50 Movers and Shakers Challenging the Status Quo in BioBusiness

By Miranda Weston-Smith, Founder, BioBeat

BioBeat is a collaborative platform that I founded to promote innovation and success in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. In November, BioBeat released its annual 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness report, raising awareness of how female entrepreneurs and leaders are shaping and delivering success in the life sciences sector.

Miranda Weston-Smith, Founder, BioBeat


“The achievements of these women demonstrate expertise in their specialised field, general management skills, and an ability to collaborate across disciplines,” comments Nikki Yates, Senior Vice President at UK & Ireland Pharmaceuticals, GSK. “Diversity of talent is critical to life sciences and it is great to see the contribution these women are making.”

All 50 “Movers and Shakers” recognised in the report were too many to mention in this short post, so I have highlighted just one example for each of the five key themes: Great Science, Financial Enablers, Collaboration, Patient Impact, and Infrastructure Innovation.

  • Great Science: Ruchi Sharma, CEO and founder of Stemnovate, is leading the development of novel miniature models of human organs that replicate their normal biological function, as a physiologically-relevant and more translatable alternative to animal models in drug discovery. After founding Stemnovate in 2016, she has helped to raise £1million to fund a ‘liver on a chip’ technology with Innovate UK, which could help uncover new liver disease treatments.


  • Financial Enablers: Melanie Welham, CEO of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), steers annual investment in research, training and infrastructure that totals £400 million. Melanie is playing a key role in identifying and funding under-resourced but promising research opportunities and institutes in nutrition and the microbiome.


  • Collaboration: Professor Véronique Birault, Head of Translation at the Francis Crick Institute, is working to accelerate the translation of new drug discoveries by fostering connections between industry and academia. Véronique shared her expert insights at the recent BioBeat17 summit, stimulating crucial discussions on driving collaboration and speeding up translation.


  • Patient Impact: Our ability to diagnose cancer in patients just got a helping hand thanks to Liberty Foreman, co-founder and CEO of Beamline Diagnostics. Along with her team, Liberty is creating a laptop-sized device that can diagnose cancer without making the patient move an inch from their bed. The innovative device, consisting of unique software with an infrared spectrometer, works by detecting differences in infrared light absorption between healthy and cancerous tissues.


  • Infrastructure Innovation: What good are innovative technologies if no-one uses them? This is the thorny issue that Heather Fraser, Global Leader, Healthcare & Life Sciences at IBM Institute for Business Value, has been working to resolve. By changing how healthcare providers perceive and use emerging technologies, such as cognitive computing in pharmacovigilance, Heather is making a vital contribution to improving patient health.
The 50 Movers and Shakers of 2017


To find out more about all 50 talented leaders, including 16 Rising Stars, and the top trends they think are key to tackling global healthcare challenges in the future, download BioBeat’s 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2017 report.

Follow Miranda Weston-Smith on Twitter using the handle @BioBeatUK


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