The scientific advice team is:
Director for Scientific Advice
Jeanette joined NICE as Director for Scientific Advice in November 2018. She is responsible for the stewardship and growth of the NICE Scientific Advice business unit, which includes all aspects of business development, management, project delivery and governance. Jeanette takes an active role in the sign-off and quality assurance of work across all services offered by the team. She also chairs many of the national and parallel scientific advice meetings for medical device and pharmaceutical product developers.
Previously Jeanette held the positions of Head of HTA and Health Economics and Scientific Director at Costello Medical, a consultancy within the life science sector. She has broad research interests across different methods for health technology evaluation and has previously worked on clinical trial design, health economic modelling and quality of life measurement.
Jeanette studied undergraduate natural sciences at the University of Cambridge and postgraduate health economics at the University of York.
Principal Scientific Adviser
Deborah leads on a number of strategic initiatives within the scientific advice team.
She holds an Honours Degree in Pharmacy and a Clinical Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy. Previously, Deborah was responsible for developing a series of combined clinical and commissioning roles within Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust and NHS Cambridgeshire CCG. She led on the economic evaluation, assessment and prioritisation of new drugs and therapies for the local and regional health economies. She was Lead Pharmacist for the Anglia Cancer Network and Lead Pharmacist for the former Public Health Network associated with the PCT.
Deborah has also worked within a hospital foundation trust to optimise its economic evaluation and implementation of drugs and devices and as a professional adviser to various healthcare consulting companies.
She has an MSc in Economic Evaluation in Healthcare and remains a registered Pharmacist.
Dr Elangovan Gajraj
Principal Technical Adviser
Eli leads on methodology issues for scientific advice and is responsible for seminars and other educational activities for the programme.
Eli graduated in medicine from St John's Medical College, Bangalore, India. Following this he worked as a research assistant in physiology, studying the physiology of adaptation to chronic stress. He then trained in paediatrics in India and the UK, achieving membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Eli has a Masters in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics.
He joined NICE in 2006 as an analyst in the Technology Appraisals Programme, focusing on the appraisal of interventions in haematological malignancies and diabetes.
Dr Emily Crowe
Senior Scientific Adviser
Emily’s role involves technical leadership on scientific advice projects and attending parallel scientific advice procedures with other HTAs and regulatory agencies. Emily also delivers educational seminars and contributes to business development for scientific advice.
Emily has a PhD in biochemistry and an MRC postdoctoral research fellowship in immune cell biology. Previously, she worked as a research fellow in NICE guideline development at the Royal College of Physicians, and as coordinator of the MRC Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research.
Dr Grace Jennings
Senior Scientific Adviser
Grace acts as technical lead on scientific advice projects, attends parallel scientific advice procedures with other HTAs and regulatory agencies, and delivers educational seminars.
Previously, Grace was a Technical Analyst in the technology appraisals team at NICE.
Grace graduated in Biomedical Sciences before undertaking an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases and a PhD on emerging infectious diseases and biological warfare policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She lectures and coordinates outbreak scenario exercises each year as a Visiting Fellow at LSHTM.
Dr Chris Chesters
Senior Scientific Adviser
Chris is involved in a range of scientific advice projects, which include attending parallel scientific advice with other HTAs and regulatory agencies, and delivering educational seminars.
Previously, Chris worked in both the NICE Technology Appraisals Programme, and the NICE Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme. Prior to joining NICE, he worked at a healthcare consultancy where he worked on market access projects.
Chris graduated with a Master’s degree in Biological Chemistry from the University of Sheffield and completed a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester.
Pilar Pinilla Dominguez
Senior Scientific Adviser
Pilar is involved in NICE scientific advice projects and also attends parallel scientific advice with other HTAs and regulatory agencies. Pilar also participates in educational seminar and business development for scientific advice.
Pilar holds a University degree in Business Administration and Management from University of La Laguna (Spain). She also has a MSc in Health Economics, Policy and Law with specialisation in Health Economics from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Pilar joined NICE in 2012 as Technical Analyst in the Technology Appraisals programme where she took part in several technology appraisals for different conditions and was also involved as a technical lead in different highly specialised technologies evaluations for the Highly Specialised Technologies programme.
Before joining NICE, Pilar worked as a Researcher in an HTA Unit in the Canary Islands in Spain conducting systematics reviews and economic evaluations for the Spanish NHS.
Irina is involved in a range of scientific advice projects. Prior to joining the scientific advice team, Irina worked for the technology appraisal programme at NICE where she led on development of technology appraisal guidelines.
Before joining NICE Irina worked in different settings including public and private sectors in the UK and Lithuania. Most recently she worked at a consultancy Optimity Advisors where Irina was responsible for research and evaluation work on various health topics for public sector organisations across the UK and European Union.
Irina holds BSc and MSc in Public Health from Vilnius University as well as a Postgraduate diploma in Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Senior Scientific Adviser - Health Economic Modelling
Micah’s primary role at Scientific Advice is the peer review of health economic models through the PRIMA service. His ancillary roles include the critical appraisal of clinical and economic evidence, and providing advice on evidence generation and synthesis for Health Technology Assessment (HTA) processes.
Previous to joining Scientific Advice, Micah was a health economic researcher in two evidence review groups (ERGs) for NICE technology appraisal (TA) programmes, with work conducted across the following programmes:
- single technology appraisals (STA)
- multiple technology appraisals (MTA)
- diagnostics assessment programme (DAP)
- highly specialised technologies (HST).
Micah has published research on quality of life measurement methodology as well as sensitivity analysis in TA, and in applied health economic publications in pre-eclampsia, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and service delivery of chemotherapy.
Micah earned a BA in Political Science with a specialisation in Political Economy from the University of Washington (Seattle, USA), and an MSc in Health Economics and Health Policy from the University of Birmingham (distinction).
Principal Scientific Adviser
Francois has joined the scientific advice team in March 2018 as a Senior Technical Adviser.
Before working at NICE, François was the Head of Operational Research and Data Analytics at the Office of Health Economics (OHE). During his work at the OHE, Francois performed some consultancy work for the Association of the British Industry Association (ABPI) on the availability, reimbursement decisions and access of innovative medicines in the United Kingdom and in Europe. Francois was the main contributor of a study aimed at assessing the public health impact of Brexit for the UK and the European Union. The study was used as supporting evidence at the House of Common for the "Brexit – medicines, medical devices and substances of human origin" inquiry. The study was extensively reported in the general press (Financial Times, Guardian, Telegraph, etc.).
François previously worked as a Technical Adviser in the NICE scientific advice team, where he was particularly involved in NICE, MHRA and EMA parallel advice, SEED and EUNetHTA projects, advising manufacturers on their clinical development plans, particularly pivotal phase 3 studies. He also developed the scientific advice database.
Prior to his time at NICE, François worked for the European Medicines Agency for 15 years; his activities covered both pre-registration and post-authorisation procedures, EU legislation and guidelines, and the implementation of the European pharmacovigilance database (EudraVigilance). François started his career as a hospital pharmacist and joined the French Medicines Agency in 1996. He has conducted and published studies in experimental pharmacology, pharmacovigilance, safety signal detection and data mining. He is a reviewer for international pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology scientific journals.
François holds a doctorate in pharmacy, an MSc in molecular pharmacochemistry and a post-graduation diploma in hospital pharmacy and public health (Université René Descartes, Paris). Francois also holds an MSc in applied statistics (University of London).
Dr Igor Kojic
Business Development Manager
Igor is responsible for designing and delivering business development strategies for NICE Scientific Advice. He brings 15 years of investment and operational experience in venture capital through the sourcing, appraisal, valuations and board-level management of innovative businesses focused in pharmaceuticals, novel chemical entities, biotechnology, medical devices, digital health software, AI/Deep Machine Learning and diagnostics.
Previously, Igor has worked for various government biodefense agencies and has advised several leading technology companies on intellectual property management, business growth opportunities, funding, market differentiation strategies and commercial exploitation pathways.
Igor has an M.Sc. in Biochemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Physics from University College London.
Deborah is responsible for the operational and commercial functions within the programme. This includes being the primary contact for companies interested in seeking advice, overseeing the management of all advice services and working closely with stakeholders and business partners to publicise the work of the programme and develop new services and initiatives.
Previously, Deborah worked in various NHS public health roles, leading on a number of public health research, audit and service development projects. Deborah has a degree in Psychology, a post-graduate diploma in Psychological Research Methods and holds a post graduate certificate in Public Health.
Philippa is responsible for planning and coordinating the delivery of our project services and plays a key role in liaising with external clients and stakeholders.
Before joining the team, Philippa worked within the Clinical Audit programme at NICE where she provided project support to the Implementation team. Philippa holds an honours degree in English and Spanish from the University of Manchester.
Assistant Project Manager
Toni is responsible for planning and coordinating the delivery of our project services. She plays a key role in liasing with external clients and stakeholders. She's also involved with data collection and analysis for the team.
Toni has an honours degree in Marketing and Design from the University of Teesside. Prior to joining NICE, Toni held various planning and co-ordinator roles in the NHS and private sector.
Assistant Project Manager
Ian is responsible for planning and coordinating the delivery of our project services. He plays a key role in liasing with external clients and stakeholders. He's also involved with the development of coordination systems.
Before joining the team Ian worked in the NICE Centre for Guidelines, where he managed the development of Public Health guidelines. He's previously worked in NICE's web team and Science Policy and Research team.
Liga worked within the technology appraisals programme at NICE before joining the scientific advice team. In this role she provided project management support including stakeholder management for the Strategic Technology Appraisals Review project and newly established Cancer Drugs Fund. Liga holds an honours degree in History and International Politics from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Richard is responsible for business and operational planning and implementation. This includes overseeing the management of all advice services, acting as a key point of contact for companies looking to seek advice and working closely with stakeholders and business partners to develop new policies, processes and services. Having been in the team since 2010, he has played a key role in designing many of the processes used in scientific advice both at NICE and in parallel services with other agencies.
Richard is qualified to a postgraduate level and has also worked as Head of Business Development for the NHS Transformation Unit, where he was responsible for the growth and diversification of the business, developing new services and raising awareness of the organisation within the health and care sector.
Magda worked as administrator in the science policy and research programme team before joining the scientific advice team. In this role she provided administrative and operational support to senior managers, IMI projects leads and other team members. She was also involved in processes development.
Magda holds an honours degree in English Literature and Linguistics and MA in Translation Studies from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Before joining NICE, Magda held various administrative and customer service roles in non-profit and private sectors both in the United Kingdom and Poland.
Karen is responsible for supporting the delivery of project services. Before joining NICE, Karen developed research and project management skills in the public, private and academic sectors. She led multi-disciplinary teams to research and create evidence-based behaviour change programmes, liaising with internal and external stakeholders.
Karen holds an honours degree in Biology from the University of Nottingham.