Scientific Advisory Committee
The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) comprises of independent, expert, clinical, industrial and academic scientists. They meet once a year to scrutinise RAFT’s research programmes and provide independent expert advice to the board of trustees.
The SAC reviews the progress of RAFT’s research, future plans, and scientific strategy. Its main purpose is to ensure that the research undertaken is achieving the strategic aims of the charity.
In addition to the SAC, every five years, an independent panel carries out a detailed strategic review of the quality and direction of our research.
Meet The Scientific Advisory Committee
Professor Steven Myint MD PhD
In Singapore, one of the intiatives he instigated has been a nationwide personalized medicine programme to develop Asian-specific biomarkers. This has resulted in a centre for diagnostics development that will productise these biomarkers. In Finland he is non-executive director of Aplagon Oy and Primex Oy, both biotech companies. He was also founding partner of the first life sciences Finnish Vigo accelerator, Ukko Partners. In addition he is a partner in the Palo Alto based venture fund, Pharma Capital and a non-executive director of Lipid Genomics, a companion diagnostic company spun out of Johns Hopkins, now based in Boston.
Until recently he was also executive chairman of Green Signal Bio, which he developed into one of India’s largest vaccine manufacturers. He has held non-executive directorships with several organisations in the public and private sectors. He is a former Professor and Dean of Medicine & Health at the University of Surrey and Professor/Chairman of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Leicester in the UK.
Professor Myint has been a biopharmaceutical senior and Board executive as global Medical Director at GlaxoSmithKline and Senior Vice-President for R&D/Chief Medical Officer at BTG International. He has been instrumental in over 50 successful IND and 12 NDA submissions. He was an NHS consultant in UK for over 20 years and is also a former Senior Independent Director, then chairman, of a hospital in the NHS and Board Member of Care International. He also has experience in the IT sector as executive chairman of Onmedica Group Ltd and Onmedica India Private Ltd (a health/IT and marketing organization). He has also been Chief Executive of the European Federation of Neurological Associations, consultant to several organisations in the medical and financial worlds and member of several national and international advisory boards.
He has authored over 120 peer reviewed publications and six books. He was also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Infection for five years. He is a Fellow or Member of several societies, including the Institute of Knowledge Transfer, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine. After his own first university spinout in 1995, he has been involved in the development of over 30 SME’s in life sciences and created over $1billion value for shareholders.
Dr Umber Cheema BSc. (Hons), PhD
Her research also focuses on controlling elements of collagen architecture to build biomimetic tissues in vitro. In particular, by studying mechanisms which control collagen fibril alignment, diameter and density. In addition to these elements work has also involved the introduction of architectural features, in particular channels to provide the basis of vascular networks.
Recent research projects include the development of a reproducible 3D in vitro model of solid tumour growth. Here the spatial architecture of a tumour and its surrounding stroma has been reproduced in vitro, with evidence of tumour invasion into surrounding ‘normal’ tissue. Engineered tumouroids include epithelial cancers and sarcomas.
Dr Cheema’s collaborative work includes engineering basic tissue models which are subjected to decompression regimes to mimic the ‘bends’ in diving. Experimental data has been modelled to further our understanding of how bubbles nucleate, grow and coalesce in tissues, during decompression.
Professor Chris Mason MD, PhD, FSB, FRCS
His other responsibilities include; Chair of the BioIndustry Association (BIA) Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Industry Group, Co-Chair of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) Cell Therapy Section, and Founder and CEO of the London Regenerative Medicine Network.
Chris is on a number of national and international committees, working groups and initiatives related to the academic, clinical translation and commercialization of cell and gene therapies including; the UK-Israel Science Council, the Scientific Advisory Panel of the UK Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Ministerial Industry Taskforce on Attracting Advanced Therapy Manufacturing to the UK, and the Strategic Advisory Board of the Canadian Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine.
Professor Kevin Shakesheff
Lt Col Steven Jeffery, BSc MB ChB FRCS (Plast)
Steven Jeffery is a Consultant Burns and Plastic Surgeon in the British Army, working at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
He is Professor of Wound Study at Birmingham City University and is Director of the NIHR WoundTec Healthcare Technology Cooperative.