Virginia Acha

Virginia (Ginny) has worked in industry and academia throughout her career, combining interests in science policy research and innovation performance within and across organizations. She joined MSD in 2017 to lead regulatory policy efforts for innovation that will lead to better treatment for patients globally. Before joining MSD, Ginny was the senior spokesman for the industry in the UK for research, medical and innovation policy (including BREXIT). Previously, Ginny worked for Amgen in global regulatory policy and for Pfizer working on policy development in science and innovation in healthcare.

Atholl Johnston

Professor Atholl Johnston is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary’s, University of London, visiting Professor of Forensic Pharmacology and Toxicology at St George’s, University of London, and the Director of the laboratory of Analytical Services International Ltd. He is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal Society of Medicine, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, and the Royal Statistical Society. He is a Chartered Scientist, a European Registered Toxicologist, and a state registered Clinical Scientist.

Professor Johnston has more than 35 years’ experience in the measurement of drugs as a guide to therapy. He has published over two hundred and sixty articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Professor Johnston was a Founder member of CCRA and is currently its President.

Emma Lowe

Emma works within the Science Research and Evidence Directorate the Department of Health and Social Care. Her role includes leadership of the UK Clinical Research Recovery Resilience and Growth programme, supporting the implementation of the Life Sciences Vision, enhancing the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) offer for Industry, and other areas of policy which contribute to making the UK the destination of choice for life sciences research.

Emma is a participant in the Academy of Medical Sciences FLIER programme, has an MSc in People and Organisational Development from the Roffey Park Institute and previously led the design and delivery of learning and workforce development programmes in the NIHR Clinical Research Network, including the NIHR’s Good Clinical Practice (GCP) programme.


Fiona Maini

Fiona has worked within the Life Sciences and Healthcare domain for over 20 years. Her focus at Medidata includes strategy and advocacy pertaining to the interface of technological advances and regulatory evolution in clinical research. She regularly interacts with authorities and industry bodies on modern technology strategies, in particular patient centric technologies. Prior to Medidata Fiona was a Director at Deloitte, leading the Deloitte Global Centre for Regulatory Excellence for Life Sciences and provided governance of Deloitte services to the EMA and their programmes.

Ben McConnochie

Ben McConnochie is the Director of Strategic Development for Medidata AI. He is responsible for the go to market for Medidata Link (RWD to Clinical Trial linkage solution), supporting organizations in building their data linkage and RWD strategies. Over the last ten years at Medidata and IQVIA Ben has specialized in designing and delivering innovative solutions using diverse combinations of real world and clinical trial data to support clinical development and health systems engagement. Ben has a masters in Genetics from the University of Nottingham.

Janet Messer

Janet Messer is Director of Approvals Service at the Health Research Authority. She is responsible for the Research Ethics, Confidentiality Advice, Assessment and Assurance services, alongside the supporting guidance, advice and learning functions. Her team works collaboratively with a wide range of partner organisations to fulfil the HRA’s aims to make it easier to do good quality ethical research in the UK. Prior to working at the HRA she was Head of Research Management and Governance at the NIHR Clinical Research Network. She has a PhD in biochemistry from University of Cambridge and a Masters in Medical Law, along with many years’ experience of clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry and working with NHS R&D.