Keynote Speakers

Here are the confirmed keynote speakers who will be joining our breakout and workshop session speakers. 

Dr Andrew Davies, Cancer Research UK, EDGE conference 2018, ASPIRE, Research conference

Dr. Andrew Davies, BSc (Hons), BM (Hons), PhD, FRCP

Andrew Davies is Associate Professor in Medical Oncology in the Cancer Sciences Unit at the University of Southampton, School of Medicine, UK. He was awarded honours in medicine, and also gained a first-class Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Southampton. He went on to train in Medical Oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. As a Cancer Research UK clinical fellow, he undertook his PhD examining the molecular mechanisms underlying transformation of follicular lymphoma to more aggressive histological sub-types.

Andrew specialises in the treatment of malignant lymphoma and the use of high-dose chemotherapy. He has a particular interest in the investigation of monoclonal antibody-containing therapies applied to lymphoma and also in the translation of biomarkers and novel therapies to the clinical arena.  He has extensive experience in early phase trials, including leading several first in man lymphoma studies. He is Chair of the UK National Cancer Research Institute High Grade Lymphoma Study Group and Clinical Director of the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit. He is also the Wessex regional lead for cancers in Teenagers and Young Adults.

Presentation Title: The electronic delegation log 

Mark Toal Department of Health EDGE conference
Mutlu Dogruel Microsoft
Janet Messer HRA EDGE conference
Derek Stewart, NIHR, EDGE conference 2018, ASPIRE


Mark Toal is Deputy Director for Research Systems in the Science, Research and Evidence (SRE) Directorate of the Department of Health. Mark’s branch are responsible for a number of the ‘enabling’ structures of the NIHR as well having sponsorship of the Health Research Authority.

Mark came into this role after ten years working in a wide range of policy, strategy and delivery roles across the Department of Health where he has worked on a range of subjects including A&E and elective care waiting times, transforming primary care and developing special measures for hospitals, emergency preparedness and response. He has also worked in other Government Departments, including the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Presentation Title: The future of NIHR and NIHR digital strategy


dR Mutlu Dogruel

Dr Mutlu Dogruel is Microsoft’s Azure Genomics Lead in the UK and a Data Solution Architect looking after cloud-based data analytics and machine learning projects of Microsoft’s healthcare customers in the UK.

Mutlu holds a master’s degree in biotechnology and a PhD in bioinformatics which was jointly supervised by the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Before joining Microsoft, he worked as a senior bioinformatics consultant, designed and implemented cloud-based genomics pipelines for pharmaceutical and fast-moving consumer goods companies.

Presentation Title: The Dr will see your data now


Dr 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 supporting guidance, advice and learning. 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.

Presentation Title: Looking across the Health Research System


Derek Stewart, OBE

Born in Ayr, Scotland, Derek was treated successfully for throat cancer in 1995. A former teacher, Derek became involved in numerous aspects of patient involvement and advocacy at a local, regional and national level being the founder Chair of the Consumer Liaison Group for the National Cancer Research Institute.

Derek is currently the Associate Director for Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement at the National Institute for Health Research- Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) for England. Also Director for Patient & Public Involvement at Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. In the charity sector Derek is a Member of Cancer Research UK and is a director at Derek C Stewart Associates Ltd.

Presentation Title: Patients need more than information from Technology - thinking about meaningful involvement

Carolyn Maloney, Head of Research Operations, University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust, EDGE Conference 2018, ASPIRE
Felix Woodhead EDGE conference
Visveswaran Mallayan EDGE conference
Emile van der Donk
Armin Furtwangler


Carolyn Maloney is the Head of Research Operations at University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust. She was first introduced to EDGE in September 2015 following data migration as part of the LPMS Launch with CRN East Midlands.

Following the success of her plenary talk at the EDGE Conference in 2017, Carolyn has received invitations far and wide from NHS organisations asking her to demonstrate how her team effectively utilises EDGE for study management and set-up. As a result, many organisations have followed in Carolyn’s footsteps.

We have invited Carolyn back to share her recent work in developing EDGE as a management tool for multi-centre research and sponsor collaboration. Joining Carolyn will be Dr Felix Woodhead to give his perspective from a Chief Investigators point of view. 

DR felix woodhead

Dr Woodhead is a consultant respiratory physician specialising in interstitial lung disease at Glenfield Hospital, and a member of the Institute for Lung Health in Leicester. After studying medicine at Cambridge University, he trained in respiratory medicine in East Anglia, including Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospitals. He then spent three years at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London studying for a PhD in interstitial lung disease under Prof Athol Wells, and has a particular interest in interstitial lung disease complicating rheumatological disease.

He is actively involved in clinical trials, being local principal investigator in a number of drug studies as well as UK chief investigator for the TRAIL1 trial of pirfenidone in Rheumatoid ILD.

Presentation Title: Managing Multi-centre research- A sponsor journey


Visveswaran Mallayan

Visveswaran Mallayan is an Information Manager at University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust. His role focuses on utilising EDGE to capture recruitment data and prepare reports for senior management and study teams. Since his successful breakout talk at the EDGE Conference in 2017, Visveswaran has received invitations from various organisations around the UK to explain how he takes advantage of EDGE and Power BI. Visveswaran will be one of our keynote speakers as well as running Power BI workshops over the two days.

Presentation Title: Using data from EDGE and CRF manager along with Microsoft Power BI


Emile van der Donk

Emile van der Donk has been working in the domain of clinical trials for over 30 years. Between 1988 and 2007 he worked at the Netherlands Cancer Institute as IT consultant for various EU projects, including FP3, FP4 and FP5 projects. Between 2005 and 2011 he was the project coordinator of the TENALEA projects awarded in the EU eTEN programme. During these projects the ALEA Randomisation and Drug Supply Management software was extended with Electronic Data Capture functionality. In june 2011 the ALEA suite was commercialised by FormsVision BV (NL) which is co-owned by Emile van der Donk. Over the past 6 years ALEA has been used in over 700 clinical trials conducted by academics as well as the pharmaceutical industry, with about 60% of the turnover in the commercial sector and 40% in the public sector. 

Presentation Title: ALEA: Randomisation, eCRF and Drug Supply Management in a single, affordable solution.


Dr. Armin Furtwängler

Dr Armin Furtwangler has had pharmaceutical industry experience since 2001, with a focus on new business models & health care innovation- not typically associated and expected in a very traditional German Pharmaceutical company. Armin is board-certificate in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology, as well as Emergency Medicine.

Since July 2016 in a new role as a Global Senior Medical Director – Health Care Innovation within the Boehringer Ingelheim Group of Companies, with responsibilities covering ALL Therapeutic Areas as an “Entrepreneur“ and “Disruptive Innovator“.

Presentation Title: Health meets Future - Blockchain for Healthcare, Health Technology, Sensors, Wearables, etc., …