Meet the newest members of the NC3Rs Board

We are pleased to announce that Professor Paul Evans, Professor Christopher George, Ms Linda Horan, Professor Nick Plant and Dr Sally Robinson have joined the NC3Rs Board. These five new Board members will bring a wealth of expertise to their new role, in fields as wide-ranging as molecular cardiology, animal facility management, systems toxicology and safety testing.

The work of the NC3Rs is overseen by its Board, which is currently chaired by Professor Stephen Holgate CBE of the University of Southampton. The Board is non-executive and provides advice on our strategy, monitors delivery against the NC3Rs' mission, and ensures that financial planning and risk management is robust.

Members of the Board are scientifically respected and experienced individuals based in leading research organisations. While they come from a range of professional backgrounds, they share a commitment to the development of the 3Rs and a proven ability to exercise judgment in areas of science policy.

We would like to thank Professor Ian Jackson of the University of Edinburgh and Professor Stefan Przyborski of Durham University, whose tenure on the NC3Rs Board will come to an end in December. Both Stefan and Ian have had a long history of engagement with the NC3Rs, including chairing the Project Grant and David Sainsbury Fellowship funding panels respectively.

New Board member biographies

Professor Paul Evans

Professor Paul Evans is Chair of Cardiovascular Science at the University of Sheffield, as well as Director of the Repair and Regeneration Research Node. His research uses a cross-disciplinary approach to study the biomechanical mechanisms that control atherosclerosis. His work has been recognised by the award of the Medawar Medal (British Transplantation Society), John French Lecture (British Atherosclerosis Society) and Michael Davies Award (British Cardiovascular Society).

Paul chairs the AWERB at the University of Sheffield and was previously Chair of the European Society for Cardiology Working Group on Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology. He is currently a member of the MRC's Non-Clinical Fellowships Panel. He has served on the NC3Rs Project Grant and Fellowship panels and is the academic mentor to the NC3Rs Regional Programme Manager for Yorkshire and the North West.

Professor Christopher George

Professor Christopher George leads the Molecular Cardiology group at Swansea University Medical School, where he researches the mechanisms that underpin the predictability and variability in the response of stem-cell derived heart cell networks to genetic mutations and drugs. Through this work, Chris is developing new in silico methods for predictive toxicology. He is a Senior Editor of the British Journal of Pharmacology, with responsibility for the journal's cardiovascular portfolio. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Cardiovascular Research, Frontiers in Physiology and Artery Research.

Chris is currently a member of the NC3Rs Grant Assessment Panel and has served as its Deputy Chair since 2018, as well as being a member of the Technologies to Tools Panel. He was previously Faculty Lead Researcher at the National Institute of Social Care and Health Research and an Executive Member of the Cardiovascular Research Group-Cymru.

Ms Linda Horan

Ms Linda Horan is Manager of the Biomedical Procedures Unit (BPU) at the University of Strathclyde. She has overall responsibility for the BPU, a large multi-discipline laboratory animal facility that supports around 80 personal licensees, providing a vital support service for research and teaching at Strathclyde. In this role she has overseen a merger of two units into one new facility, managed major refurbishment projects and controlled a budget in excess of £0.5M.

Linda has over thirty-five years’ experience in managing animal facilities. She is the current Convenor of the ScotPIL committee and has helped to deliver its accredited training courses, which have trained over one thousand Home Office personal licensees. She has held various roles within the professional body the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) and this year became Chair/Chief Executive Officer of the IAT Council.

Professor Nick Plant

Professor Nick Plant is Dean of Research Quality and Impact and Professor of Systems Biology at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on how the body coordinates its response to chemical challenge, using computational approaches to predict the health impact of chemical exposure. He has worked with partners from academia and industry to integrate complex datasets from disparate experimental approaches, increasing our understanding of the processes that lead to fatty liver disease and breast cancer.

Nick was enrolled as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2016. He has served on the Committee for Toxicity on Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, as well as the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency Pharmacovigilance Expert Advisory Group and Nicotine Containing Products Working Group. He has also been a member of the NC3Rs Grant Assessment Panel, Fellowship Panel and 2018 3Rs Prize Panel.

Nick’s tenure with the Board will begin in January 2021.

Dr Sally Robinson

Dr Sally Robinson is Director of Animal Sciences and Technologies at AstraZeneca (Alderley Park), where she is also the Establishment Licence Holder. A toxicologist by training, she has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on the application of the 3Rs. Between 2008 and 2013 she managed AstraZeneca’s Home Office Compliance Group, and between 2012 and 2013 she represented AstraZeneca on the UK Bioscience Coalition, which focused on the transposition of EU Directive 2010/63 to UK law.

Sally received the Society of Toxicology’s ‘Enhancement of Animal Welfare’ award in 2009 for leading a cross-industry NC3Rs project that led to changes in international regulatory guidance. She is currently Chair of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) Research and Animal Welfare Group and a member of the UK Home Office’s Animals in Science Committee.

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