Non-Executive Director; Chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee
Michael is Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Ethox Centre at the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics Working Group on the collection, linking, use and exploitation of biological and health data, the Data Access Committee of the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium, and the Medical Research Council’s Ethics, Regulation and Public Involvement Committee.
He is also an ethics consultant to UK Biobank. He has previously been a member of a number of national and international committees and working parties including the Ethics in Practice Committee of the Royal College of Physicians and the Department of Health’s Committee for the Ethical Aspects of Pandemic Influenza. Michael chairs Genomics England’s Ethics Advisory Committee.
Professor Dame Kay Davies
Kay Davies is the Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and Director of the MRC Functional Genomics Unit at the University of Oxford. Her research interests lie in the molecular analysis and development of treatment for human genetic disease, particularly, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and the application of genomics for the analysis of neurological disorders. She has published more than 400 papers and won numerous awards for her work. She is co-founder of Summit plc which aims to develop a therapy for DMD. She also has an interest in the ethical issues associated with genetics research. She is a founding fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003. She has been a Governor of the Wellcome Trust since 2008 and became Deputy Chairman in October, 2013. She was made Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to science in 2008.
Sir Ron Kerr
Sir Ron Kerr is currently: a Special Adviser to the Board at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – with a particular focus on commercial issues; Non-Executive Chair of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP); Member, Board of Trustees, University of Bristol; and Member, Board of Trustees of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
Sir Ron Kerr’s career spans 40 years – including CEO at the National Care Standards Commission and senior leadership roles across the NHS. Sir Ron is married with three children and was knighted in 2011 for services to the NHS.
Keith Stewart brings an internationally recognised reputation as a leader in the field of genomics. He is currently: Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science (US); Consultant – Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine (Mayo Clinic); Vasek and Anna Maria Polak Professor of Cancer Research (Mayo Clinic); Carlson and Nelson Endowed Director – Center for Individualized Medicine (Mayo Clinic); and Consultant – Department of Clinical Genomics (Mayo Clinic).
Keith brings a focus on the clinical applications of genomics, sits on a number of scientific advisory boards and has considerable interest in business development activities – setting up two biotech start-ups and holding a number of patents.
Kristen McLeod is the Director for the Office for Life Sciences, a joint government unit across the Department of Health and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The Office for Life Sciences aims to improve the health and wealth of the nation by maximising the opportunities from the life sciences industry in the UK, supporting their contribution to improved health and outcomes in the NHS, and ensuring the UK is a competitive location for life sciences investment.
Prior to this role, Kristen was Director of Strategy, System Oversight and Performance at the Department of Health. In health, she has also previously been Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Health and Deputy Director of NHS Provider Policy, in addition to a number of roles in the Cabinet Office.
Steve Oldfield is currently the Department of Health and Social Care’s Chief Commercial Officer. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the healthcare industry. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer for PGT, a consumer health joint venture between Procter & Gamble and Teva, based in Geneva.
Among his other roles he has been the UK managing director for both Sanofi and Teva, and has held senior roles in Asia and Latin America. Steve has been involved for a number of years with industry–government initiatives, and has co-chaired committees looking at the introduction and adoption of new medicines.
Lord David Prior
Lord David Prior is Chair of the NHS England Board. More information TBC.