Leadership team

Our Leicester Precision Medicine Institute leadership team members are Professor Don J.L. Jones, Professor Jacqui Shaw, Dr Ruth Barber and Dr Carl Edwards.

Co-director: Prof Don J.L. Jones 

Professor in Translational Biomarkers Co-Director of the John and Lucille van Geest Biomarker Facilitydon jones

Professor Donald Jones has been developing novel mass spectrometric technologies for incorporation into biomarker workflows to facilitate the rapid translation of biomarkers into the clinical setting. Using MS based Omics (proteomics and metabolomics) in combination with informatics and statistics, candidates are identified and then verified using targeted high throughput LC-MS methods. His particular interest is to enable high-throughput testing of discovery candidates in large patient cohorts. He is part of the precision medicine cross cutting theme of the NIHR-Biomedical Research Centre.

Co-director: Prof Jacqui Shaw

jacqui shawProfessor of Translational Cancer Genetics

Professor Jacqui Shaw undertook a PhD in Molecular Genetics at Imperial College. After completing her first post-doctoral post she came to Leicester in 1993 to a Lectureship in Molecular Pathology. She was appointed as Professor of Translational Cancer Genetics in 2013.

Professor Shaw’s research is focused on circulating nucleic acids for early detection and monitoring of breast and lung cancers. In collaboration with Prof RC Coombes at Imperial College, she leads an integrated programme of clinical and translational research between the two universities funded by a Programme award from Cancer Research UK. She also works with Professor Charlie Swanton as part of the TRACERx major national trial analysing genetic changes in the tumours of non-small cell lung cancer patients from diagnosis and through their treatment.

Professor Shaw also leads the cfDNA advisory group for the 100,000 Genomes project led by Genomics England and sits on a number of advisory boards and editorial boards of international scientific journals.

LPMI Manager: Dr Ruth Barber

ruth barberAfter graduating from the University of Wales (Bangor) with an Upper Second-Class Degree in Biology in 1994 Ruth moved to work as a researcher at the University of Leicester and graduated with a PhD in Genetics in 2002. She remained in the Department of genetics as a senior researcher in germline mutagenesis until 2011 when she joined the Leicester Drug Discovery and Diagnostics (LD3) group.

Ruth joined the Leicester Precision Medicine Institute in September 2017 and provides research and operational management for both the Precision Medicine Institute and LD3. As manager Ruth has been instrumental in the acquisition of significant translational research income from the MRC Confidence in Concept Award scheme (~£2 M) which has been used to support ~40 internal projects. Four of these projects have progressed in partnership with major pharmaceutical companies, SMES, translational funders and charities towards the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostic interventions for patient benefit.

Ruth also co-leads the translation and innovation theme within the University of Leicester’s Welcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund.

Commercial Manager: Dr Carl Edwards

carl edwardsCarl Joined LPMI as Commercial Manager in January 2018 and is responsible for engaging with commercial partners and facilitating industry led research collaborations in precision medicine.  He is also providing IP and commercialisation advice to LPMI members, assisting in building a broad base of collaborations for LMPI.  Carl is the UK lead for the CODEX4SME European programme to assist SMEs in developing companion diagnostics, providing networking events and access to clinical experts as part of the package of support.

Carl graduated in Microbiology from The University of Aberystwyth and moved on to obtain a PhD from The University of Leicester. His research included blood coagulation and renal transplant surgery, assisting in the management of clinical trials within the Department of Surgery.  He completed postdoctoral research at the University of Nottingham developing synthetic oxygen carriers for use as blood substitutes prior to moving on to commercial roles.

Carl is an experienced commercial development manager who has provided consultancy services to pharmaceutical, medical devices companies and venture capital funds.  He has worked with companies including Merck, AstraZeneca, 3M and Baxter delivering clinical development plans and investment support. Carl was Director of NHS Innovations East Midlands, responsible for IP exploitation from all NHS Trusts in the region and has also delivered technology transfer at Imperial Innovations and Cranfield University.