UCL INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

Leadership

An executive team comprising the Director, Deputy Directors and three Associate Directors manage the day-to-day research, teaching and enterprise activities of the Institute. They are in daily contact with each other, and have weekly face-to-face meetings. They work closely with, and hold monthly face-to-face meetings with, a non-executive team of representatives of the participating faculties, to ensure that appropriate clinical and academic drivers are at the heart of the IBME operations.

To promote and maintain cohesion between the IBME and the UCL staff it supports and serves, and to establish a communications route in both directions, the executive team works closely with the Institute’s Academic, Clinical & Enterprise Board. The ACE Board comprises academic and clinical leaders drawn from the twelve medical technologies theme areas, as well as UCL enterprise leaders, and other key stakeholders.

Professor Quentin Pankhurst
Director of the IBME

A New Zealander by birth, Quentin studied solid state physics at Liverpool in the 1980’s, before joining UCL in 1994, and going on to become Deputy Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology and a Professor of Physics. In 2008 he was appointed Director of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory at the Royal Institution, where he led a joint UCL-RI research programme in health technologies based on biomagnetics. Application areas he and his team have worked on have included medical imaging devices, targeted regenerative medicine, molecular imaging microscopy for living cells, and multi-functional nanoparticles for therapy and diagnostics.

As a founder and director of Endomagnetics Ltd he has demonstrated his entrepreneurial flair and ability to successfully translate his research into the commercial sector. In 2010 Endomagnetics Ltd received CE approval and sales of an intra-operative medical device for breast cancer surgery – SentiMag®. For this Quentin received both the 2010 UCL Business Award and the 2012 European Science Business Academic Enterprise Award. His current role on the company board reflects his continued involvement with business and industry.

As an active research scientist Quentin has published over 200 refereed papers and has worked with industry, charities and government in the UK, EU, USA and Japan as well as with collaborators in Spain, Germany and Russia. His diverse research portfolio reflects the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach and cross-disciplinary collaboration with both clinicians and scientists. As a university academic he has supervised 30+ PhD students and 15+ postdocs, and has secured substantial financial support by harnessing the enthusiasm that funders have for impact-driven deliverables. His experience as a mentor and teacher has led him to the conviction that enterprise and entrepreneurship should be part of the training of the next generation of scientists – ideas that are being acted upon in the IBME’s Enterprise Academy.

Quentin’s career shows that it is possible to have both a successful academic career, carry out world-class research, launch a successful spin-out company and ultimately manufacture a commercial medical device. To encourage this career model, in 2011 he founded the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, taking up the role as its first Director.

 

Dr Eric de Silva
Associate Director for Research & Development

Eric is a physicist by training (BSc Physics at Queen Mary). After a masters project in experimental astronomy and studies in planetary geology he completed a doctorate in extragalactic astrophysics in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge (PhD, Darwin College). Following this he moved to University College London to work on statistical and population genetics and then biological networks and evolutionary biology in Professor Michael Stumpf’s Theoretical Systems Biology group at Imperial College, London. With an interest in science communication he joined Sense About Science, an organisation that promotes evidence-based science in the media and Parliament as their Science Liason Officer, but missing research rejoined academia to work with Dr J Krishnan in the Centre for Process Systems Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College developing mathematical models of protein synthesis.He subsequently joined the Evolutionary Epidemiology group in the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling in the Department Infectious Disease Epidemiology. Here his research involved understanding how evolutionary changes at the genetic sequence level interact with those at the epidemiological scale. Eric is also interested in the burgeoning field of astrobiology and organised the first Astrobiology and Early Evolution meeting at Imperial College and was formerly membership secretary of the Astrobiology Society of Britain.

Selected publications.

 

Dr Jennifer Griffiths
Associate Director for Teaching & Training

Jenny completed a physics degree at the University of Oxford before moving to UCL for a Masters and then PhD in Radiation Physics in the Department of Medical Physics & Bioengineering. She then continued in the department working on x-ray imaging techniques for medical and security imaging with an emphasis on x-ray diffraction of non-crystalline materials and intelligent imaging.Over time, she became involved with the department’s postgraduate teaching and became Course Director and developer for a new distance learning MSc course, which opened up the department’s teaching to a wide international audience.Jenny frequently gives public talks on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering and performed at Bright Club at the 2011 Brighton Science Festival.

 

Mr Szabi Steiner
Associate Director for Enterprise & Translation

Szabi has degrees in Business Administration and in Economics. Currently he is studying for a Master’s in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership at City University London. Before joining UCL he worked for the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s Hospital and for Imperial College London. At the IBME he leads enterprise and translation and runs the MedTech Innovation Laboratory. His main responsibilities are industrial liaison and facilitating commercialisation.

 

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