BBMS12_Flier_A4The 5th annual Building Bridges in Medical Sciences (BBMS) symposium was held in October 2011 at the Robinson College in Cambridge. The speakers for the day included Prof. Lindsey Davies, Dr. Bernard Harris, Prof. John Bell, Dr. Robert Winter, Sir Salvador Moncada, Prof. Dick Swaab and Sir Greg Winter.


Committee chairs: Eszter Zavodszky & Bennett Waxse


Professor Lindsey Davies
Department of Health, London, UK

From the Department of Health in London, Professor Davies lead the UK’s preparations for a flu pandemic in 2006 and the swine flu outbreak in 2009. She also served as the Director of Health for the Olympics and Paralympics Programme. Professor Davies has also spent six months as the interim Regional Director of Public Health for London and the Health Advisor to the Mayor. In 2010, she was appointed President of the UK Faculty of Public Health, the position which she holds today. Professor Davies also holds an Honorary Professorship in Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology at Nottingham University.


Dr. Bernard Harris
MRC UKChief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc.

Dr Bernard Harris completed a National Research Council Fellowship at the NASA Ames Research Center, where he conducted research in the field of musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. He then joined NASA Johnson Space Center as a clinical scientist and flight surgeon. Currently, he is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm that invests in early-to-mid-stage Healthcare technologies and companies.


Professor John Bell
Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University

Prof. Bell heads the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, a Terry Fox funded group from across Canada that develops virus based cancer therapeutics. He is also the Director of the Biotherapeutics Program for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. His research program is directed towards the identification and characterization of novel viruses that specifically infect and kill cancer cells. Currently he is also the Chief Scientific Officer for Jennerex Biotherapeutics, a small biotech company that performs clinical testing of virus therapeutics in patients.


Dr. Robert Winter
National Clinical Director for the Respiratory Programme in the Department of Health, Cambridge

Since 2009, Dr. Winter has been the National Clinical Director for the Respiratory Programme in the Department of Health and currently, Dr Winter serves as Director of the Cambridge  University Health Partners. Previous roles include Medical Director of NHS East of England 2008-2011, membership of the Editorial Board of Thorax and Trustee and Vice President of the British Lung Foundation. He was appointed OBE for services to the medicine and healthcare in the New Year’s honours, 2009.


Sir Salvador Moncada
Director of the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London, current address: Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, The University of Manchester,

Originally from Honduras, Sir Salvador Moncada was part of the team that discovered that  aspirin-like drugs inhibit prostaglandin biosynthesis. Later, he described the structure of  prostacyclin and after Furchgott’s discovery of endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), Moncada and his team showed that EDRF was, in fact, nitric oxide. Professor Moncada was appointed Director of the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London in 1995. He has won numerous awards including a Dart/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Award, the Prince of Asturias Scientific and Technological Research Award and the Dr AH Heineken  Prize for Medicine from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science.


Professor Dick Swaab
Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam

From 1978 untill 2005 Professor Swaab served as Director of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, and since 1979 he has served as Professor of Neurobiology at the University of  Amsterdam. His main research interests include sexual differentiation of the brain,  neurodegenerative disorders and depression. In the 1990s Swaab published controversial findings showing that the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals differ, a conclusion that is now generally accepted in the field.


Sir Greg Winter
Deputy Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council, and Head of the Division of Protein and Nucleic Acids Chemistry.

In 1989 Sir Greg Winter founded Cambridge Antibody Technology, which developed an antibody to TNF alpha (HUMIRA; adalimumab) – one of the most successful antibody drugs to date. In 2000, Winter founded a company called Domantis to pioneer the use of domain antibodies, which use only the active portion of full-sized antibodies. Winter is Deputy Director at the MRC  Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge and currently serves as master of Trinity College.