We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Jan Turner as our new Director. She brings with her a wealth of experience in developing and promoting human-relevant in vitro technologies, including directing validation studies and influencing organisations such as the FDA to introduce such technologies into the early safety testing of drugs.
After completing her BSc in Biochemistry & Pharmacology, followed by a PhD and postdoctoral research in Genetic Toxicology, Dr Turner worked for Amersham Biosciences, subsequently GE Healthcare Life Sciences. Her roles included Development Scientist, Project Leader, Global Product Manager and Product Management Operations Leader. For the past 18 months she has been Senior Product Manager at BBI Solutions, directing global cross-functional teams and driving adoption of innovative technologies.
Jan is passionate about human-focused biomedical research and we look forward to her leadership in making medicines safer by accelerating the transition from animal-based to human-relevant drug development and testing. She says:
“I am thrilled to join Safer Medicines Trust and to work with so many talented and inspirational people towards our shared vision of a future where safe and effective treatments for patients will be delivered by scientifically valid, human-focused research.”
Kathy Archibald, our founder and Director for the past 14 years, remains the Chair of Trustees and will continue to manage Supporter Communications as the charity moves from strength to strength. She says:
“We are excited to welcome Jan to lead our team at this important time. I believe our expert team and the many visionary scientists and others with whom we collaborate will help to realise a future where better science will improve our health and save lives.”
Our 2018 newsletter contains brief summaries of our latest publications and examples of several exciting advances in human relevant technologies. Read it here and if you would like free hard copies, just let us know how many: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 302 0521
Commentary by Kathy Archibald, Katya Tsaioun, Gerry Kenna and Pandora Pound published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
Our commentary warns that the UK must not fall behind in the race to ‘humanise’ drug discovery. Current research models and regulation are blocking the development of human-relevant approaches to drug discovery and perpetuating animal-based approaches. The UK has world-leading research in this area but significant investment in non-animal technologies is taking place in the US and Europe. The UK should seize the initiative to revolutionise medicine through more intelligent, human-relevant research.
New article by Dr Pandora Pound and Professor Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga published in Journal of Translational Medicine
The authors make a compelling argument that preclinical animal models can never be fully valid due to the uncertainties introduced by species differences. They suggest that to improve clinical translation and ultimately benefit patients, research should focus instead on human-relevant research methods and technologies.