Leadership

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Dr Mark Dale

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Mark Dale is the CEO of MAC Clinical Research. Dr Dale has extensive experience in the international clinical trials sector at Phase I through Phase IV, and is a specialist in clinical trial consultancy, protocol design and implementation. Dr Dale is a frequent consultant to industry and has been author to numerous peer reviewed articles in neuropsychiatry and clinical trials. Dr Dale obtained his MBCHB in Medicine from the University of Manchester and is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. His entrepreneurial flair has been recognised by numerous awards including a prestigious Institute of Directors Award for Innovation. He is the inventor of CliniSafe, voted SCRIP’s “Best Technological Development in Clinical Trials” in 2010. His knowledge and vision have facilitated the breadth and depth growth within MAC Clinical Research, recognised by the Queens Award for Enterprise from HM Queen Elizabeth in 2011. In 2016 he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in recognition of contributions and support to Pharmaceutical Medicine.

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Dr Steve Higham

President and Chief Information Technology Officer

Dr Steve Higham is the President of the MAC Research Group and also Chief Information Technology Officer.  He brings over 36 years of experience to the company from both industry and clinical research, in operations, logistics, technology and finance. Coming from a background in neuropsychology, an accomplished statistician, strategist and programmer, Dr Higham is able to drive results by unleashing creativity, strong leadership and accountability, among a group of diverse and talented colleagues. He has crafted efficient and effective systems and processes for the entire organization while taking direct responsibility for all operational aspects of the business. Dr Higham has strong analytical and technical abilities with the capacity to carefully think-out and predict results. His strengths lie in his ability to develop new ideas, systems, processes and technologies, whilst also analyzing and improving old ones.

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Imran Khan

Executive Vice President of Operations

Imran Khan joined the MAC team in 2011 and is MAC's Executive Vice President of Operations. He has a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Greenwich and over 19 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, based with large global CROs.  Imran has extensive knowledge of clinical study delivery, logistics and project management with full service study awards for international Sponsors on programmes ranging the full spectrum from FTIH through POC and later phase.

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Dr Aliya Asher

Chief Medical Officer

Dr Aliya Asher is Chief Medical Officer at MAC and has extensive experience in Phase I through Phase IV clinical trials. Dr Asher is a highly experienced Pharmaceutical Physician and has been working in industry for over 11 years. She is Member of Royal College of Physicians, UK and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, London. Dr Asher also serves as Educational Supervisor for the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine. Having received her Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine, she has completed her CCT in this speciality and is on the GMC Specialist Register for Pharmaceutical Medicine. She joined MAC from the Medicines Evaluation Unit, Manchester, where she conducted trials in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dr Asher has worked as Investigator on more than 100 trials in a broad range of indications including early phase trials with monoclonal antibodies and vaccines. Her areas of therapeutic expertise include neuropathic pain, and respiratory, inflammatory, and metabolic diseases. Dr Asher advises on strategic direction, research governance and good clinical practice (GCP), all aspects of training, standard operating procedures (SOPs), policy making, and the development, implementation and delivery of research objectives within MAC.

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Dr John Connell

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr John Connell completed his PhD at the University of Manchester in 1996 and has over 30 years experience in Clinical Research. The majority of his research has been focused on the application of specialist scientific techniques, including healthy volunteer pharmacodynamic models, in early clinical development. Dr Connell worked as Global Vice President of Pharmacodynamics for ICON Development Solutions for 18 years and contributed to over 200 studies at ICON’s UK and US clinics, covering a wide range of therapeutic indications. In 2014 he joined MAC Clinical Research as Chief Research and Development Officer where he works closely with the Translational Research Department, supporting their pharmacodynamic work in both healthy volunteers and patient populations.

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Dr Shoona A Vincent

Vice President of Clinical Science

Dr Vincent joined MAC in 2014 as Head of Global Clinical Strategy, having been in the pharmaceutical and CRO industry for over 28 years leading clinical research and development programmes. In 2019 he became MAC's Vice President of Clinical Science. Dr Vincent has implemented and operationalised several ground breaking exploratory (Phase 1), proof of concept (Phase 2) and pivotal/registration (Phase 3) studies in CNS, nociceptive/inflammatory, neuropathic pain, including paediatric pain and orphan diseases. Dr Vincent has led several high profile INDs/CTAs both in the US, EU and Asia and has directed clinical development programmes in Pain, Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Major Depressive Disorders for several global pharmaceutical companies. In addition his responsibilities covered strategic leadership of novel CNS compounds from preclinical to clinical development regulatory strategy, which translated to successful NDA and MAA submissions. Dr Vincent was Senior Director of global CNS Operations and Project Management at Worldwide Clinical Trials, VP/Head of Project Management at CliniRx Research UK Ltd, Clinical Science Director Ono Pharmaceuticals, Director of Pain and CNS Research Takeda R&D Global (EU), Medical Manager of Orphan diseases at Actelion Pharmaceuticals and CNS Development Advisor for Novartis (Sandoz) Pharmaceuticals. Dr Vincent is a graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry and holds a Doctorate in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

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Jude Warburton

Vice President of Global Proposals

Jude Warburton is the Vice President of Global Proposals at MAC Clinical Research and has over 25 years experience in the pharmaceutical and CRO industry. Jude’s experience provides breadth and depth knowledge and understanding of FTIH phase 1 early clinical development through to late phase clinical trials. Jude joined MAC in September 2014 having previously worked at Synexus as the Global Feasibility & Proposals Manager and at ICON as a Senior Proposal’s Manager. During her career Jude has led project teams and managed the feasibility and proposal process for a wide range of complex single and multi-site projects across many therapeutic areas.

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Richard Chilver

Vice President of Contract Research Services

Richard Chilver is Vice President of Contract Research Services at MAC Clinical Research and has over 20 years’ experience in delivery of contract research services, project management of clinical research trials and process development. Richard leads a team of dedicated and skilled managers to successfully deliver the contract research service portfolio for MAC Clinical Research, its customers and collaborative partners. Prior to joining MAC Clinical Research, Richard spent 13 years delivering full-service contract research projects across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas for a global Clinical Research Organisation. Richard has significant experience of managing multi-disciplinary, cross-functional teams to deliver complex full-service projects and programmes of studies, with clients ranging from start-up Biotech companies to global Pharmaceutical companies, across Phase I – III trials. Richard has qualified to PRINCE2 Practitioner level and uses gold standard project management principles and methodologies as the basis of the contract research and project management processes that have been developed and utilised by MAC Clinical Research.

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Louisa Cheung

Vice President of Global Project Management

Louisa joined MAC in 2014 and has over 18 years’ experience in the clinical research industry, including over 15 years’ in project management of full service early and late phase clinical studies within a CRO.  Prior to joining MAC, Louisa has managed over 100 CTIMPs in various therapeutic areas and has led global multi-disciplinary teams through protocol development, site activation, vendor management, multi-site management, clinical study delivery, interim study data review and study reporting. Louisa is certified to PRINCE2 Practitioner level and is responsible for global management of the project management teams at MAC and providing oversight for MAC’s project portfolio, across the MAC site network, and multi-disciplinary departments to ensure successful project delivery.

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Nicola Armitstead

Vice President of Patient Engagement Solutions

Nicola has worked for MAC for over 10 years and is dedicated to delivering the best experience for patients and pharmaceutical sponsors. She has a degree in Biology from the University of Leeds and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research from Cranfield University. During her career, Nicola has worked on many late phase clinical trials, across most of the MAC sites. Previously Site Director at our Blackpool site, Nicola is now Vice President of patient engagement solutions.

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Claire Horsgood

Vice President of Business Optimisation

Claire Horsgood joined MAC in September 2019, after holding roles of increasing responsibility over a ten-year tenure at PPD. She specialised in people development, process improvement, change management and strategic proposal development. Claire has over 18 years’ experience in clinical research, covering project management, team leadership, business development and strategy. She has extensive experience in all phases of clinical development, with a focus in the neuroscience arena. In her previous post at PPD she held the position of Senior Director, Strategic Proposal Development where she led a large global matrix team to produce compelling client proposals. Prior to her work at PPD, Claire worked for a niche CRO specialising in computerised cognitive testing. Here she supported business expansion both in terms of business development and operations leadership, culminating in Board level activity as Head of Business Operations. Claire received her Batchelor of Arts in Psychology and Diploma in Management from the University of Reading.

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Chris Chadwick

Vice President of Healthcare Services

Chris joined MAC in 2019 from the private healthcare industry, where he was a Hospital Director for many healthcare companies, more latterly Bupa and Spire Healthcare. He has vast healthcare experience at a senior level, spanning more than 30 years and for much of this time, has supported MAC with the provision of clinical services and diagnostic tests, from many of the hospitals he has previously managed. His extensive knowledge of this sector, further strengthens MAC's senior team, given his experience and contacts in the healthcare industry.

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Grant Barnett

Vice President of Business Development

Grant joined MAC in 2016 to lead Commercial and Business Development team efforts across pharmaceutical, biotech, device and CROs, seeking MAC solutions across Phase I-IV. With over 20 years business development, sales and marketing experience across the pharmaceutical and CRO industry he, has a wealth of experience in drug and technology development and market access solutions. Before joining MAC, Grant has worked with the world’s largest patient recruitment business, optimally positioning this organisation for VC group sale. Grant has worked independently to develop business & commercialisation strategies for pharmaceutical, software, technology and investment companies. Grant commenced his career in large Pharma working in sales and product marketing, before working across significant business development positions for a number of global CROs and SMOs across Phase I-IV.

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Dr Paul Westhead

Medical Director

Dr Paul Westhead is the Medical Director at MAC. His background is in General Practice and Women’s health. His research experience covers multiple therapeutic areas including Cardiovascular, Dementia, Diabetes, Gastroenterology, and Mental Health Disorders, Musculoskeletal, Respiratory and Women’s Health, in both Late and Early phase.

 

Dr Westhead developed a keen interest in management and personal staff development after spending a year in Uganda, setting up an Obstetric High dependency unit, with funding from the Department for International Development.  This experience led to him completing an MSc in Healthcare leadership.   

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Tracy Saunby

Chief Legal Officer

Tracy Saunby is the Chief Legal Officer at MAC Clinical Research, having joined in September 2020.  Tracy is a highly experienced legal counsel who spent the first part of her career working in private practice, subsequently moving in-house to work for organisations in the healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceutical and contract manufacturing sectors.  As well as being a regular and trusted adviser to senior executives, she has experience in a wide range of legal matters including commercial contracts, environmental, health and safety, corporate, regulatory and compliance.

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Maggie Adu

Associate Vice President of Patient Engagement Solutions

Maggie Adu has been with MAC Clinical Research for over 9 years and is Associate Vice President of Patient Engagement Solutions.  She has a BSc Hons degree in Sports Science from the University of Coventry and joined MAC following many years of experience working within participant engagement at ICON and the Medicines Evaluation Unit (Manchester).  Maggie has vast knowledge and versatile expertise in participant engagement methodology and applies this across an extensive range of therapeutic areas in clinical trials.  She has overseen participant engagement on all of MAC’s clinical trials with departmental integration across the organisation.  Maggie supports the Vice President of Patient Engagement Solutions in delivering all aspects of participant engagement at MAC.

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Roger Cope

Head of Quality Assurance

Roger Cope is the Head of Quality Assurance at MAC. Having studied Chemistry at Sheffield University, Roger has been working in Quality Assurance for over 22 years in pharmaceutical manufacturing, laboratories NHS environments and phase 1-4 clinical trials. He joined MAC in 2010 from ICON plc and has been responsible over the years for setting up several new Quality Management Systems. He regularly speaks at Research Quality Assurance (RQA) training courses and local/international meetings and is on the RQA training committee. His interests include working with operational managers to optimise working practices, simplifying quality systems so that all staff have good visibility of what is important.

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John Ronson

Head of Finance

John Ronson joined MAC in 2009 as a Financial Controller and became Head of Finance in 2014. John is a Chartered Certified Accountant and trained with Haworth Moore & Co. and worked with them for eleven years across their audit, tax and accountancy divisions. In 2001 he joined Cardpoint plc as Financial Controller and was key in growing the business to an AIM flotation in 2002 and Annual Revenues of £98m and profits for the year ending September 2006 of £19.8m. John now takes responsibility for all financial matters across MAC.

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Sarah Walker

General Counsel and Company Secretary

Sarah is MAC’s General Counsel and Company Secretary with over 11 years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical industry. Sarah joined MAC in February 2014 and is responsible for the management and oversight of the Legal, Contract Management, Insurance and HR functions across MAC. Sarah is commercially astute having worked in a variety of different industries and sectors, both in the UK and internationally and works closely with the Executive Board on business strategy.

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Paul Jenkins

Head of Client Relations

Paul Jenkins is Head of Client Relations at MAC. Paul studied chemistry at Teesside University and was Medicines Management Project Manager at Langbaugh PCT, implementing the National Prescribing Centre’s aim to improve prescribing within primary care. Paul worked for fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry in senior sales, management and marketing positions. Paul has also worked within the private health care sector commissioning care for psychiatric patients.