The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Research and Innovation

Speakers and panellist biographies

The event features a high profile range of speakers, recognised and renowned in their area of clinical practice and leadership roles. 

Read below for a pen picture summary of each speaker at the event, and see more on this document. 

Speaker and Panellists biographies 

 Professor Phil Wood, Chief Executive, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

Professor Phil Wood was appointed Chief Executive of LTHT in February 2023. Prior to this he was Chief Medical Officer for the Trust and Deputy Chief Executive. He joined Leeds Teaching Hospitals in 2002 as a Consultant Immunologist and during his career Phil has worked in many operational and strategic roles including Clinical Director for services such as Pathology and Oncology and Medical Director for Strategy and Planning. Phil has held a number of regional roles including Senior Responsible Officer for the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in West Yorkshire, one of the most successful programmes in the country, and Chair of the West Yorkshire Vascular Board. He is currently Chair of the North East & Yorkshire Genomic Medicine Service Board and a member of the national Genomics England (GEL)/NHSE Joint Board. An Honorary Professorship in Healthcare Leadership from the University of Leeds was awarded in November 2022, recognising Phil’s leadership contribution across research, innovation, education and training. 

Henry Rigg, Director of Trade and Investment 

Henry is the Head of Trade and Investment at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (the CA) and is responsible for attracting new business investment into the West Yorkshire (WY) region and for supporting WY businesses to export products and services to markets across the world. His current role also involves supporting a team that leads the region’s work on culture, heritage and sport, which includes major events and support for businesses and learners. 

Previously, Henry led the CA’s work on helping small and medium-sized businesses to grow and build resilience through access to finance, innovation, resource efficiency and strategic business planning. Henry has also held senior business development roles at the local and regional level with both Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Forward (the former regional development agency for Yorkshire and Humber) and has undertaken extensive work supporting social enterprises and early-stage firms across all sectors.  

Kari Anne Dehli - Head of Public and Private Partnerships, Norway Health Tech 

Kari Anne is a physical therapist with a master’s in management and organization. She started as Senior Project Manager in Norway Health Tech in 2021, with main responsibility towards projects and collaboration with the public sector. 

Kari Anne has extensive experience from user driven innovation, service development, change management, testing and verification as well as implementation of technology that makes a difference for innovative rehabilitation. Focus on user involvement and cost/usage analysis has proven to be key success factors. 

Kari Anne has long experience with innovation and service development to strengthen the rehabilitation service in the municipal sector. She has been heading the rehabilitation, learning and healthy living in Indre Østfold municipality, and project lead for Innovative rehabilitation before she started in Norway Health Tech, 2021. 

Dr. Christopher Herbert - Director of Operations: Research and Innovation, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

Chris is an experienced Operational Manager, Business Strategist and Business Development and Innovation professional with a focus on the translation and commercialisation of innovative healthtech research. He has worked in a variety of positions within the medical device and Advanced Therapy sectors with a focus on the development of translational R&D programmes led by clinicians, academics and SME's. 

As Director of Operations for Research and Innovation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Chris oversees the strategic development and operational management of Research and Innovation across one of the largest NHS Trusts in the UK. In this role, Chris is responsible for the strategic development and management of research at the Trust which at any one time supports >900 live clinical research projects and which hosts major national infrastructures including the NIHR (National Institute of Health Research) Clinical Research Facility, NIHR Biomedical Research Facility and National Innovation Pathology Co-operative. The embedded Innovation team supports both innovators in the Trust and businesses who are looking to work with NHS organisations to develop and evaluate innovative HealthTech products across a broad spectrum of clinical disciplines. This growing portfolio of “innovation” projects includes the collaborative development of a wide range of medical devices, diagnostics and digital/AI tools aimed at improving the health of patients. 

Chris has a strong belief in open innovation and collaboration to develop solutions to problems and in developing business and reimbursement strategies in parallel with strong scientific proof-of-concept data at an early stage to facilitate the development of investable propositions which link to real-life challenges within the NHS. 

Dr Luan Linden-Phillips - Innovation Adoption Specialist, Leeds Academic Health Partnership 

 Luan Linden-Phillips is the Innovation Adoption Specialist at Leeds Academic Health Partnership (LAHP). We are a collaborative partnership between Leeds academic, health and care and economic partners and the third sector. Our Partnership’s mission is to enhance the potential of research and innovation to improve the health and wealth of all our communities in Leeds and especially to reduce inequalities. 

Luan’s career to date has involved collaborative working with stakeholders across the NHS, academia and industry. She has a strong background in assessing healthcare innovations having spent over 15 years as a member of the decision-making health technology assessment (HTA) network governing the introduction of new technologies into the NHS. As founding director of a consultancy, she also worked directly with UK and international commercial innovators on market access strategies. Her role at the LAHP is as a specialist advisor on innovation to the LAHP Board consisting of the chief executives of the partner organisations. 

Dr Steph Oliver Beech - HealthTech Regional Lead, West Yorkshire Combined Authority 

Steph Oliver-Beech is Healthtech Regional Lead within the innovation and digital policy function at West Yorkshire Combined Authority.  Steph’s role was created in recognition of the significance of healthtech to West Yorkshire’s regional economy, as well as the transformative opportunities presented by health and care innovation.  Since joining the Combined Authority in late 2021, Steph has secured approval for the region’s first ever Healthtech Strategy and convenes the West Yorkshire Healthtech Cluster on behalf of regional partners.  Steph sees her role as a key link to enabling the Combined Authority to respond to the opportunities and challenges for the healthtech sector and works with local and national partners to achieve this.  Steph brings a strong background in policy, partnership working and service delivery within both the local government and third sector.  She also holds a PhD in Biological Sciences gained at the University of Warwick, and loves to keep in touch with research, especially in virology. 

Trine Radmann, Head of International Affairs, Norway Health Tech   

Trine Radmann commenced in Norway Health Tech in the end of 2017, when she left her position in The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, NHO, where she had been heading NHOs Brussels office. She has also been a politician in the former government of Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik and was Head of Information and branding in Norway’s Yes-to-the-EU-campaign, years back. 

Trine has been instrumental in securing and building relationships nationally and internationally for Norwegian businesses. Her expertise in business development and relation management extends to a wide range of industries: health tech, med tech, digital solutions, and life sciences, energy, aerospace and defence. She has been influential in connecting people and businesses by forming symbiotic relationships and strategic partnerships. 

Radmann received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Master’s in political science from University of Georgia, University of Oslo and Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 

Mike Bacon - Programme and Project Director 

Mike is a highly experienced Programme and Project Director with 20+ years capital and service improvement delivery experience. His experience is drawn from across the education, health & social care, environment, infrastructure, leisure and local government sectors and includes including specialist PPP investments. Mike is responsible for the day-to-day planning and delivery of the Trust’s Building the Leeds Way Programme and specifically the delivery of the New Hospitals Project and the Pathology Project including all associated planning and transformational change. 

Jonny Sylvester - Digital Lead, Building the Leeds Way Programme, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

Jonny Sylvester has a decade of experience delivering healthcare projects including Digital Health and IT projects within Acute Hospital and corporate NHS settings. 

Currently leading the Digital and Sustainability & Net-Zero Carbon work streams along with the design for several clinical and non-clinical services as part of the Leeds Hospitals of the Future project. 

As Digital Lead, Jonny is exploring solutions that can improve the experience of our patients, support clinicians in the care they provide, ensure the most efficient clinical pathways and to manage our Estate in the most effective way.  

Tine Borgen Hildisch - Programme Manager, Oslo University Hospital 

Certifications & education: 

  • Scrum Master Certification 
  • Lean, Cardiff University, LCS Level 1c 
  • Project management: PRINCE2 Certification 
  • Leadership, Engagement & Conflict management 
  • IDEO, Customer requirement methodology 
  • Human Resource Management 
  • Program Management, BI 
  • Green belt in Lean Six Sigma 
  • Chemical engineer 

Experienced in: 

  • Public Health Industry 
  • Product Development, R&D 
  • Program Management & Project methodology 
  • People & Change Management  
  • Human Management Resources 
  • LEAN methodology 
  • Process Improvements 
  • Tender Management 
  • People Management 
  • Diagnostics solutions for laboratories  

Lead of: 

  • Diagnostics Laboratories 
  • Tender Management Projects 
  • Innovation & Technology projects 
  • Improvement projects 
  • Customer & LEAN projects 
  • Development projects 
  • Transition & Implementation projects 
  • Team leader 

Barry Singleton - Business Development Officer, NEXUS Leeds 

Barry works to promote and manage the growing membership at Nexus. He is a partnerships specialist and has over 20 years’ experience in business development, customer service and social media strategy and implementation in SME's and StartUps. 

Barry has first-hand experience of Nexus and how it can help start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop and grow. He was formerly Chief Relationship Officer at Scaled Insights and played a leading role in the business’ decision to join the Nexus community. He is a big advocate of Leeds as a great place to start and scale businesses, and is able to offer a valuable ‘clients eye’ view to our current and prospective members. 

Barry studied Executive Education in 2020 with Cambridge Judge Business School, graduated from the Google certified digital marketing course, Squared Online, and completed a qualification on the Psychology of Digital Behaviour change in Toronto in 2015.  

Dr. Chris McKee - UK Managing Director for Ledidi 

Dr Christopher McKee is an experienced scientist and technology professional with a passion for improving patient care and the advancement of medicine through innovative technology. He holds a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and has extensive experience working in the NHS, private sector (such as AstraZeneca and Covance) as well as academia supporting business development and innovation opportunities within the health and life science sectors. 

Now serving as the UK Managing Director for Ledidi, Dr Chris McKee continues to innovate and provide continued support within these sectors through analytical data driven insights breaking down the barriers for healthcare professionals and academic researchers. 

Sven Seljom - Chief Sales Officer - RoomMate and Sensio 

Sven Seljom is UK Country Manager and CSO in Sensio a Norwegian care tech provider, developer and manufacturer. Sensio has branches or exclusive partners in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, UK and France. 

Sven has been in the care tech business in more than 20 years and has extensive experience in development, marketing and implementation of small- and large-scale deliverances. 

Sensio has a holistic approach to its care tech solution with a comprehensive platform that offers among others indoor and outdoor tracking, workflow management, door and lock handling and falls prevention and digital monitoring. Sensio’s flagship solution RoomMate is the leading European solution for falls prevention and detection and digital monitoring and supervision and is installed in several UK Care Groups. 

Thomas Ims - Chief Operating Officer - SmartCrowding 

Thomas is the COO of Smart Crowding, a Norwegian health tech start up started in Stavanger University Hospital, SUS. Smart Crowding´s vision is to assist health professionals saving lives through improved resource planning and patient flow. 

Thomas has worked 20 years in IT and tech, the last years in health tech. He has founded and co-founded several companies. 

Dr Ewa G Truchanowicz - Managing Director - Dignio 

Dr Ewa is a dynamic, inclusive leader creating and empowering talented teams to achieve beyond their expectations. Business leader, published academic, UK taxpayer and NHS patient. Currently helping the NHS remain accessible and available to all, with the best in class technologies enabling the frontline services and service managers to optimise the outcomes for their patients. Fellow of the RSA Dr Ewa is committed to growing tech enterprises that foster diversity and inclusion. 

Experienced in clinical trials, med tech development and innovation adoption strategies. Parenting, dog walking and gardening fills her spare time. 

Dr Harrison Evans - Director of Research, Development and Collaboration - Itecho Health 

Dr Harrison Evans is the Director of Research, Development and Collaboration at Itecho Health. He has an excellent track record in establishing strategic relationships across the healthcare sector, driving high-impact initiatives and research at the local, regional, and national levels. Harrison has held leadership positions at Cancer Research UK, where he managed the Early Diagnosis Advisory Group, commissioning research to inform policy and practice. He also held senior roles at the National Institute for Health Research, where he was responsible for a portfolio of over £50M of commissioned funding to support the research, development, and evaluation of innovative medical technologies across the NHS. More recently, his experience has focused on innovation across of electronic healthcare records, remote monitoring, and the generation of real-world evidence. 

Dr Ai Lyn Tan

Dr Tan is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Leeds Hospitals Trust, an Associate Professor at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Leeds, and a Consultant Rheumatologist at Chapel Allerton Hospital and the NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre. Dr Tan’s main research interests include using imaging techniques such as MRI and ultrasound to improve the understanding of the pathogenesis of arthritis and muscle conditions. Dr Tan is also the Editor-in-Chief for Rheumatology Advances in Practice, an official journal of the British Society for Rheumatology. 

Prof Hermant Pandit, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at University of Leeds and Honorary Consultant at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

Hemant has pursued a career in translational research in Orthopaedics, having previously worked in Oxford for the 16 years, and is particularly interested in hip and knee arthroplasty. He completed his DPhil in knee kinematics and was first to describe the problems associated with metal-on-metal hips (pseudotumours). Hemant's contributions in the fields of arthroplasty, enhanced peri-operative recovery, teaching and training medics and paramedics are well recognised. He has also made a significant contribution towards teaching and capacity building in the low/middle-income countries of Asia and Africa. He has published more than 250 scientific articles and book chapters. 

Hemant also holds the title of Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery with the University of Oxford. He collaborates with various colleagues both nationally as well as internationally and is a member of various National Joint Registry (NJR) subcommittees. 

Hemant is keen to expand research in the fields of translational and basic science research in musculoskeletal sciences, surrogate measures including sensors, kinematics and RSA, biomedical engineering, international health with particular reference to MSK issues in the low/middle-income countries and patient outcome measures. He welcomes collaborations with colleagues in the University of Leeds, regionally, nationally as well internationally. 


Director of Research and Innovation, LIRMM 

Deputy Director, LIRMM 

Research interests 

Hemant currently holds various NIHR, Charitable Trust and industry grants. His current research is in the following areas: 

  1. Use of liposomal bupivaciane in knee arthroplasty
  2. Use of sensors in remote patient monitoring
  3. Assessment of theatre efficiency using surgeon and staff tracking
  4. Peri-prosthetic fractures
  5. Gait analysis
  6. Large data sets
  7. Global Health
  8. Joint-preserving treatment options for OA
  9. Pre-habilitation in knee OA patients undergoing knee arthroplasty
  10. Unicompartmental Knee Replacement
  11. Metal-on-metal hips

Ryan Mathew - Associate Professor at the University of Leeds (UoL) and Honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

Ryan Mathew is an Associate Professor at the University of Leeds and an Honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. He obtained an MBCHB with Honours and an intercalated BSc with Honours, the latter in Clinical Sciences (Tissue Engineering) research. During his neurosurgical training at Leeds (FRCS (SN) in 2013), he undertook further basic science research (funded by CRUK) and was awarded a PhD based on Glioma Modelling using induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and Cerebral Organoids. He has spent time as a Visiting Research Collaborator at the Brain Tumour Research Centre at Sickkids in Toronto. 

His clinical practice covers the full spectrum of general neurosurgery with a subspecialty interest in brain tumours; in particular gliomas, meningiomas and awake surgery. His basic science research interests focus on developing advanced in vitro and in vivo brain tumour models, studying residual glioma cell populations that are resistant to therapy and fuel recurrence, and developing local therapeutic treatments. He also leads a research portfolio in surgical technologies and devices which encompasses virtual/mixed reality, machine learning for early brain tumour diagnosis and malignant transformation, real-time intra-operative tumour visualisation and histology, in silico trials, and early phase neoadjuvant and repurposing trials. He is the Neurosurgery Lead for the NIHR Surgical MIC, Surgical Technologies Academy Incubator and RCS (Royal College of Surgeons) Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research. He is a member of the Academic Committee of the SBNS, BNOS Research Subcommittee and a HoloMedicine Association Founding Member. He peer-reviews for a number of journals and grant award committees, has published numerous papers and has obtained > £5M in grant funding. 

Kent Roger Bjorklund - Special Adviser, New Oslo University Hospital 

Lead of: 

2012 – Medical certification before deployment Afghanistan 

2017-2019 – Assistant Head of Section – ICU 

2019-2021 – Assistant Head of Section – Postoperative 

2020 – ICU Al-Assad Air Base Iraq (Nor-detachment) 

Certifications & education: 

2001-2003 Officers Candidate School – Arctic Ranger 

2004-2005 Organization, leadership and change 

2006-2009 B.Sc. Nursing 

2009-2009 Norwegian Military Academy 

2016-2017 M.Sc. Advanced Clinical Nursing – Critical Care 

2019 - Master Risk Management  

Kent Roger Bjorklund

41 years old. Live just outside Oslo, with my partner and two daughters (3.5 and 1 years old). After High School (2000), I started basic army officers training, becoming an arctic ranger officer. The career ended in 2013 with, among other things, the Norwegian Military Academy and three deployments (Afghanistan x2, Iraq x1). Since then, B.Sc. Nursing and M.Sc. Advanced Clinical Nursing, and an ongoing masters in Risk Management. I have always found organizational change interesting, so when the opportunity to be a part of the New Oslo University came – the choice was easy. My current position, as specialist advisor and deputy Project Manager, is to merge the hospitals professional medical function with the building project – aiming to get the best from both worlds. 

Dennis Doktor, Collaboration team, NEXUS

Dennis works closely with our members to understand their business needs and connects them with the academic expertise, facilities and talent across the University of Leeds and the wider Leeds City Region. Dennis has a wealth experience of working in funding fields and is an expert in the field of Research Methodology, Innovation and Data. He joined Nexus from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), where he worked as Grant Development Manager. He is passionate about research and innovation, and working on cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary projects.

Neil Toner, Workstream Lead – Enterprise & Innovation, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network

My work in the Enterprise and Innovation team focuses on all Commercial aspects of the AHSN and I spend a great deal of time supporting SMEs and Innovators to enable spread and adoption of new systems, solutions and pathways. This includes advice on the local research infrastructure, funding streams, real world evaluations, business development support, sign posting and introductions to our NHS partners.

I also head up the International Programme working with medtech partners from outside the UK, as well as ABHI, DIT, Healthcare UK and Local Enterprise Partnerships to develop and manage our International offering and attract unique healthcare innovation from across the world.

I have been working with the team at Norway Health Tech since 2020 and am very proud to see the huge progress we have made with events like to Leeds -Norway Growing Healthtech Partnerships event.