Team

Meet the Team

  • Prof. Tom Solomon CBE

    Director of the Pandemic Institute

    Professor Tom Solomon CBE has been working on emerging infections of pandemic potential for nearly thirty years, with research programmes in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the UK.

    He is Professor of Neurological Science and Head of the Brain Infections Group at the University of Liverpool. He trained in medicine in Oxford, did his PhD in Vietnam, and post-doctoral research in the United States. He was Director of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health (2010-17). In 2014 Tom was made founding Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections which was heavily involved in the UK response to Ebola, Zika, Covid-19 and now monkeypox. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator, and Vice President (International) of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

    Tom appears regularly in the media discussing emerging infections, hosts the Scouse Science Podcast and tweets @RunningMadProf.

  • Dr Ray Kent

    Chief Operating Officer

    Dr Ray Kent is a senior manager with a passion for supporting leading-edge research into emerging infectious diseases and facilitating knowledge exchange with industry.

    Prior to joining The Pandemic Institute in August 2022, Ray was Director of Research and Innovation Services at The Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Since 2015 he has won more than £20 million in grant funding for research and knowledge exchange activities, much of it in infectious disease and vaccine development. Most notably, from 2018 to 2022 Ray led The Bloomsbury SET (‘Science, Economics, Technology’), a £7-million translational research programme on infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance. This brought together leading researchers from London and Liverpool with the aim of bringing new products and services closer to the marketplace – the perfect introduction to his role at The Pandemic Institute.

  • Sarah Martindale

    Programme Manager

    Sarah completed her MSc in Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in 2013 where, as part of her research project, she investigated the physical, social and economic impact of lymphatic filariasis on communities in Malawi. In 2014, she joined the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CNTD) at LSTM as a Programme Manager.

    Her key areas of expertise include programme design, oversight and monitoring of programme implementation and cross-sectoral collaboration. Sarah has a strong track record building partnerships between stakeholders, including collaborating with national governments and local experts in complex multicultural environments across Africa.

  • Dr Caryn Hughes

    Programme Manager

    Prior to joining, Caryn was Manager of the Doctoral Training Hub at the University of Glasgow, leading a multi-institutional team responsible for providing end-to-end management and administration for numerous UKRI-funded Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and also served as Coordinator for the CDT in Future Ultrasonic Engineering in partnership with Strathclyde University. Preceding this, Caryn worked as a Business Development Manager for an EPSRC and SFI CDT between the University of Glasgow, Queen’s University Belfast and the Irish Photonic Integration Centre.

    Caryn’s former research background was based on spectral pathology for disease-state diagnostics, working as PhD student and Research Associate at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, the Analytical and Medical Vibrational Spectroscopy Group at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and as a Visiting Researcher at the Spectral Analytics Laboratory at the University of Strathclyde.

  • Sara Donovan

    Operations & Finance Manager

    Sara has a proven track record in High-level programme coordination, with operational and financial management. She has over 17 years’ experience in the delivery of major projects funded by UKAid (DFID/FCDO), GSK, and BMGF in partnership with government and non-governmental bodies across UK, Asia and Africa. Collaborating with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to deliver against demanding deadlines.

    Sara’s previous role was on the programme management team for the Ascend West and Central Africa programme. With the responsibility for the financial management and reporting of a 3 year, £18M milestone-based contract. Funded by FCDO UKAid and managed by four leading development organisations: LSTM, Sightsavers International, The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Foundation, and Mott MacDonald.

  • Dr Becky Glennon-Alty

    Communications Manager

    Since completing her Zoology based PhD in 2009, Becky has largely worked in science communications and public engagement roles, and is passionate about breaking down barriers and making scientific research accessible to all. She has worked specifically in the field of infectious diseases communication and engagement for almost 10 years, and is an experienced events manager.

  • Reyhaneh Dobbash

    Trainee Business Development Officer

    Rey joined the team in October 2023 after completing my MRES in Advanced Biological Sciences, specializing in Immunology. With a BSc in Biological and Medical Sciences from the University of Liverpool, and having experienced the challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic during my undergraduate studies, she is eager to contribute to infectious disease prevention. Her role involves identifying funding opportunities, cultivating partnerships, and leveraging strategic alliances to advance the institute’s initiatives in pandemic research and preparedness.

Our Steering Group

  • Professor David Sweeney
    TPI Steering Group Chair

    Professor David Sweeney was Executive Chair of Research England for five years, and Director for Research, Innovation and Skills in the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for ten years, working collaboratively with other UK higher education funding bodies to oversee the first Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. Currently, he is the Professor of Research Policy at the University of Birmingham.

  • Professor Louise Kenny
    University of Liverpool

    Professor Louise Kenny is the Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool; she is also a founding Director of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research and was until December 2017 Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Cork University Maternity Hospital where she worked as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist from 2006-2018.

  • Professor David Lalloo
    Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

    Professor David Lalloo is the Director of School of Tropical Medicine and a clinical academic in Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases with a particular interest in clinical trials and epidemiological studies in LMICs. He chaired the DHSC COVID-19 Prophylaxis Oversight group and was an advisor to a number of DHSC, FCDO/DfID, NIHR and NICE COVID-19 groups. He currently chairs the NIHR Global Health Advisory Group, has been a member of the Medical Research Council Global Health group for over 10 years and was previously a member of SAGE for Ebola and Zika.

  • Professor Raphaela Kane
    Liverpool John Moores University

    Professor Raphaela Kane is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health at Liverpool John Moores University. Professor Kane has a clinical background specialising in Accident and Emergency nursing in both the UK and Ireland. She has enjoyed an extensive clinical and senior management career in the NHS in London for 15 years undertaking further studies in nursing and education.

  • Dr Jim Gardner
    Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Dr Jim Gardner joined LUHFT as Chief Medical Officer in June 2022. In a career of over 30 years, Jim has undertaken senior leadership roles across primary and secondary care, the private sector, charitable sector and academia. Having studied medicine at Cambridge University and London, Jim undertook a series of clinical roles across England and Australia before becoming a GP Partner in a high performing practice in Cumbria.

  • Colin Sinclair
    KQ Liverpool

    Colin is the CEO of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool), which is transforming almost half of Liverpool City Centre into a world-leading innovation district. Colin has recently taken up the dual role of CEO of Sciontec Liverpool, a new development company that has been created to bring new investment to the city regions science and tech business facilities, whilst creating a world-leading innovation ecosystem to help commercialise research and grow innovation-led companies.

  • Professor Matt Ashton
    Liverpool City Council

    Professor Matt Ashton was appointed as the Director of Public Health in Liverpool City Council in April 2020 in a joint appointed with the University of Liverpool, where he received his honorary professorship with the department of public health and policy. Matt is also the lead Director of Public Health for the Liverpool City Region Violence Reduction Partnership, and for Food Active, a healthy weight programme delivered by the Health Equalities Group, and commissioned by local authority public health teams, NHS organisations, and Public Health England teams at both regional and national level.

  • Adrian Nolan
    Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

    Adrian Nolan has extensive experience in the design and management of economic/social research and policy development, and have been working in economic development and regeneration for fifteen years having held a number of roles in consultancy and policy environments. His key areas of expertise are in policy development and analysis, evaluation, economic/social assessments, appraisals, housing and business and industry research.