Management and Support

Chrissie 150 x 150

Research Project Manager: Chrissie Walker

Chrissie oversees the overall management of the centre.  Her background is in scientific publishing, having worked on a wide range of journals and reference works at Nature Publishing Group, the University of Oxford and the Royal Society before more recently moving into website development and project management while at the Institute of Physics.

Chrissie's role is to manage the centre day to day and to support the research fellows in managing their projects, and promoting the Centre within the University and the wider community.


Centre Co-Director: Professor John Terry

John is a Professor of Biomedical Modelling. His research interests focus upon the development and application of mathematical and computational methods for understanding biomedical problems, especially in neuroscience and endocrinology.

As well as funding from the Wellcome trust, he is currently supported by Epilepsy Research UK and the Medical Research Council, where he is the theory lead on two long-term programme grants, one focussed on epilepsy and the other focussed on the dynamics of the mammalian stress response.

John is a visiting scientist at both the University of Bristol and King's College London and holds a prestigious 2015 Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at the University of Melbourne.

Neil Gow

Centre Co-Director: Professor Neil Gow

Professor Neil Gow is Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact and Professor of Microbiology at the University of Exeter. Professor Gow was appointed in September 2018.

He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh where he obtained his Bachelors degree in Microbiology. Professor Gow went on to receive his PhD in 1982 from the University of Aberdeen, followed by a period of postdoctoral research at the National Jewish Hospital for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and University of Colorado, Denver, USA. He was appointed as a lecturer to the University of Aberdeen and received a personal Chair in 1995. At the University of Aberdeen Professor Gow held various senior positions including Head of Microbiology Research Programme, 2002-2011, Director of Research and Commercialisation, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, 2011-2015, Director of the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award in Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology and Co-Director, MRC Centre for Medical Mycology, 2017-2018. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society of Edinburgh and American Academy of Microbiology and has acted as President of three major international societies of mycology and microbiology.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact, Professor Gow oversees a total research portfolio of £299 million and leads the research vision and strategy for the University.

His overarching responsibilities include our preparation and submission for the Research Excellence Framework in 2021; interdisciplinary institutes, including the Environment and Sustainability Institute and the Living System Institute, and the development of our Global Systems Institute and Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Institute; strategic leadership of our Doctoral College, the University Ethics Committee and the Research and Impact Strategy Management Group; and ensuring our research is utilised and impacts positively on the wider world.

Professor Gow represents the University externally via a number of research-related groups including the EU Advisory Group for the Russell Group of Universities and GW4, our regional alliance of the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Exeter.

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Research Administrator: Liza Cheshire

Liza joined the Centre in January 2017, having relocated to the South West in 2016.

She oversees the administration for the centre. Her background is as an Office Manager and Executive Assistant, having worked in a wide range of industries including Housing, Regeneration, Architecture and Fashion.

Liza’s role is to provide admin support for the centre day to day and to support John, Chrissie and Research Fellows in the administration of their projects, and promoting the Centre within the University and the wider community.

Silvia Bortoli 2

Communities Engagement Manager: Silvia Bortoli

Silvia’s role is to support the early engagement of the public and other relevant communities (including charities, patient groups, academics, clinicians and industry) with the Wellcome-funded Translational Research Exchange @ Exeter (TREE). She will act as initial point of contact for engagement with the public and relevant communities; develop and strengthen links with relevant individuals, communities and groups who have an interest in engaging with, and shaping new, research opportunities. If you have any questions about how to get involved, get in touch with Silvia or call 01392 727472

Prior to joining the team, Silvia worked at the University of Exeter Medical School supporting the meaningful involvement of families with disabled children in the research activities of the Peninsula Cerebra Research Unit. Before moving to Exeter in April 2017, Silvia worked for several charities, policy institutes and think tanks in England and Belgium.

David Whitehouse

Impact and Partnership Development Manager - Medical Technologies: David Whitehouse

David has joined the Innovation, Impact and Business Directorate as Impact and Partnership Development Manager. He is the sub-theme lead for Medical Technologies within the Healthcare and Biotech theme and will be primarily based at the Living Systems Institute (LSI).

David has 20+ years’ experience in the Healthcare Sector working across multiple therapy areas and technologies.  He has held commercial positions of increasing responsibility primarily in marketing & sales with Janssen-Cilag (J&J), Genzyme, Baxter and most recently with Baxter International as Commercial Marketing Director responsible for the renal portfolio across Europe based in Zurich, Switzerland.

David is tasked with developing new collaborations with external partners, supporting impact development and advising on translational research funding, and driving income generation across the University for the sub-theme.

Roger Killen

Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence: Roger Killen

Roger is a Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, a role in which he is seeking to accelerate the transition of University research into impactful commercial enterprise. He is hosted by Prof John Terry at the Living Systems Institute.

Roger is a serial entrepreneur. He founded The Learning Clinic (TLC) where he invented the category of electronic hospital observations, a category in which TLC (VitalPAC) are the clear global leader. Prior to founding TLC, Roger was co-founder of Dr Foster Ltd, which rapidly became the market leader for research into medical outcomes, and the number one hospital benchmarking company in the UK. He has been a serial entrepreneur since earning an MBA from Stanford Business School in California in 1990.