Introducing the TestEd team
The TestEd team.
Chief Investigator - Professor Tim Aitman
Professor Tim Aitman is the Director of the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine within the Institute of Genetics and Cancer. He is a Professor of Molecular Pathology and Genetics at the University of Edinburgh and Consultant Physician in NHS Lothian. Professor Aitman is the co-Director and Edinburgh PI of the Scottish Genomes Partnership, a nationally important collaboration with the NHS, and is also the Director of the Edinburgh-St Andrews Consortium for Molecular Pathology, Informatics and Genome Sciences, which founded new MRes and PGCert courses in Molecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine, through which more than 50 NHS clinicians and scientists have now graduated.
A graduate of the Birmingham Medical School and Kings College London he obtained his DPhil at Wolfson College in Oxford University. Before joining the University of Edinburgh in April 2014, he was Group Head and Section Chair at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital in London, Honorary Consultant Physician at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and Professor of Clinical & Molecular Genetics in the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London (where he continues as Visiting Professor). Prof Aitman is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Senior Fellow of the Public Health Genomics (PHG) Foundation. He has served on several external advisory boards including the Sir Jules Thorn Medical Advisory Committee, the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group on Genetics and the European Research Council’s Advanced Grant Panel in Bioinformatics and Genetics. He was the Specialist Adviser for the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee's Inquiry into Genomic Medicine, and is currently a member of the Science Advisory Committee of Genomics England.
Professor Aitman has authored over 180 scientific papers, many highly cited, and has an h-index of 63. He has been invited to give over 150 plenary and state-of-the-art lectures at major national and international conferences. He co-ordinated multiple scientific projects and research consortia with career grant support of over £40 million. In 2007, with the support of Nature Genetics and the Wellcome Trust, he co-founded the international Genomics of Common Disease meeting series. Prof Aitman has also been a successfully mentored more than 40 PhD/MD/MRes students and postdoctoral scientists.
Co-Investigator - Professor Linda Bauld OBE
Linda Bauld holds the Bruce and John Usher Chair in Public Health in the Usher Institute, College of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Linda is a behavioural scientist whose research focuses on two main areas: the evaluation of complex interventions to improve health, and how research can inform public health policy. Since 2014, she has combined her academic role with a secondment to Cancer Research UK as their cancer prevention adviser. She leads two research Consoria - the Tobacco Control Capacity Programme, involving research teams in five countries in Africa and three in South Asia - and SPECTRUM, involving 10 UK Universities and partner organisations conducting research on the commercial determinants of health. She is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media on public health issues and in recent months has served as adviser to the Covid-19 committee of the Scottish Parliament and member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Post-Covid Futures Commission.
Co-Investigator – Roxanne Connelly
Roxanne Connelly is a sociologist based in the School of Social and Political Science and the Edinburgh Research Training Centre. She is a specialist in the application of social statistics and works with survey and administrative data resources.
Co-Investigator – Professor Nick Gilbert
Nick Gilbert started his research group with a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship (2006-2010) and moved to the MRC Human Genetics Unit in 2012, as an MRC Senior Fellow, where he was awarded a personal chair in Chromatin Biology.
Research Interests: The Gilbert lab develops new tools to investigate how chromatin is folded inside cells, to understand how packaging regulates normal cellular events such as transcription and DNA replication. They also investigate how alterations in chromatin folding can predispose the genome to instability, one of the key drivers for many diseases including cancer. In addition to using cellular models they use synthetic chromatin to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms for regulating chromatin structure.
Co-Investigator – Javier Santoyo
Javier Santoyo is the Facility Manager of Edinburgh Genomics, based at the School of Biological Sciences, the University of Edinburgh. He is a molecular and computational biologist with more than twenty years’ experience in genomics, bioinformatics and next-generation sequencing technologies. He joined the University of Edinburgh in 2014 working at Edinburgh Genomics as Bioinformatics Operations Manager. Afterwards he became the Facility Manager of Edinburgh Genomics Clinical Division (EGC) and implemented an ISO 17025:2005 accredited whole genome sequencing laboratory, sequencing more than 15,000 genomes. At EGC, he also supervised and managed the sequencing of 1,000 human genomes for the Rare Diseases program of the Scottish Genomes Partnership, as part of Genomics England’s 100,000 genomes project.
Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh he was the Head of Bioinformatics and the Scientific Coordinator of the Genomics and Bioinformatics Platform of Andalusia in Seville, Spain, where he led the Medical Genome Project, a large genomics project that studied the genetic bases of rare diseases in the Spanish population using whole exome sequencing. Previously he worked in several leading projects like the development of bioinformatics tools for the production of the Oncochip, one of the first microarrays for the study of cancer genes at the Spanish National Cancer Centre, and the annotation of the first human genome while working at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
Co-Investigator – Helen Stagg
Dr. Stagg is a Reader in infectious disease epidemiology at the Usher Institute of the University of Edinburgh, where she focusses on the role and application of epidemiology methods in population health. She initially trained at the University of Cambridge in the life sciences (MA, PhD) and later at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in epidemiology (MSc). She has worked with industry, and national and international policy making/influencing bodies, particularly the Scottish Parliament, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence UK, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the World Health Organization. She is a Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe, the co-chair of UK Academics and Professionals to End Tuberculosis, and a member of the World Health Organization's core grouping for the European Tuberculosis Research Initiative.
Co-Investigator – Dr Alice Street
Alice Street is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh and Principal Investigator for ‘Investigating the Design and Use of Diagnostic Devices in Global Health’ (DiaDev), funded by the European Research Council. Her research includes studies of health systems, global health interventions and medical innovation. She has carried out ethnographic research in Papua New Guinea and India and is the author of ‘Biomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital’, published by Duke University Press. The DiaDev project focuses on diagnostic innovation in global health contexts of primary health care, elimination, and public health emergencies. Dr. Street is a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute Medical Committee, the Wellcome Trust Joint Health Systems Research Committee and a co-Editor of Medicine, Anthropology, Theory.
Co-Investigator – Professor Neil Turok
Neil Turok is the inaugural Higgs Chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh. Formerly he was Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada, Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge and Professor of Physics at Princeton.
Neil’s day job is developing and testing fundamental physics theories of the universe. His predictions of correlations in the cosmic background radiation and the galaxy distribution have been confirmed at high precision. His work also ruled out several popular theoretical models. Recently, he showed how a CPT-symmetric universe could provide the simplest-yet explanation of the cosmic dark matter. He is currently investigating a new, simpler formulation of quantum gravity.
Born in South Africa, Neil founded the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), now the continent’s leading institute for postgraduate training in the field. AIMS has over 2300 Masters alumni, from 45 African countries. More than 500 have proceeded to PhDs.
In 2008 Neil won the TED prize, for his scientific research and for AIMS. In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics and the John Torrence Tate Medal of the American Institute of Physics for International Leadership in Physics. In 2018 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Project Manager – Kathryn Carruthers
Kathryn Carruthers was appointed to University of Edinburgh in 1992 and has been involved in clinical research both as a research nurse and a trial manager. Kathryn’s main involvement has been with studies and trials of acute coronary syndrome. She was the Lead European Study Co-ordinator for the GRACE (Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events) Registry from 1999-2009 which was jointly led by University of Edinburgh and University of Massachusetts. She was also involved with the development of the GRACE Risk Score which has been recommended for use in the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guideline since 2010. She gained her MPhil “Prognostic Markers In Acute Coronary Syndrome” in 2001.
In addition, Kathryn has worked in the Centre for Reproductive Health, and more recently with the Edinburgh Dementia Prevention group as Depute Global Lead for the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Consortium.
TestEd Software Developer – David Buchanan
David is a software developer and data manager currently working at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer on the Viking II, Coronagenes and TestEd studies. David started working for the University in 2003 at the Division of Clinical Neurosciences developing software for large international stroke studies. He then moved to the Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit (ECTU), specialising in software for clinical trials before joining the Viking Genes team in the QTL Group at the MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU) in 2019.
TestEd IT Consultant – David Perry
"David has been involved in the methodology, design and implementation of IT solutions to support clinical trials for the last 25 years within the University of Edinburgh. He gained his Honours Degree in Pharmacology from University of Edinburgh in 1993 and furthered his passion in IT with a post graduate diploma in Information Systems from Napier University in Edinburgh the following year."