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Staff profiles

Director of Science

Kevin Moses joined the Trust in July 2011. Kevin was the founding Chief Academic Officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus. Previously, he held faculty positions at Emory University and the University of Southern California, where he led a research group that studied morphogenetic mechanisms in the development of the Drosophila compound eye.

Executive Projects Manager
Ellie Estchild
joined the Trust in 2014 and works for Kevin Moses within the Science Directorate. She has a first degree in Microbiology and Genetics from University College London and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Previous positions include Tropical Epidemiology Group Coordinator at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Grants Manager at the Academy of Medical Sciences. At the Trust, Ellie delivers a portfolio of work for the Director of Science, provides administrative support and manages the annual series of Researcher Meetings for the Science Division.

Cellular, Developmental and Physiological Sciences

Senior Portfolio Developer
Sheny Chen
has a BSc in Biology from Emory University and a PhD in Genetics and Developmental Biology from Columbia University.  She completed her postdoctoral training at Columbia University and the University of Oxford where she worked on pattern formation in the fly and mammalian heart development, respectively.  Sheny joined the Wellcome Trust in 2013.

Science Portfolio Advisers
Dev Churamani
has a BSc and a MSc in Biomedical Sciences from King’s College London and a PhD in Cell Physiology from University College London. He continued his postdoctoral work at UCL in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology where his research focused on a novel intracellular calcium-mobilising messenger involved in the release of calcium from acidic organelles. Prior to joining the Trust in 2013, he worked at the Food Standards Agency in the Division of Microbiological Food Safety, working on Foodborne Disease and Antimicrobial Resistance.

Danielle Cannon has a first BSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Dundee and a PhD in BioPhysics, studying amyloid aggregation at the University of Cambridge. Her postdoctoral training in the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee and in the Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology at University College London focused on single cell heterogeneity of cell cycles and transcription factors in mouse stem cells and in model systems such as dictyostelium using quantitative time lapse imaging and custom in silico models. Danielle joined the Trust in 2015.

Genetic and Molecular Sciences

Head
Michael Dunn
is Head of the Genetic and Molecular Sciences team in Science Funding. Having obtained a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, he went on to work on the genetics of type 1 diabetes at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford. Michael joined the Trust in 2000. His role is to manage and develop its scientific portfolio and community of investigators to enable the Trust to achieve its mission.

Senior Portfolio Developers
Audrey Duncanson
joined the Wellcome Trust in 2000 and is now a Senior Portfolio Developer. Her role is to help develop and implement strategic funding initiatives in genetics, genomics and the molecular sciences, and to oversee the portfolio in these areas. After receiving a BSc (Hons) in molecular biology and a PhD from the Department of Genetics, University of Glasgow, Audrey went on to postdoctoral studies in fly neurodevelopment at the Department of Genetics, University of Leicester. Her current responsibilities include the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, the UK10K sequencing project and H3 Africa.

Tom Collins joined the Wellcome Trust’s Molecular and Physiological Sciences team in 2012 following postdoctoral research into the development and treatment of heart failure at the National Heart and Lung Institute. He has a first degree in physiology and holds a PhD from Oxford University, where his thesis focussed on novel signalling pathways in the healthy myocardium. At the Trust, his current responsibilities include the Structural Genomics Consortium, the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium and the Molecular Basis of Cell Function expert review group.

Neuroscience and Mental Health

Head
John Isaac
obtained a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Southampton. He completed postdocs at UCSF with Dr. Robert Malenka’s laboratory and at University of Bristol with Prof. Graham Collingridge.John then set up his own lab at University of Bristol in 1997, rising to rank of Professor. In 2004 John left Bristol to set up a lab at the Intramural Program at NINDS/NIH in Bethesda, USA and in 2010 returned to the UK to work for Eli Lilly and Company in Surrey, UK.In November 2014 John joined The Wellcome Trust as Head of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

Senior Portfolio Developers
Raliza Stoyanova
joined the Neuroscience and Mental Health team in 2012 having previously trained in cognitive neuroscience at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, supported by the Gates Cambridge Trust. She also holds degrees from the University of Toronto and the University of the Witwatersrand. Her background includes behavioural and functional neuroimaging research in healthy volunteers and clinical populations as well as more clinically focussed work in the mental health sector.Her role at the Trust is to oversee the cognitive neuroscience and mental health portfolio , manage relationships with relevant stakeholders and assist in the development of strategic funding initiatives.

Giovanna Lalli holds MSc degrees in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bologna and in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California. During her PhD at Cancer Research UK with Prof. Giampietro Schiavo and postdoctoral period at the UCL MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology with Prof. Alan Hall she investigated membrane traffic and signalling mechanisms controlling axonal transport, neuronal morphology and polarity. In 2007 she joined King’s College London first as research fellow and subsequently as lecturer in molecular neurobiology, leading a team studying neurogenesis in the postnatal mammalian brain. Giovanna joined the Wellcome Trust in September 2015 to oversee the molecular and cellular neuroscience portfolio.

Infection and Immuno-biology

Head
Mike Turner
has been Head of Infection and Immunobiology at The Wellcome Trust since January 2014. The remit of the department includes all infectious disease and immunology of biomedical and veterinary relevance. Before that he was at the University of Glasgow, UK where he held Beit and Royal Society Fellowships before becoming a member of staff; latterly as Professor of Parasitology. He was also at various times head of division, assistant director of faculty and deputy dean of graduate school. His research interests focussed on the cell biology, immunology, genetics, genomics and population biology of trypanosome parasites that cause African sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in livestock. He has also worked on the genomics of malaria parasites and the immunoepidemiology of schistosomes.

Senior Portfolio Developers
Charlie Weller
has over 15 years of research experience in both academic and pharmaceutical environments ranging from host pathogen interactions to cellular and molecular immunology. After completing a BSc in genetics at Birmingham University, and a PhD in Immunology at Imperial College London, Charlie continued her studies at Imperial as a postdoctoral fellow investigating mast cell localization and function. Before joining the Wellcome Trust, Charlie was a laboratory head at Novartis with a focus on target identification and validation within the respiratory disease area. Charlie joined the Wellcome Trust in 2014 as a Senior Portfolio Developer and will be overseeing the Immunology portfolio.

Divya Shah has 14 years of research experience working in academic and charity settings.  Her research interests focussed on developmental immunology, immunotherapy and cell signalling pathways.  Prior to joining the Trust, Divya completed her BSc in Biology and PhD in Immunology at Imperial College London.  She then moved to the University of Toronto where she carried out her postdoctoral fellowship studies investigating the role of developmental signalling pathways in T cell development.  More recently Divya worked at The Anthony Nolan Trust investigating the role of human umbilical cord blood cells in Immunotherapy.  Divya joined the Trust in November as a Senior Portfolio Developer as part of the infection and immunology team. 

Science Portfolio Advisers
Michael Chew
obtained his PhD in parasitology at Imperial College London. He contributes to the development and implementation of strategic funding activities and initiatives in the team. Michael’s responsibilities include the Malawi Major Overseas Programme, the Liverpool Centre for Research in Clinical Tropical Medicine, the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology in Glasgow, the African Capacity Strengthening Strategic Awards, and the Public Health and Tropical Medicine Fellowship scheme.

Alison Wallace joined the Wellcome Trust in 2014 and contributes to developing and monitoring strategic funding initiatives in the infection and immuno-biology portfolio. Prior to this Alison held postdoctoral positions researching the maternal immune response to pregnancy, and obtained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh investigating the role of inflammation in cancer development. Alison has also worked on development of a vaccine against ovine chlamydia.

Research Careers

Head
Anne-Marie Coriat
completed a degree in Chemistry and Environmental Science in 1986 She then worked at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas before returning to work in the UK as a clinical biochemist in the NHS. Anne-Marie undertook a PhD and postdoctoral work in developmental biology studying molecular mechanisms of sex determination in the American alligator. In 1995 she joined the Medical Research Council and was appointed Head of the Neurosciences and Mental Health Section in 1998.From 1999 to 2010 AMC headed up the MRC’s Southwest Regional Centre. In 2010 she established the MRCs Science Programmes team at the new Swindon Head Office and was subsequently appointed Director of Capacity, Skills and Infrastructure in January 2013 where she was responsible for MRCs strategy & investment planning for infrastructure, skills and capacity. In August 2015 Anne-Marie joined the Wellcome Trust as Head of Research Careers.

Clinical Research

Head
Sara Marshall
joined the Wellcome Trust in January 2016.She obtained her medical degree from the National University of Ireland, and worked as a junior doctor in Dublin before going to Stanford University, California as fellow in Lung Transplantation.She completed her training in clinical immunology in 1998, and has a PhD from the University of Cambridge on Immune Tolerance.She held an MRC Clinician Scientist award at the University of Oxford, and was then a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Imperial College where her research interests focussed on the genetics of transplantation and inflammatory diseases.Prior to joining the Trust, she was Professor of Clinical Immunology at the University of Dundee, where she was also Director of the Dundee Clinical Academic Track and Deputy Head of R&D for NHS Tayside.

Science Integration teams

Science Operations
Head
Anna Curson
joined the Trust in 1999 and is now Head of Operations providing strategic leadership to the delivery of operational and communications activities across the Science Division. Anna has BSc in Chemistry with German from the University of Sussex and an MSC in Science and Technology Policy from the Science and Technology Research Unit. Prior to joining the Trust Anna worked as a project development consultant in the engineering sector. In addition to her role as Head of Operations, Anna is project leader for the Diamond synchrotron project, managing a cross-Trust team to represent the Trust’s interest in this project.

Senior Operations Officer
Sophie Drinkwater
joined the Trust in 2010 and now works within the Science division on various operational and communications activities. Soph has a BSc in Biology with French from the University of Sussex and an MSc in Science Communication from the University of the West of England.Soph also coordinates the Trust’s Strategic Awards Committee.

Project Support Officer
Rebecca O’Brien
joined the Trust in 2014 and contributes to the operational and communication activities in the division. Rebecca has a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Southampton and an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London. Previously, she worked as a senior publishing assistant at Nature Publishing Group and as a project co-ordinator in Mongolia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Science Integration - Structures
Head
Victoria King
joined the Wellcome Trust in 2012 to help oversee the portfolio and develop and implement strategic funding initiatives in genetics and the molecular sciences. After a first degree and subsequent PhD in Biochemistry (Universities of Sussex and Sheffield) Victoria held research development roles in several medical research charities including Asthma UK, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and most recently Diabetes UK where she was Head of Research. Victoria has also spent time working for the NIHR Comprehensive Clinical Research Network to develop and implement strategies to support clinical research. Her current responsibilities at the Trust include development of the Trust’s research portfolio at the chemistry biology interface, the Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Initiative (HIPSCI) and ELIXIR.

Science Portfolio Advisers
Peter O’Donovan
received his BSc in Biochemistry from University College Cork, Ireland, after which he undertook his PhD with Cancer Research UK, working on DNA damage mechanisms and their role in skin carcinogenesis in organ transplant recipients. Peter then moved to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School in Boston for a postdoctoral fellowship, studying how chromatin state affects DNA double-strand break repair. Prior to joining the Wellcome Trust in November 2014, Peter acted as an Executive Editor with BioMed Central. Peter is a Science Portfolio Advisor in the Science Integration Structures department where he works on the management, oversight and coordination of key scientific activities across the Science division

International Operations
Head
Simon Kay
joined the Wellcome Trust in September 2012.  He leads the Wellcome Trust’s capacity building initiatives in lower and middle income countries and coordinates support to the India Alliance and the five major overseas programmes.  He is currently responsible for the roll-out of the new DELTAS programme in sub-Saharan Africa and the establishment of the Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) platform in partnership with the African Academy of Sciences, Gates Foundation and DFID.After completing a degree in Zoology and a PhD in Tumour Immunology at the University of Nottingham he joined the British Council and worked in Singapore, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Russia, Sudan, Israel and the UK.  During his career he has built relations between the UK and other countries through education, science and the arts.

Senior Portfolio Developer
Marta Tufet
contributes to the development and operation of the Trust’s International strategy, policy and scientific portfolio. Her responsibilities include, the African Institutions Initiative to strengthen research capacity in 51 African universities and research institutions, and the Joint DfID/MRC/Trust Global Health Trials Scheme to address major causes of mortality and morbidity in low and middle-income countries. Marta is a member of the Trust’s Challenge 3 team: Combating Infectious Disease. Previously she worked as a Science Portfolio Adviser, overseeing the Immunology portfolio, UK Biobank, the Kenya Major Overseas Programme, the Bloomsbury Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine, and the Insect Pollinators Initiative. Prior to joining the Trust in 2009, she worked for Nature Reviews Immunology, and the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands. Marta has a PhD in molecular parasitology (malaria) from Imperial College London. She speaks several languages having lived in Spain, Belgium, Portugal, France, Holland, and Ecuador.

International Operations Advisers
Sophie Mathewson
joined the Wellcome Trust in January 2014. She previously worked at the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and was a trainee in the Infectious Diseases Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate for Research & Innovation. Sophie has an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a BA (Hons) from the University of Oxford.

Lalitha Bhagavatheeswaran obtained a BSc (Hons) in Integrative Biology and Health Studies from the University of Toronto and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her masters dissertation focused on the barriers and enablers to education for low-caste adolescent girls in North Karnataka, India. Prior to joining the Trust, Lalitha worked at the Royal Society of Medicine as the Head of the Global Health Department and before moving to the UK worked as an HIV prevention educator and research consultant for various global health projects.

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