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Meet the latest members of the FPM Policy and Communications Group (PCG)
We are delighted that Birge Berns, Harjeet Dhillon, Michael Holmes and Marianna Lalla have been appointed to the PCG. We would like to express our thanks to these new recruits for volunteering to give their time to the committee, and we look forward to our future collaborations.
We are also pleased to say that Neil Snowise successfully applied for re-election onto the group for his second term.
These five PCG members join Sheuli Porkess (chair), Renata Crome, Craig Hartford and Harriet Myles, and the FPM staff contingent of Ben Cottam, Eleanor Kingwell-Banham and Will Strange.
Read more about Birge, Harjeet, Michael, Marianna and Neil below:
“I am passionate about the speciality of pharmaceutical medicine, bringing new medicines to patients, and I am also interested in the wider aspects of healthcare innovation. I am excited to be joining the PCG and to play a more pro-active role in shaping and communicating the work we are all doing in pharmaceutical medicine – setting standards and raising awareness within the medical community and beyond, ultimately reaching our patients.”
Birge Berns is a pharmaceutical physician with a background in clinical medicine, focusing on rheumatology/immunology and oncology, and with more than 25 years’ experience in global R&D.
She received her medical qualification and MD from the University of Erlangen/Nürnberg, Germany, and gained her postgraduate clinical training in the UK National Health Service, before joining the pharmaceutical industry with Hoechst/Aventis in 1993. For the last 15 years she has worked in a variety of R&D leadership roles at Johnson&Johnson, spanning all aspects of early and late development, including clinical, strategic, regulatory and market access. She is now working as a Senior Partner with TranScrip.
Birge has been an active member of the Faculty since 1993 and maintains academic links to the Institute of Cancer Research UK and Imperial College Business School.
“I am truly delighted to be joining FPM’s Policy and Communication Group at such an important time for our specialty. I believe as a faculty we have so much to offer and I’m looking forward to contributing to our crucial work in supporting change within key policy areas and driving effective communication.”
Dr Harjeet Dhillon is an experienced Pharmaceutical Physician currently working as Global Medical Affairs Leader in the nephrology field at GSK.
Harjeet began her career in clinical medicine in the NHS, moving to industry in 2005. She has worked in country, regional and global leadership roles across several different therapeutic areas, driven by a passion to bring new medicines to patients with unmet need.
Harjeet currently serves as an Educational Supervisor for Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training and Revalidation Appraiser. She is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in the UK.
“It is with genuine excitement that I join the FPM Policy and Communications Group. Pharmaceutical medicine has played a critical role in benefiting the health of the public, as evidenced in the recent response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m keen that we build on this to better engage the public in understanding the values and core principles of the Faculty – that ultimately, pharmaceutical physicians make the care of their patients their primary concern.”
Michael Holmes is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford where he explores translational applications of human genetics in large biobanks, including identifying and characterising potential therapeutic targets. He is in his final year of consultant training in the Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training programme. Michael is a recently appointed Associate Director in the NHS Genomic Medicine Service Alliance, tasked with embedding genomics to transform patient care in the NHS. He will shortly be joining the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal committee as a pharmaceutical physician.
“I am delighted to be joining the PCG. I am looking forward to work with the group and the wider FPM membership on policy areas and communication. I think it is an important time for pharmaceutical medicine at the moment, and I feel passionate to raise awareness about pharmaceutical medicine and how this specialty can bring health to people.”
Marianna is an associate member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and a PMST trainee at her final year (ST6); she passed has Diploma exam in 2019. She is working in Global Clinical Development at UCB since November 2016, covering from translational medicine to Phase III studies. Her focus has been in different indications, including COVID-19 and rare diseases. She joined the industry after working 2 years in clinical trials (CRO) and 15 years as a paediatric surgeon. Marianna has a good academic background (MD, PhD in Medicine, Master of Public Health and Certificate in Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance).
“I’m delighted to continue as a member of the PCG which is a vibrant, enthusiastic group with diverse expertise, and has made valuable contributions to the FPM. PCG Membership affords us the opportunity to support the aims of the FPM, to represent the membership and to advance the reputation and knowledge of the speciality of pharmaceutical medicine.”
Neil Snowise is currently an independent pharmaceutical physician and Visiting Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Medicine at King’s College.
He has worked at GSK in a range of roles including Medical Affairs and Respiratory Clinical Development, leading clinical trials in allergy and asthma. During this time, he completed an MSc in Pharmaceutical Medicine with Distinction at Surrey University.
Subsequently Neil was Medical Director at a smaller clinical development company, focused on early and late phase respiratory clinical development, as well as an acquisition, before returning for a 2nd stint at GSK in 2014, working in the Global Respiratory Franchise, latterly medical lead for a Real World study in COPD.
Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, he was senior partner in a GP Practice in Bath and Lecturer in General Practice at Bath University.