Events > BEW Health Event 2021

A UK/US Discussion:
Lessons from the Past and
Joint Action on Pandemic Preparedness

21 September 2021

row-start col-md-12 #top-section top-section new-section


We're joined by an illustrious panel of UK and US global health and science leaders from government, business, and academia. Below you can find out more about them.
Sir Patrick Vallance, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser


Patrick was President, R&D at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from 2012 until 2017. Prior to GSK, he was a clinical academic, Professor of Medicine and led the Division of Medicine at UCL. He has over 20 years' experience of basic and clinical research, and was a consultant physician in the NHS. His research spanned from work on medicinal chemistry and structural biology, through to cellular work, studies in humans and use of large electronic health record databases.
Dr. Eric Lander, The President's Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy


Dr. Eric Lander is President Biden's science advisor and the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He was formerly the President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute, a research institute that is closely affiliated with MIT, Harvard, and five of Boston's major hospitals and focused on genomic medicine.
Dr. Lander was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project. A geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, he has played a pioneering role in the reading, understanding, and biomedical application of the human genome - including developing powerful methods for discovering the molecular basis of human diseases that are used around the world. He has received numerous national and international honors for his work.
Dr. Lander has served as a scientific advisor to the federal government across multiple administrations, including to the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense.
Sir Menelas Pangalos, EVP & President BioPharmaceutricals R&D, AstraZeneca


A member of the company's Senior Executive team, Mene has overall responsibility for the company's pharmaceutical discovery research and early development activities.

Since joining AstraZeneca in 2010, Mene has been instrumental in rebuilding the company's commitment to science and scientific excellence. He has led the transformation of R&D productivity, driven deeper collaborations with academic, biotech and peer organisations, pioneered programmes to promote Open Innovation and fostered a science driven culture that rewards great science and truth-seeking behaviours. 

Mene retains an active interest in neurodegenerative disease and neuropharmacology and continues to mentor post docs and PhD students. He was recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours list with a knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, for his services to UK science.

Mene is also overseeing the creation of AstraZeneca's new R&D Centre in Cambridge - a state of the art facility designed to stimulate collaborative scientific innovation, and which will play an important role in the future success of the UK life science industry.


Dr. Prahlad Singh, President and CEO, PerkinElmer



Dr. Pahlad Singh is President and Chief Executive Officer of PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE: PKI), a global corporation delivering unique solutions to serve the Life Sciences, Diagnostics, Food and Applied Markets. Prior to this appointment in December 2019, Dr. Singh served as the company's President and Chief Operating Officer. He joined PerkinElmer in 2014 as the President of the Diagnostics business. Prior to joining PerkinElmer, Dr. Singh was General Manager of GE Healthcare's Women's Health business, responsible for its mammography and bone densitometry segments. He has also held senior executive level roles in strategy, business development and mergers & acquisitions at both GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare.

Dr. Singh has more than 25 years of leadership experience with global innovators in healthcare technology. His research work has resulted in several issued patents and publications in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Singh holds a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from Northeastern University. Dr. Singh was elected to PerkinElmer's Board of Directors in August 2019. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Analytical, Life Science & Diagnostics Association (ALDA); and is a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital President's Council.


Rick A. Bright, PhD, Senior Vice President, Pandemic Prevention and Response, The Rockefeller Foundation


Rick Bright is currently the Senior Vice President, Pandemic Prevention and Response at The Rockefeller Foundation leading the development of the Foundation's pandemic data and action platform that will prevent future pandemics by identifying and triggering responses to the earliest alerts of a disease outbreak and stopping it in the first 100 days. 

Prior to this role, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to BARDA, Dr. Bright gained extensive experience in the biotechnology industry where he served in senior leadership and executive management roles. Dr. Bright has held senior scientific leadership positions in non-governmental organizations where he championed innovative vaccine development and manufacturing capacity expansion in developing countries. He also spent a decade in vaccine and therapeutics development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For this work, Dr. Bright received the Charles C. Shepard Science Award for Scientific Excellence. 

Dr. Bright serves as an international subject matter expert in biodefense, emergency preparedness and response, vaccine, drug and diagnostics development and served as an advisor to the Biden Administration, World Health Organization, development of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine Forum on Microbial Threats.

Dr. Bright received a Ph.D. in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University and a B.S. magna cum laude in Biology and Physical Sciences from Auburn University at Montgomery. 


Dr. Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency


Dr. Jenny Harries has previously served on the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and brings a wealth of public health knowledge and expertise gained from working in the NHS and local government at local, regional, and national levels. She played central roles in the UK's response to COVID, Ebola, Zika, monkeypox, MERS and the Novichok attacks. 

UK Health Security Agency is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care. The Chief Executive leads the agency and is accountable for its strategy and operations, and the effective and efficient use of public funds. 


Alison Snyder, Managing Editor, Axios



Alison Snyder is a managing editor at Axios. She oversees the newsroom's coverage of science, space, world news and other areas. 

Alison is a writer and producer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Scientific American, The Scientist and The Lancet. Before joining Axios, she was an executive producer at The Washington Post where she oversaw the editorial team for Washington Post Live. She graduated from MIT with a degree in chemical engineering and studied botany at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand on a Fulbright scholarship.