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Birmingham Post Power 250: Science

The ten people listed as the most influential in the West Midlands from the world of science

From left: Sir Adrian Cadbury, Sir Dominic Cadbury and Prof Jo Bradwell at The Binding Site after winning a Queen's Award in 2007
From left: Sir Adrian Cadbury, Sir Dominic Cadbury and Prof Jo Bradwell at The Binding Site after winning a Queen's Award in 2007

Jo Bradwell, The Binding Site

Professor Jo Bradwell founded Birmingham-based medical diagnostics company Binding Site in 1983. The company was spun out of research work undertaken at the University of Birmingham The team developed a new way to produce highly sensitive antibodies which could be used for diagnostic tests to identify childhood immune deficiencies and blood cancers in adults. Realising they had identified a process with huge commercial potential internationally the research team, led by Professor Jo Bradwell created the Binding Site as a commercial venture. In 2011, Prof Bradwell sold the majority of the shares in the medical diagnostics company to private investment group Nordic Capital. Jo Bradwell retains a shareholding and remains on the board.

Norman Price, OBE, Birmingham Science City

Norman Price is chairman of Birmingham Science City – a post he as held since 2008. Established ten years ago Birmingham Science City is a partnership of public, private and academia sectors to promote science and technology in the city and stimulate innovation. Norman Price is also chairman of the West Midlands Xlep Finance Group which supplies funding to SMEs. He is a council member of the University of Birmingham and chair of West Midlands Regional Finance Forum.

Pam Waddell, Birmingham Science City

Pam Waddell is a director of Birmingham Science City, providing leadership and co-ordination. She is a former science and engineering policy director at The Royal Society. Before she took up her current role in 2009 she was deputy director of research and commercial services at the University of Birmingham. She also spent seven years at the university as European funding manager. She holds a PhD in physiology from the University of Bristol.

Camilla Barker, The Big Bang

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair is aimed at inspiring the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. In its eight year, the 2016 fair took place at the NEC earlier this month, attended by nearly 60,000 young people and 12,000 teachers. Run by EngineeringUK, Camilla Barker is its event director. The major event has been held at major centres around the UK and has an annual budget of around £2 million. She has been directing the event since 2013.

Laura Piddock, University of Birmingham

Professor Laura Piddock is Professor of microbiology in the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Microbiology and Infection. She is also deputy director of the institute. She is at the forefront of antimicrobial research and has published nearly 200 articles in international peer-reviewed journals. Her current research focuses on antibiotic resistance. She is an active participant in international research consortia and is director of antibiotic action for the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. She is an advisor to the World Health Organisation.

Laura Piddock, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Birmingham
Laura Piddock, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Birmingham

Clifford Bailey, Aston University

Clifford Bailey is professor of Clinical Science in the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University. He is involved in diabetes research and is a published author on diabetic medicine and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. He is also a member of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the British Pharmacological Society.

Malcolm Stevens OBE

Professor Malcolm Stevens was responsible for the discovery and early development of temozolomide, a treatment for brain tumours. He carried out most of his research at Aston University where he was a reader and then professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. From 1980 to 2006 he was the director of Cancer Research UK’s experimental cancer chemotherapy group. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Emeritus Professor in the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Science, and chief scientific officer of Pharminox Ltd.

Alice Roberts, University of Birmingham

Clinical anatomist, author and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts is the University of Birmingham’s Professor of Public Engagement in Science. A regular presenter on science subjects on TV programmes including Coast, Time Team and Horizon, she joined the university in 2012. She teaches the universities first year medical students and second year biosciences and supervises PhD students. In her public engagement role she helps promote the university’s research to the general public.

Dr Alice Roberts with an artefact at the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the university
Dr Alice Roberts with an artefact at the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the university

Derek McMinn, BMI Edgbaston Hospital

Derek McMinn is often referred to as the “father of modern hip resurfacing” and is a world expert on hip and knee operations. He practices as an orthopaedic surgeon at the McMinn Centre at the BMI Healthcare Hospital, Edgbaston, and is the inventor of Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR). He has also developed a high-performance knee replacement. Having performed more than 3,500 metal-on-metal hip resurfacing operations over the last 20 years he is one of the most experienced surgeons in his field. He is extensively published on the subjects of hip resurfacing and hip arthritis.

Robin Vickers, Digital Life Sciences

Robin Vickers is founder and chief executive of Birmingham-based Digital Life Sciences. The Waterloo Street company provides health and care organisations with software and technology to manage patient care and treatment. With 15 years’ experience in the healthcare sector he launched Digital Life Sciences in 2009. The firm has recently merged with Spring Active, a provider of remote digital and physical back pain management services. Robin Vickers is chair of the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network group and a technology advisor to the Government’s Seven-Day Access Board.

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