Mr Kevin Kiely – Medilink

Kevin founded Medilink over 20 years ago, a model which is now licensed to regions across the UK. Kevin is currently the CEO of North of England and International Executive for Medilink UK


Kevin leads on Medilink’s innovation service provision across the North of England.   He has 20 years’ experience of facilitating and fast tracking new product developments; successfully converting clinical need and new technology advancements into commercially available solutions.   He is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, a member of the SBRI Healthcare Board and a technology assessor for a number of funding agencies.


As the International Executive for Medilink UK, Kevin facilitates international partnership initiatives and represents government agencies at major events across the world.   He has signed MOUs for cooperation and exchange in trade, technology transfer and R&D with China and Brazil’s largest medical device trade associations.


He supports integrated service delivery through partnership working with key national and regional organisations such as NHS England, BEIS, UKRI, DIT/LSO, AHSNs & Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Professor Paul Millner – Biosensing Lead

Prof Paul Millner leads the Bionanotechnology group at the University of Leeds. The group’s interests can be divided broadly into two main themes; biosensors and nanotechnology. Biosensors are being developed against a wide range of analytes, from small molecules and ions up to whole cells. Nanotechnology encompasses research into nanoparticles for medicine and nanofibres for environmental applications. Prof Millner is keen to collaborate and has led several large EU projects which have resulted in spin-off companies. Prof Millner initially trained as a Biochemist and obtained his PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Leeds. After around 12 years working on plant cell signalling, his research shifted direction and he is now a leader in biosensors and bionanotechnology. Prof Millner is also Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences and delivers lectures on a range of topics.

Dr Peter Culmer – Engineering Lead

Dr Peter Culmer is Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds, and Engineering Lead for the University’s Surgical Technologies Research Group. He is also Principal Investigator with IMPRESS, a project looking at developing technologies for incontinence management and prevention. Dr Culmer’s research looks at the development and application of new enabling technologies in medical applications, with a focus on robotics, sensing and control systems. Current projects include a robotic system for colonoscopy, the development of soft tactile sensors and characterisation and prevention of trauma in laparoscopic graspers. His PhD – from the University of Leeds – developed the computer controller for iPAM, an award-winning robotic system to improve arm function and quality of life for people with stroke. He continued this work as a post-doctoral researcher, adapting the technology to develop an instrumented walking-aid (iWA) to improve gait.

Professor Stephen Evans – Scientific Director and Nanotechnology Theme Lead

Stephen Evans is Professor of Molecular and Nanoscale Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy. He obtained his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of London (QMC) in 1984 and his PhD in Molecular Physics from the University of Lancaster in 1988. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Imperial College, University of London, he became a visiting scientist in the Molecular and Optical Electronic Research Laboratory, Eastman Kodak, Rochester, New York. He joined the academic staff of the University of Leeds in 1991, became a Reader in 2001, and was appointed as Professor in Molecular Physics and Nanoscale Physics in 2002. He was Chairman of the School of Physics & Astronomy between 2004-2007 and currently heads the Molecular and Nanoscale Physics group.

Professor Pietro Valdastri – Engineering Theme

Pietro Valdastri is Professor of Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Leeds, working across the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the School of Mechanical Engineering. He also directs the Science and Technologies Of Robotics in Medicine (STORM) Lab, a research lab focusing on medical capsule robots for gastrointestinal endoscopy and abdominal surgery which he founded at Vanderbilt University. His research is focused on ‘medical capsule robots’, devices that leverage extreme miniaturization to enter the human body through natural orifices or small incisions, and can be designed to perform endoscopy and surgery while minimizing the invasiveness of the procedure. Professor Valdastri joined the University of Leeds in 2016 and is Director of the Institute of Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Sensing.

Professor Gordon Cook – Clinical Director – NIHR Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative

MB ChB, PhD, FRCP(Glas), FRCPath.
Professor of Haematology & Myeloma Studies, Honorary Consultant Haematologist
Clinical Director (haematology) CTRU
Experimental Haematology, Leeds Institute of Cancer & Pathology, University of Leeds. Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Leeds

I am a graduate of the University of Glasgow School of Medicine & received my higher professional training in haematology in the West of Scotland. After completion of my PhD, I was appointed as a Consultant Haematologist in the West of Scotland before moving to take up the post of Director of Stem Cell Transplantation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals in 2002. In 2013 I was appointed as Professor of Haematology, University of Leeds where I lead the myeloma clinical and translational research portfolio with a primary interest in tumour immunology and immunotherapy.

I am the Chair of the UK Myeloma Research Alliance and NCRI Myeloma sub-group as well as a member of the NCRI Haematology- Oncology Clinical Studies Group. I am the chair of the UK Myeloma Forum and have represented the interests of both myeloma clinicians and patients in NICE reviews. I am Chief Investigator for NCRI Myeloma X (completed), UKMRA Myeloma XII (in recruitment), UKMRA Myeloma XIV (in set-up), MUKeight (in recruitment) and MUKeleven (in recruitment). My collaboration with industry includes my position as the UK Chief investigator for 4 industry international phase III and IIIb studies & I am the chair of the Myeloma UK Research Advisory Group and Medical Editor of Myeloma Today. Finally I hold the posts of Clinical Director of NIHR (Leeds) IVD Cooperative and Clinical Director (Haematology), CTRU, University of Leeds.

Dr Bethany Shinkins – Health Economics Theme Lead

Beth is an Associate Professor in the Academic Unit of Health Economics at the University of Leeds. She leads the Test Evaluation Group, a multi-disciplinary team that focuses on the economic evaluation of medical tests. She is the Methodology Lead for the NIHR Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative and the NIHR Surgical MedTech Co-operative. She has a particular interest in the early diagnosis of cancer in primary care.

She sits on the Editorial Board for the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine Journal and is a statistical methodologist peer reviewer for the Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy editorial team. She also frequently reviews NIHR Heath Technology Assessments focusing on test evaluation.

Professor Julia Brown – Clinical Trials Theme Lead

Julia is Associate Dean for Applied Health Research, Director of the Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research and Professor of Clinical Trials Research.  Julia is particularly interested in the design and conduct of trials within cancer, the development and analysis of patient reported outcomes and the evaluation of surgical techniques.

Dr Nicholas West – Pathology Theme Lead

He is the deputy on a Yorkshire Cancer Research programme grant ‘accelerating new treatments in clinical trials in bowel cancer’, and currently working on a number of phase II and III national and international clinical trials. These studies involve the development and validation of new molecular predictors of response to therapy, and the integration of morphology and genomics using digital pathology.