About this event

  • Date and time Mon 21 Sep 2020 from 5:00pm to 6:35pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Medical Genetics

This event is the final episode of the Medical Genetics COVID-19 series.

In this webinar, we will hear from experts how genomic research has been affected globally by the pandemic and what needs to be done to set it back on track. Speakers will also discuss successes within the genetics field during COVID-19, how they were achieved, helping participants learn how the genetics speciality is preparing for the future.

During this webinar you will: 

  • Understand what happened to research studies using genomics during COVID-19, failures and successes

  • Recognise how capacity can be built in the future to establish genomics at the heart of future healthcare research

  • Value the power in building on existing strengths and maximising international collaboration in the wake of a global pandemic

This webinar will raise awareness of the impact COVID-19 has had on genomics and consider lessons learnt from the pandemic in order to help future-proof genetic research.

We would like to thank our knowledge partner and sponsor IQVIA for their financial support of this webinar.

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The Royal Society of Medicine needs your support 
The RSM is offering this webinar at no charge to delegates, in order to help healthcare professionals to easily access COVID-19 related education material & resources during the pandemic. However, we are asking people to support the RSM in these unprecedented times. Now more than everas a charity we need your help to continue our work and mission in advancing healthcare through innovation and education. Please consider making a donation  for joining this webinar. Thank you for your generosity. 

Key speakers

Sarah Rickwood

Sarah Rickwood

Vice President, Thought Leadership and Marketing at IQVIA

Speaker's biography

Sarah Rickwood has 28 years’ experience as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, having worked in Accenture’s pharmaceutical strategy practice prior to joining IQVIA. She has an extremely wide experience of international pharmaceutical industry issues, having worked for most of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies on issues in the US, Europe, Japan, and leading emerging markets. She is now Vice President, European Marketing and Thought Leadership in IQVIA, a team she has run for 10 years.

Sarah presents to hundreds of pharmaceutical industry clients every year on a wide range of global pharmaceutical industry issues, and has published white papers on many topics, including:

  • Uptake and impact of innovative medicines, and challenges for Launch Excellence
  • The relative strength and prognosis for the developed and the emerging pharmaceutical markets
  • The global uptake and impact of multichannel marketing
  • Biosimilars market opportunity and the drivers of market establishment
  • Orphan drugs launch challenges
  • Cell and gene therapies commercialisation challenges and opportunity
  • The evolution of the global biologics market
  • Africa pharmaceutical market opportunity and challenges

Sarah holds a degree in biochemistry from Oxford University.

Professor Adrian Hayday

Professor of Immunology, King's College London

Speaker's biography

Adrian Hayday trained as a biochemist, undertook PhD studies in tumour virology and then pursued postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT he characterised chromosome translocation breakpoints in human B cell lymphomas and contributed to identification of the hitherto unanticipated gamma delta T cell compartment by being the first to describe T cell receptor gamma chain genes.

In 1985 he joined the faculty at Yale, where he helped show that gamma delta T cells illustrate a distinct, unrecognised aspect of lymphocyte biology, including the cells' disproportionate association with tissues rather than with lymphoid organs and their rapid responses to tissue stress. At a time when tumour immune surveillance was not widely accepted, his lab showed that mice lacking gamma delta T cells are profoundly more susceptible to carcinogens. His group returned to London in 1998 to establish the Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology at King's College London. He joined the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute as a joint appointee in 2009.

In his Crick Lecture, Adrian will argue that the capacity of T cells to respond to carcinomas relies on their first learning what is normal. A unique molecular basis for setting that frame-of-reference will be described. And then COVID-19 arrived, shattering frames-of-reference on a global scale, but offering rare opportunities to observe T cell biology in humans experiencing severe infectious disease. Adrian will propose that those observations may offer rich lessons for better understanding and improving cancer immune-surveillance. In recent years, his group has developed a strong programme in human immunology, including clinical trials applying gamma delta T cells in immunotherapy. Among many honours, in 1997 he became the first biologist to win Yale College's most prestigious prize for scholarship, the William Clyde DeVane Medal.

James Brook

James Brook

Head of UK and Ireland Clinical Delivery, IQVIA

Speaker's biography

James Brook is head of UK and Ireland clinical delivery at IQVIA, a leading provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services.

His role at IQVIA involves supporting and building the UK and Ireland in being the first-choice countries for global clinical research. His previous roles in the company include heading Therapeutic Strategy Europe, Middle East and Africa, Prime and Partner network in Western Europe, and Feasibility and Site ID Western Europe.

Before joining IQVIA in 2008 James worked for more than
15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, with positions at Wyeth, Novartis and GSK and has built up in-depth patient, site, therapeutic, and clinical research experience.

Larissa Kerecuk

Dr Larissa Kerecuk

Rare Disease Lead, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Clinical Research Lead, National Institute for Health Research West Midlands Clinical Research Network.

Speaker's biography

Larissa is the Rare Disease Lead at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) where she led the development of the World’s First Children’s Rare Disease Centre involving Children, Young People, Families and Patient Groups throughout the process. Larissa led the 100 000 Genomes Project at BCH ensuring that over 4000 participants were recruited. Larissa now runs the Rare Disease Clinical Service for Children and Young People with complex rare and undiagnosed genetic diseases for which there are no dedicated clinics or specialists together with the Roald Dahl Rare Disease Nurses at BCH.

Larissa’s main role is being a Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist leading the Transition Service between Paediatrics and Adult Care at University Hospital Birmingham.

In the Covid-19 Pandemic, Larissa has been leading the Shielding Programme for thousands of patients at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

As the Clinical Research Lead for NIHR West Midlands, she champions research for all patients and ensured that her Hospital became a Centre of Excellence in the IQVIA Paediatric and Rare Disease Network. Larissa is the Chief Investigator for the NIHR  Stars Together Rare Disease Registry and the Rare Disease Theme of the NIHR Children Medical Technology Project.

Larissa co-chairs the Genomics Rare Diseases Test Evaluation Working Group evaluating new genetic tests to be available for clinical care and is a member of the NHS England Genomics Clinical Reference Group.

She also has voluntary roles as Chief Medical Advisor to ‘Make a Wish Foundation UK’ and “Dreams Come True”.

Larissa was in the top 25 Women Leaders in UK Healthcare 2019 (Pharmaceutical Market Europe) and was awarded the ITV’s Lorraine Kelly’s Hero Award in 2016 having been nominated by her patients for always going above and beyond for them.


View the programme here

Welcome and introduction

Dr Melita Irving, Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and Trustee, Royal Society of Medicine

The UK in context: The global landscape for genomics initiatives

Sarah Rickwood, Vice President, Thought Leadership and Marketing at IQVIA

COVID-19 and immune signatures: What a difference collaboration makes

Professor Adrian Hayday, Professor of Immunology, King's College London

The impact of COVID on UK clinical research and beyond

James Brook, Head of UK and Ireland Clinical Delivery, IQVIA

Post-COVID 19: How the UK can optimise genomics capability to accelerate rare disease research, diagnosis and treatment discovery in the wake of COVID-19

Dr Larissa Kerecuk, Consultant Paediatriac Nephrologist and Rare Disease lead, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Panel discussion
Close of meeting




Disclaimer: All views expressed on this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM.

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

All webinars will be available for registered delegates 30 days after on Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place.  

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels. 

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