2023 Faculty

Angel Akinbinu, MA
Senior Director, Clinical Trial Diversity

Syneos Health, USA

Angel Akinbinu is the Senior Director of Clinical Trial Diversity at Syneos Health, where she leads the strategy development and implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical trials.

Prior to joining Syneos, she worked in both CROs and large pharma, creating and executing patient recruitment and retention strategies, later transitioning to work focused on increasing representation and access for underrepresented patient populations in clinical trials. She has worked in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, infectious disease and vaccines, neuroscience, and immunology.

Angel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University and Master of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland. She lives in the Raleigh, NC area with her husband and two children.


Christopher Bamford, PhD
Director, Clinical Trials Regulatory


Chris Bamford has a PhD in molecular oncology and over 20 years of experience working in clinical trial regulatory affairs. He has represented the IQVIA Regulatory Affairs team in EMA Stakeholder groups relating to the development of the EU Clinical Trial Information System (CTIS) since 2014, contributing from the perspective of both Sponsors and CROs as a representative of the Association of CROs. This has enabled him to support pharmaceutical companies and clinical trial sites in developing processes and adapting roles and responsibilities in relation to the new Regulation. To date IQVIA has submitted over 80 new clinical trial applications via the CTIS, and Chris will therefore be able to share thoughts on the experiences during the development of the EMA system from 2014-2023  and incorporate the perspectives of Sponsors, sites and the impact on authorities and ethics committees, framing the situation we find ourselves in today.

Laura Bert, FCIPD
Operations Director

Innovative Trials, Ltd, UK

With 6+ years working within the healthcare industry and 15+ years in the Human Resources field, Laura leads the Operations team at Innovative Trials. She is passionate about patient centricity and the importance of the people involved within a clinical trial; whether a patient, a caregiver or site staff, they are intrinsic to the study’s success.

Lisa Bjornestad
Executive Vice President of Strategy and Growth

DM Clinical Research, USA

Lisa Bjornestad is a well respected veteran in the clinical research industry, having held various roles for the past 27 years. As a new graduate, Lisa began her journey as a clinical research coordinator and has extensive experience in site operations, having directed both early and late phase research centers for the better part of her career. After 7 years working in a CRO, she has made her way back to clinical site operations. Lisa believes patients are the heart of everything we do in clinical research and is excited to be in a role where she can better serve those patients.

Agata Bloswick, PhD
Vice President, Global head Clinical Operations Delivery

Fortrea, Poland

Agata Bloswick is Vice President, Global Head Clinical Operations for Fortrea, a newly spun off company (former Labcorp Drug Development). As head of the department, Agata is responsible for over 2200 FTEs across 60 countries. Since joining Labcorp/Fortrea in 2017, she has been adding value throughout various operational departments around the company, including project delivery in biopharma followed by portfolio growth and delivery in China. She was responsible for delivery in the new business area responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequently for reorganization of start-up operations and regulatory submissions into a new unit. Currently, she oversees the clinical operations team, delivering on the largest share of the revenue in the organization. Agata supports women leaders and diverse voices throughout the industry, and is a keen speaker in career development programs inspiring young talent to join the important journey of drug development.

Federica Bitonti, MSc
Sr. Director, Clinical Site Operations

Pfizer, Italy

Molecular Biologist by Training, Federica joins Pfizer R&D in 1992 as a CRA at first. She then moved to positions of greater responsibility over the course of the years (local project manager, CRA Line manager, Vendor Manager, Head of Clinical Operations). Lastly, Federica was appointed Senior Director, Clinical Site Operations for a cluster of countries in the south-est Europe. In such a role she oversees the timely conduction of interventional clinical trials ensuring at the same time data quality and sites’ inspection readiness. Federica has become an expert in re-organizations, mergers and changes in operational models and different types of outsourcing approaches, as Pfizer is a very dynamic company in this regard.

Leigh Boxall, MSc
Strategic Site Solution Manager


Leigh Boxall is a Strategic Site Solutions Manager for IQVIA. She is currently building IQIVA’s UK Super Partner Site Network, enhancing performance through tech and digital developments and serving IQVIA to optimise participant recruitment. She has worked with UK NHS Trusts and Primary Care sites across a broad portfolio of studies and understands the trials and tribulations of delivering commercial clinical trials alongside clinical priorities. With a background in Physiotherapy and NHS clinical trial delivery, Leigh is passionate about ensuring participants and site teams get the best possible experience when taking part in a clinical trial.

Mark Campbell
Chief Operating Officer

EmVenio Research, UK

Mark has twenty-five years of experience across large and start-up biotech, Pharma, and CROs. Recently, he has held leadership roles in global site networks and decentralized clinical trial organizations in his last decade. As Chief Operating Officer at EmVenio, Mark leads the operations and international expansion of this diversity[1]focused, dedicated community research site network. He is passionate about community-based clinical research sites and their critical role in addressing health equality and ensuring representative data in new drug applications that address unmet needs.

Clare Campbell-Cooper
Global Head, Digital Health and Innovation

Fortrea, UK

Clare has over 25 years industry experience and 10+ years senior management capacity. She has hled management positions in Data Management, Phase I Operations, Strategy and Planning, Project Management and Global Project Delivery. She is now Global Head of Digital Health and Innovation at Fortrea where she is helping to change the face of how clinical research is developing. She specialises in strategy development for both internal and external partners. Clare’s special interest lies in the relationship between the caregiver and physician team and how the use of digital technology can augment this.

Maeva Cordoba
Global Study Manager Lead

Sanofi, France

My name is Maeva Cordoba, I am working as a Lead GSM (Global Study Manager) on a cell therapy program in Early Oncology at Sanofi. My activities include studies activities: set-up, conduct and database lock, with management and coordination of the team, including the local teams in worldwide countries, and include program activities as part of a dedicated project expert. During the last 5 years, I’ve been able to work on different studies phases (Healthy volunteers, I, II, and III) and different therapeutic areas, and therefore I’ve been able to see several studies design (standard, basket, umbrella, platform,..). As of today, I’m currently working on a master protocol with several sub-studies and with all different complex designs. The study can be identified as a platform study, including combination and different indication.

Martine Dehlinger-Kremer, PhD
VP Scientific Affairs, Pediatric SME & President Eucrof

ICON, Plc & EUCROF, Germany

Dr. Dehlinger-Kremer’s expertise spans more than 30 years in the research industry, including 30 years of experience in global regulatory affairs, medical affairs, and pediatric leadership. Prior to joining ICON, she served in several executive leadership roles at global CROs, and has experience in global drug development in more than 40 countries. She has contributed to the global development of numerous products, including medicines for children, drugs for orphan diseases and biosimilars. Her vision and leadership extend to service with a number of professional organizations – she is an observer member of the Coordinating Group of the European Network of Pediatric Research (Enpr-EMA) at the European Medicines Agency, chair of the Pediatric Working Group and also President of the European CRO Federation (EUCROF), serves as chair of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP) Children’s Medicines Working Party and Board Member of the association, and is active in the International Children’s Advisory Network (iCAN).

In 2015, Dr. Dehlinger-Kremer was named one of PharmaVOICE’s 100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences.  Dr. Dehlinger-Kremer earned a Doctorate in Sciences from the J. W. Goethe University in Francfort on the Main, Germany; a Diploma of Advanced Study in Neurophysiology from the University Louis-Pasteur, Strasbourg, France; and a Master of Sciences degree from University Moulin de la Housse in Reims, France.

Roman Fishchuk, MD, MSc

Central City Clinical Hospital of Ivano-Frankivsk City Council, Ukraine

CEO of a clinical trials unit that was founded from scratch in 2017 at a state hospital in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine and now developed into an organization with 15-20 multi[1]specialty trials running simultaneously with a potential to grow. One of the founders and current Board member of the Ukrainian Association for Clinical Research. Adept ENT doctor and principal investigator in otolaryngology with ability to work in a multidisciplinary team, experience in delivering patient care in both public and private settings with the use of the latest industry equipment and technology, as well as establishing own private practice. Proactive and dedicated to seeking opportunities for cooperation with international specialists. Strong knowledge of Ukrainian medical policy landscape through working with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on reforming healthcare services. Proven track record of planning and executing projects in medical sphere.

Julija Gabrusenoka
Vice President, Clinical Development

Syneos Health, Latvia

Julija Gabrusenoka, Vice President Clinical development. Aim targeted, strategical thinking member with notable experience in Clinical Research environment for almost 20 years. Previous owner of successfully led CRO company which has been sold to Syneos Health, now working at Syneos Health. Passioned about innovations, artificial intelligence solutions, DCT solutions in Clinical Trial environment, and their implementation into actions. Actively participates in different charity activities helping homeless and incapable people in Latvia. Works with animal charity organizations to support homeless animal survival in Latvia.

Clare Grace, PhD
Chief Patient Officer

Parexel, UK

As Chief Patient Officer for Parexel, Dr. Grace leads Parexel’s Office of the Patient and has the role of chief advocate for patient and investigator stakeholders within Parexel. She leads patient engagement strategies and efforts to enhance clinical trial diversity as well as new, innovative approaches to help teams and customers work more effectively with investigative sites and patient advocacy organisations.
With more than 20 years of experience in the CRO and biopharmaceutical industries, Dr. Grace was recognized in 2018 by PharmaVoice as one of the top 100 most inspirational leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. She earned a doctorate in Molecular Oncology from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and a bachelor’s degree in applied biochemistry from Liverpool John Moores University, both in the UK.

Troy Hamilton
Director of Operations

CARe Clinic, Canada

Troy Hamilton is the Director of Operations at CARe Clinic, with a dynamic background spanning medical research positions at the University of Calgary and senior management roles in private clinics. Recognized for his prowess in translating significant initiatives into tangible results, Troy combines his expertise in biological sciences and project management with a CCRP designation from SoCRA. His reputation is built upon excellence in business operations, quality control, process enhancements, stakeholder engagement, financial projections, resource allocation, and KPI development within the clinical research realm. A sought-after presence at Provincial Conferences and Events, Troy Hamilton is one of the the co-authors of the ACRC Research Glossary. Beyond his professional pursuits, he finds solace in hiking, gardening, and culinary endeavors.

Sandra Sistiaga Hernando, PhD
Site Engagement Lead

GSK, Spain

Professional with more than 20 years of experience in the Clinical Operations Field holding different positions as CRA, LDL, Sr LDL CRA/CTA Clinical Operations Manager, CRA manager, Site Engagement Lead. Broad vision across country management of clinical trials including monitoring activities, feasibilities, analysis of performance metrics, risk management and quality plan activities (including elaboration of the local quality plan), site engagement activities, resource allocation and budget planning and control. Active participation in above country roles. Demonstrated people management skills through the leadership of a team of CRAs and CTA, different above country roles and management of cross functional and matrix teams. Close relationship and interaction with medical affairs team.

Heather Howarth, MSci
Clinical Operations Manager


Heather has 5 years’ experience as a clinical trial coordinator and project manager across Phase 1-4 clinical studies. In her current role as Clinical Operations Manager, she oversees all studies running at VCTC to ensure that they run smoothly and adhere to all relevant regulatory requirements. She is passionate about producing high quality work and ensuring that everything is done in the best way possible, whilst always keeping the participants at the forefront of her mind. Blending efficiency and excellence with good study systems, allows our teams to work to the best of their ability and maximise the time that we have available in our busy weeks.

Mazhar Jaffry

Revival Research Institute, LLC, USA

Historically, clinical trials have often been conducted with a limited focus on diverse populations, leading to a lack of representation among marginalized communities. This underrepresentation can result in biased outcomes, as treatments and interventions may not work equally well for all groups, potentially leaving some communities at a disadvantage in terms of access to effective healthcare. To address this problem, we have developed a comprehensive engagement strategy: Community Engagement and Trust-Building: We establish partnerships with community organizations and leaders who are trusted within these communities. Culturally sensitive outreach and education campaigns are conducted to inform these communities about the importance of clinical trials and how participation can benefit them and their communities. Diverse Recruitment Strategies: We employ a variety of strategies to actively recruit and retain participants from underrepresented groups. This includes targeted advertising campaigns that reach out to specific communities, hosting community events where potential participants can learn more about the trials and leveraging social media outreach to engage with a broader audience. Our recent community outreach program and social media campaign for the Alzheimer’s study can serve as a good example where we recruited 354 subjects during a 3-day community screening event. 

Cultural Competency and Sensitivity: Our healthcare providers and researchers undergo training in cultural competency to ensure they can effectively communicate with and understand the needs of diverse participants. This training is essential in creating a welcoming and respectful environment for all participants. Additionally, 63% of our staff is multilingual, which helps even further with effective communication with participants. We also translate study materials into multiple languages and provide interpreters when needed to eliminate language barriers. Patient Advocacy and Support: To empower underrepresented individuals and communities, we collaborate with patient advocacy groups on Facebook and visit local churches to advocate for diversity in clinical trials. These groups play a vital role in raising awareness and ensuring that the voices of marginalized communities are heard. We also establish support networks specifically tailored to trial participants from these communities, providing resources and assistance to address any unique challenges they may face during their participation. Addressing Clinical Trial Diversity through Cultured Communication: To effectively address the underrepresentation and often overlooked nuances of diverse populations in clinical trials, we’ve instituted quarterly company-wide training sessions. These sessions are designed to delve deeply into the subtleties of interacting with various communities. Recognizing that each community brings its unique set of values, beliefs, and ways of communication, our training emphasizes the importance of understanding and respecting these differences. During each session, we dissect a distinct perspective, enriching our team’s ability to communicate effectively and empathetically. This continual learning ensures that our interactions with diverse communities are rooted in respect, understanding, and authenticity. It’s not just about acknowledging diversity but actively embracing and understanding its multifaceted layers to foster better patient relationships and clinical trial outcomes. In summary, our approach to solving the patient/clinical trial diversity problem is multifaceted. Employing strategies such as community engagement, recruitment strategies, cultural competency, patient advocacy, and education efforts has allowed us to recruit up to 68.4% participants from marginalized backgrounds. Furthermore, by addressing these aspects comprehensively, we aim to create a more inclusive and representative landscape in clinical trials, ultimately leading to better healthcare outcomes for all.


Huma Khurum, MD, MSc
Clinical Trial Lead

Hamilton Medical Research Group, Canada

Healthcare profession with clinical experience in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and the Middle East. 
-Clinical Research Site Advocate
-Clinical Trials Phase 1 to IV
-Published more than 20 papers in peer-reviewed ISI journals

Jeff Kingsley, DO, MBA, CPI
CEO and Board Member

Centricity Research, USA

Dr. Jeff Kingsley is CEO and Board member of Centricity Research, an integrated research organization (IRO) with 40+ integrated clinical research offices across the US and Canada. Centricity conducts phase I through IV research in nearly every medical specialty; inpatient and outpatient; pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device. Dr. Kingsley is also founder, past Chair, and COO of hyperCORE International, a research site integrated network that has approximately 100 offices in five countries. Centricity and hyperCORE are changing the dynamic between sites and sponsors to serve sponsors in a way never achieved by sites in the past. He has dedicated his career to clinical research since 2006. 

Site Partnership Manager

Sanofi, Hungary

Rókus is an experienced clinical research professional with solid life science background (PhD from National University of Singapore, visiting scholar at Harvard Medical School) , currently working as Site Partnership Manager at Sanofi. His primary focus is on building and maintaining strong relationship with investigational sites in Hungary, in order to enhance the level of collaboration and harness input and insights from them to drive clinical trial performance.


Kerry Leyden
Commercial Director, Site & Patient Services


16 years experience in CRO, Pharma and Vendor services with a passion for site and patient participation.


Victor Lopes, MD, PhD
General Manager

Accelerated Enrollment Solutions, UK

Victor is an experienced executive and VP of medical operations who currently, is the general manager of the AES site network organization. With 20 years of experience in clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry he’s managed clinical trial delivery across all phases (including virus challenge) both as an academic investigator, and within the commercial setting. He also has extensive experience as a healthcare leader and executive in the UK health-system. Victor undertook medical training in the UK and specialized in surgical oncology; he also read for a PhD in molecular biology. In 2003 Victor co-founded Crionna, a science-focused CRO. He continued to work both in the commercial sector and, maintained a clinical practice in surgical oncology as professor in the University of Edinburgh (UK) until 2018 when he transitioned fully to commercial research.

Évelyne Mabouellet Newton
Vice President, Business Development, Europe

Velocity Clinical Research, UK

With over 20 years of experience in the healthcare and clinical research sector, I am a Vice President of Business Development at Velocity Clinical Research, Inc. In this role, I lead the strategic partnerships and business development activities for the European region, overseeing a portfolio of key accounts and prospects. I leverage my skills in process improvement, customer relationship management, and new business development to deliver high-quality and efficient clinical trials for our clients. I am also passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), and I serve as a co-chair of the DEIB Council at Worldwide Clinical Trials, where I was previously a Director of Business Development. In this capacity, I collaborate with other leaders and stakeholders to foster a culture of respect, empowerment, and belonging across the organization. My mission is to contribute to the advancement of healthcare and clinical research, and to support the growth and success of Velocity and its partners.

Fiona Maini, BSc, MSc
Senior Director Global Compliance and Strategy

Medidata (a Dessault Systemes Company), UK

Fiona has worked within the Life Sciences and Healthcare domain for over 24 years working across all GXP areas. Her focus at Medidata includes strategy and advocacy pertaining to the interface of technological advances and regulatory evolution in clinical research. In this role Fiona regularly interacts with authorities and industry bodies on modern technology strategies in particular patient centric technologies.

Fiona also chairs both the ACRO DCT Working Party and EUCROF New Technologies industry groups. Prior to Medidata Fiona was a Director at Deloitte, where she led the Deloitte Global Centre for Regulatory Excellence for Life Sciences and provided governance of Deloitte services to the European Medicines Agency and their programmes.

Fiona has a BSc and Msc in Chemistry and Management Science.

André Mansinho, MD, MSc
Director- Clinical Research

START, Portugal

Completed a master degree in Medicine in 2011 at Nova Medical School, Lisbon. From 2013 to 2023 worked at the Medical Oncology Department in Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Universitário LIsboa Norte and since 2023 the Director of Clinical Research at START Lisbon, in the same Hospital. Principal investigator and National Coordinator in several phase I to phase III clinical trials and a collaborator in translational investigation at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM- Lisboa). Oncobiology and Clinical Oncology teacher for medical students at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa (FMUL). Author in several published book chapters and original articles.

Ângela Maria da Silva Papa, PharmD, MSc

PPD, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Portugal

Director of Global Operational Excellence with PPD, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, with more than 20 years’ experience in Clinical Research and clinical trial implementation, with a strong passion for Patient Engagement, as EUPATI Fellow and Regulatory framework.

John Matthews
Sales Engineer II

Greenphire, UK

John has 15+ year of diverse experience working in various fields including life sciences, solution consulting, and human resource management. For the past three years, he has applied that expertise and passion for SaaS development to clinical trial financial software at Greenphire. As a Sales Engineer II, he uses our solutions to create a technology workflow for clinical trials, prioritizing patient well-being from start to finish. 

Caroline Potts, MSc, Clinical Research, MSc, Healthcare and Design
General Manager, Site and Patient Services

Medical Research Network, UK


Helen Quinn, MSc, RGN

Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Joana Ribeiro, MD

Gp4research, Portugal

Family Doctor with more than 10 years of experience in primary health care. Partner at gp4research, supporting the development of an operational model in decentralized clinical trials (DCT) based in primary healthcare infrastructures with particular focus on the role of family doctors in clinical research.

Sevtap Rowlands
Director of Clinical Operations


Sevtap is Director of Clinical Operations at 4MCS, her mission is to accelerate the clinical development process by designing and implementing innovative, adaptive, and platform trials across all therapeutic areas. Her clinical research career, spanning over 13 years has included programme management, project management and monitoring services for (Phases 1-IV) for global pharmaceutical companies, Biotech Companies, CROs and Clinical Trial Units. Sevtap’s experience and skills include forming and maintaining strategic collaborations; leadership and development of site operational services; leading transformational change within medium large organizations to meet strategic goals; global strategic account management and supporting growth and increased operational efficiency. She is passionate about transforming clinical trials including advancing inclusive research. Sevtap is a natural leader who is passionate about giving hope and improving the lives of patients around the world.

Claire Sears, PhD
Director, Strategy & Partnerships


Claire Sears joined THREAD as Director, Strategy and Partnerships late in 2021, where she holds responsibility for the THREAD Partnerships team, and is Head of Academic and Integration Alliances. Prior to this, Claire was Director, Site Identification and Feasibility for IQVIA Clinical Technologies, where she led the team responsible for cross-pharma data sharing collaborations and IQVIA’s Feasibility technology, following on from roles in Investigator Engagement with DrugDev. Based in the UK, prior to DrugDev, Claire spent 8 years at AstraZeneca in medical affairs.

Helen Shaw, PhD
Head of Clinical Operations


Helen Shaw, PhD, is the Co-founder and Director of VCTC, a patient-centric clinical trial site dedicated to bringing clinical research directly to participants through compassionate and expedited site processes. Dr. Shaw holds a PhD with a focus in clinical trial methodology, from the University of Birmingham, where she developed early considerations for the use of eConsent in clinical trials. During her 15+ years serving in the industry- including in her current role as Head of Clinical Operations at VCTC—Helen has advocated for, and participated in, the development and implementation of strategies that make clinical research more accessible and less burdensome for participants.

Joshua Shifflet
Executive Director, Finance (Head of Investigator Payments)
Parexel, USA



With over 15 years of experience in the Clinical Research Organization (CRO) industry, I have developed a deep understanding of various roles and responsibilities within this field. Throughout the majority of my career, I have specialized in site payment management, recognizing the crucial significance of ensuring accurate and timely compensation for clinical trial sites.

In addition to my expertise in site payments, I have also held a leadership position as the head of AR (Accounts Receivable), Billings, Collections, and Credit Risk. This role has provided me with valuable insights into the vital importance of cash flow management and prompt payment processing to maintain strong financial operations.

My extensive experience in the CRO industry has equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities and demands associated with site payment management, financial oversight, and maintaining successful client relationships. I am passionate about ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of financial processes to support clinical research endeavors.

Lucie Špatenková
Managing Director
Clinical Research Center, Czech Republic



Lucie has been working in the field of clinical studies since 2006 in various roles, from the position of monitor to project manager of international projects. Lucie manages both commercial and academic projects. In 2016, she and her husband founded the Clinical Research Center and, with a team of study coordinators, support Czech and Slovak centers in conducting clinical studies. The CRC network of medical centers supports more than 120 medical centers. CRC is a partner of Charles University for the support of pharmacotherapy and clinical studies in pediatrics of the C4C project. In 2020, they founded CRC Home Care. Which provides visits to patients in their home environment as part of clinical studies.

Adele Stevenson-Lampard
Associate Director, Patient Concierge
Ilingworth Research Group, UK



Beginning her career in events for institutions such as the National Trust and TUI UK and Ireland, Adele’s path evolved profoundly during her tenure at Cancer Research UK. Here, the narratives of individuals confronting cancer carved out a deep commitment to patient advocacy. Currently serving at Illingworth Research Group, Adele oversees a team committed to refining the clinical trial experience for patients. The team’s primary innovation, the PatientGO® app, aims to streamline challenges faced by participants, offering solutions from transport services to timely expense reimbursements, ensuring that trial participants have an advocate in their corner, and resources seamlessly integrated into their daily lives. In her effort to enhance patient experiences, Adele’s ethos is clear: it’s not solely about the innovation, but the heart behind it. She advocates for a clinical research landscape where every voice is heard, every challenge acknowledged, and solutions are crafted which emphasize diversity and inclusion.

Simon Taylor, BSc
Principal KOL and European Strategy Lead
Florence Healthcare, UK



Simon Taylor specializes in the intersection of people and technology. A specialist in European strategy, he translates the landscape of European Clinical Research into the way Florence conducts business within Europe, ultimately benefiting research teams and patients. Simon is a human biologist by training, spending time in Regulatory, Clinical Operations as well as Data Management to have the full breadth of the Clinical lifecycle and the important technologies associated with exceptional Clinical Research.

Mohammed Siddique Tayob, M.B., Ch.B
President & CEO
MERCLINCO, South Africia


Dr. Tayob co-founded Mzansi Ethical Research Centre (MERC), with Dr. Ayesha Bassa in 2000. MERC-Middleburg was awarded the SCRS (Society for Clinical Research Sites) SPRIA” award, a global award in recognition of their TEAM’s achievements, in 2015 & 2019. 

MERCLINCO, a progeny Of MERC, is a African continental clinical trials company with its head office in New York, USA, and Operations (Clinical Trial Sites) in African countries: South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda & Tanzania. Other African countries to follow.

MERCLINCO, a progeny Of MERC, is a African continental clinical trials company with its head office in New York, USA, and Operations (Clinical Trial Sites) in African countries: South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda & Tanzania. Other African countries to follow.

Dr Tayob’s passion for Capacity Building has resulted in the training of public-sector healthcare professionals and jobless University graduates and phlebotomy students. The graduates from these training programmes have become “prime-property” in the clinical trials industry.

Social projects have been the bedrock of his life, participating in many humanitarian aid missions around the world as well as a number of projects in his home town; earning him the “Paul Harris Fellowship Award” for humanitarian work – awarded by Rotary International.

He has served on many boards ranging from private businesses to NGO’s including, inter alia:

  • Chairman of Amnesty International SA
  • Board member of Agrément SA – appointed by Minister of Public Works
  • Private Hospitals, Primary Health & Occupational Health Care facilities
  • Global Clinical Trials company – acquired a NYSE listed company
  • Founder & Chairman: Bambanani Economic Development (BED) – Incubator of Black Healthcare Professionals for more than 25 years

His motto: “if your dreams don’t scare you; they are not big enough”

Jon Tack
Vice President, Product Management
Advarra, USA


As Vice President of Product Management, Jon leads the prioritization and planning functions for Advarra’s portfolio of technology products. Jon’s team is focused on collaborating closely with the community, building out comprehensive roadmaps, and delivering value-add solutions that customers can easily adopt. Jon has 7+ years of experience in the clinical research industry and 15+ years of experience driving innovative software development initiatives. 

Anna Titkova, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, MBA
Country Head
Pratia, Ukraine


I graduated from Kharkiv National Medical University and work here as Assoc. Professor and researcher. I have a PhD, Master of Medical and Educational Sciences, MBA, completed internship at Harvard and Yale Universities, and I am a qualified international lecturer and senior researcher. I am an independent medical reviewer in scientific journals of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. I have more than 150 scientific publications, 5 patterns on invention and the author of international monograph in pathophysiology. In March 2020 I opened the Pratia Ukraine LLC and the first SMO clinical research site, Pratia Clinic Ukraine, part of the international site network Pratia under the umbrella of the NEUCA group. We work with 10 medical institutions in 5 Ukrainian regions.

Sarah T’Kindt, Pharm
Pharm, GCP Inspector
Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Product (FAMHP), Belgium


Sarah T’Kindt has a background as Pharmacist and is currently a good clinical practices (GCP) inspector with over more than 18 years of experience in the field of clinical trials. She was previously responsible for the approvals of clinical trials at the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Product (FAMHP) and since 13 years she is performing GCP inspections at national level as well as for CHMP requested inspections for the European Medicines Agency (EMA). As member of the GCP Inspectors working group at EMA she was involved in the set up and the publication of the recommendation
paper on decentralised elements in Clinical Trials. 

Hilde Vanaken
Head European Forum GCP eConsent initiative, Head TCS Industry Leaders Life Sciences & Healthcare
EFGCP; TCS, Belgium


Hilde is a passionate industry leader with +30 years expertise in various drug development domains. She has a track record of turning large and complex programs into realization through collaboration, such as J&J’s Integrated Smart Trial & Engagement program, J&J Expanded Access Programs and Transcelerate eConsent Project. Partnership is part of Hilde’s DNA.

Hilde is heading up TCS the non-profit multistakeholder European Forum GCP (EFGCP) eConsent initiative, next to her role as Head Industry leaders TCS Life Sciences. Hilde is a PhD in Medical Sciences, Engineer in Microbiology, and Master in Environmental Sciences, all obtained from the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Sofie Vanderplaetsen, MSc
Executive Director, Hematology Oncology TU, Clinical Research

PPD, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Belgium

Sofie Vanderplaetsen serves as an Executive Director Project Management/Business Segment Lead in the Hematology/Oncology Therapeutic Unit within PPD/Thermo Fisher Scientific Clinical Research Group and has over 20 years in clinical research experience in both pharma and CRO settings. Sofie is also a member of the PPD Rare Disease and Paediatrics Centre of Excellence. She holds a master’s degree in medical Biochemistry from the University of Antwerp and a Postgraduate in Biomedical Sciences & clinical research from the University of Liège. Sofie is based outside of Belgium.

Viviënne van de Walle, MD, PhD, CPI, CMO

PT&R, The Netherlands

Viviënne van de Walle studied medicine both at the University of Maastricht and at the University of Oxford. She has always combined clinical research with patient care and has been a full time principal investigator at independent clinical research sites. She founded and owns the independent research site PT&R (www.ptr.nu) since 2006. Her entrepreneurship is reflected by her skills as thought leader and in consulting, educating and managing at CROs, pharma, nutritional companies and in executive and advisory board functions at eCOA vendors and trade organizations With her PT&R-team she was also the proud winner of the inaugural SPRIA EU award in 2018. In 2022 she humbly accepted the Christine K. Pierre Site Impact Award. She started her research career as a participant in a clinical trial and during the COVID19 pandemic has participated in a vaccine trial for HCP and a virtual predictive COVID infection trial. As a result, Viviënne has a unique perspective of the various sides of the table in clinical research and is eager to share her many years of experience. As she states: “I love it when you pick my brain”.

Denise Wende, PhD
Head of Clinical Operations

SIGAL SMS, Germany

Dr. Denise Wende is the Head of Clinical Operations at SIGAL SMS – a site network organization with about 30 sites across Germany. Denise brings 10 years of experience in clinical research and clinical operations execution across multiple therapeutic areas. In her current role she is responsible for the operational oversight of feasibility management, start-up, budgeting, project management and effective patient recruitment.

Gary White
Senior Director, Strategic Site Solutions

IQVIA, Scotland, UK

With more than 25 years of experience of oversight in biopharmaceutical product development, Gary White has spent the last 15 years with IQVIA and leads the EMEA strategy with IQVIA’s external commercial and academic site networks to bring new therapies to patients.

Gary also leads IQVIA’s Academic Research group, providing industry-enabled healthcare innovation within the academic sector to shape the future of patient care and treatment pathways.

Originally an Analytical Chemist, Gary is also Deputy Chair of Scottish Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group and member of Scottish Government Ministerial Trade Board with a special interest in the digitisation and delivery of Scottish healthcare and Life Science innovation and growth.

Gary’s passion is in driving collaboration and cooperation across the diverse stakeholders in the healthcare and life science landscape to deliver better outcomes for our patients.