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Introducing our new Pharmaceutical Director

We are delighted to welcome Dr Gerry Kenna to Safer Medicines Trust, and look forward to him continuing to innovate and forge a route to improved safety of medicines, through human-relevant methods. 
 Dr Gerry Kenna is a Drug Safety Consultant and a leading figure in the field of human drug induced liver injury.  Following his initial scientific training in biochemistry, at the Universities of Leeds (BSc Hons) and London (PhD), Dr Kenna established and led academic research teams which, for 19 years, studied the mechanisms by which medicines and other chemicals may damage cells of the liver.   He then moved to industry (at Zeneca, Syngenta and AstraZeneca), where for 14 years he used his expertise to support human safety assessment of new medicines and agrochemicals.  During this time, he also led research teams which developed improved human safety testing methods.  These used human tissues and did not require use of animals.  Dr Kenna is committed to ensuring that such human-relevant approaches are used routinely, by scientists in industry and in regulatory agencies, to aid the invention and development of safe new medicines.

Newsletter 2016

Read our latest newsletter, with reflections on 10 years of progress


Welcome to our new Directors

Safer Medicines Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Barbara Pierscionek, PhD, MBA, LLM as our Scientific Director and Professor Chris Foster, MD, PhD, DSC, FRCPath as our Medical Director. They are both distinguished experts in human-focused biomedical research, who will lead the charity towards our goal of improving the safety of medicines and the future of biomedical research, by accelerating the paradigm shift from animal-based to human-relevant models.

Professor Barbara PierscionekProfessor Pierscionek is Associate Dean of Research and Enterprise at Kingston University's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. She qualified with clinical and scientific degrees (PhD in protein chemistry and optics) from the University of Melbourne and obtained an MBA and legal qualifications in the UK including the theoretical degree required for practice as a solicitor in England and Wales as well as a Masters degree in Law (LLM). Her scientific expertise is in the area of eye and vision research. She is a pioneer of multidisciplinary approaches leading to new insights into the vision and the ageing eye that have potential to improve outcomes for cataract patients in the design of new intraocular implants. She also works on the ethico-legal aspects of medical and biomedical research.

Professor Chris FosterProfessor Foster is the Medical Director of HCA Healthcare Laboratories, London, and Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of Liverpool. He is a leading specialist in the pathology of human cancers, particularly of the prostate, bladder and breast. Professor Foster received his BSc in Biochemistry at University College London and qualified in Medicine at the Westminster Medical School. He received his PhD from the Institute of Cancer Research and his MD at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the National Institutes of Health, Washington DC. In 2002, Professor Foster was awarded a DSc for his contribution to understanding “The Cellular and Molecular Biology of the Metastatic Process”. 

Both professors have been Scientific Advisers to Safer Medicines Trust for several years and we are delighted that they are now taking on these leading roles. We welcome them both very warmly and look forward to them helping to lead the transition from animal models to human-relevant models.


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