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Keynote Speakers

prof-hywel-williamsProfessor Hywel C. Williams DSc, FMedSci, NIHR Senior Investigator

Hywel became Director of the UK NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme in 2016, having chaired the HTA commissioning board from 2010-15. The NIHR HTA Programme is the largest UK funder of pragmatic clinical trials and other studies that can directly influence clinical practice in the UK National Health Service. The HTA Programme is over 20 years old and manages a portfolio of over 400 active studies with an annual spend of around £76 million. About half of HTA work is commissioned following extensive topic identification and prioritisation, and half is researcher-led. Hywel cares passionately about research that is directly relevant to the NHS and has been a champion of public and patient involvement in research. His own research interests include conducting independent clinical trials and systematic reviews of interventions to prevent and treat skin diseases. Hywel co-directs the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology at the University of Nottingham and is consultant paediatric dermatologist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Hywel is an NIHR senior investigator and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Professer Williams will be speaking on Wednesday 10th May, click here for more details of his talk.


Dr. Susan Ellenberg, PhD., Professor of BiostatisticsSusan Ellenberg

Dr. Susan Ellenberg is Professor of Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her  research has focused on practical problems and ethical issues in designing, conducting and analyzing data from clinical trials, including surrogate endpoints, data monitoring committees, clinical trial designs, adverse event monitoring, vaccine safety and special issues in cancer and AIDS trials.   At Penn, in addition to her teaching and administrative duties she serves as senior statistician for several multicenter clinical trials and directs the Biostatistics Core of the Penn Center for AIDS Research and chairs the organizing committee for the annual Penn conference on statistical issues in clinical trials.

Prior to her appointment at Penn, Dr. Ellenberg held positions of increasing responsibility in the federal government, including service as Director of the Office of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and as the first Chief of the Biostatistics Research Branch in the Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Ellenberg is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Society for Clinical Trials and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.  A second edition of her book, Data Monitoring Committees in Clinical Trials: A Practical Perspective, co-authored with Drs. Thomas Fleming and David DeMets, is in preparation.

Dr Ellenberg will be speaking on Monday 8th May, click here for more details of her talk.


Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, MD, MPHdr-gaziano-20-white-coat-full-smile

Principal Investigator, Million Veteran  Program and Scientific Director of the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), VA Boston Heathcare System; Chief, Division of Aging, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; all in Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Gaziano is a preventive cardiologist and internationally recognized chronic disease epidemiologist whose research interests include the epidemiology of chronic diseases using large data sources.  He has a particular interest in the lifestyle, metabolic, biochemical and genetic determinants of common chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

A centerpiece of his research involves the conduct of observational studies and trials that are imbedded in a health care system and the curation of electronic health data from many sources.  He serves as one of two PIs of the Million Veteran Program (MVP), a project that will enroll one million veterans into a longitudinal cohort with stored biospecimens, self-reported data and the rich electronic clinical and administrative data available in the VA. To date over 450,000 veterans have been enrolled into MVP. He is principal investigator of the Physicians’ Health Study, a large-scale trial-based cohort of over 29,000 physicians followed for over 30 years. He has also served as PI, Co-PI or co-investigator on a number of other cohort studies and large-scale trials. He serves on advisory committees for the Precision Medicine Initiative and the UKBiobank.

Dr. Gaziano oversees several fellowship programs and teaches advanced epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.  He has published over 500 journal articles, reviews, book chapters and books.  He also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr Gaziano will be speaking on Tuesday 9th May.