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Scientific Advisory Council

The Scientific Advisory Council assures and validates JDRF's research decisions, JDRF policies and position statements, and support JDRF’s community engagement activities within the UK.

The Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) provides expert, independent scientific, clinical and lay support, advice and critical insights to JDRF in the UK. It also advises on government policies affecting JDRF, the research community and those living with type 1 diabetes. Its members are lay members with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, healthcare professionals, researchers and clinicians. They assess the applications received under the Small Grant Award scheme. They are ambassadors and spokespeople raising JDRF’s profile and increasing awareness of type 1 diabetes research and treatments in the UK.

Sarah Richardson - Exeter (Chair)

Sarah is an Associate Professor in Cellular Biomedicine at the University of Exeter who utilises unique cohorts of type 1 diabetes patient pancreas samples to develop a clearer understanding of the disease processes by which beta cells are targeted and destroyed. She has particular interests in the role that enteroviruses and anti-viral responses may play in the disease and how age of diagnosis may impact on diabetes. She is a passionate advocate of Team Science and enjoys working together with numerous national and international colleagues to better understand this disease.

Jake Bromley - West Cumbria (Vice-Chair) - outgoing member

Jake is a lay member of the SAC representing the views of adults with type 1 diabetes, having been diagnosed at 28 while serving in the RAF. Now working as an Engineer for Sellafield Ltd he is particularly interested in the research and development of technology in the treatment and management of type 1 diabetes, and in improving patient access policy to ensure that the broadest possible range of options are available to the type 1 diabetic community.

Francesca Annan - London

Francesca is a clinical specialist paediatric and adolescent diabetes dietitian based at UCLH, London. She runs a specialist exercise and diabetes management clinic for children and adolescents. She is keen for people with type diabetes or their relatives to inform clinical services as well as being involved in research in a meaningful way. She ia a co-author of the 2018 ISPAD clinical consensus guidelines chapter on Nutritional Management of Diabetes and was a member of the JDRF Peak Expert panel.

Katharine Barnard - Fareham

Katharine Barnard, Professor of Health Psychology, specializes in the psychosocial impact and management of illness and long-term conditions. Her interests span models of healthcare, process evaluation, quality of life, psychosocial impact, functional health status, psychological burden and their relationship with biomedical outcomes. Recently, Katharine was awarded FDA Medical Device Development Tools qualification for the INSPIRE psychosocial measures, the first such accolade for diabetes. Katharine chairs the FDA Global Collaborative Community to reduce incidents of self-injury and suicide by people with diabetes.

Guy Bradshaw - Stone

Guy is a lay member of the SAC representing parents of children with type 1 diabetes. He has two sons, the youngest of whom was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 8 in 2017. Guy hopes that by sharing insights and hearing progressive viewpoints from professionals and citizens, he will be playing a small part in helping the scientific community reach the next level of diabetes management. Guy is a consulting director for data management specialists Comma Group.

Janet Carling
Janet Carling - Harrogate

Janet is an experienced Diabetes Specialist Nurse working at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. She is passionate about enabling people with type 1 diabetes to manage their condition in appreciation of the demands it places throughout a person’s life. She is amongst the early adopters of Insulin Pump Therapy and is actively involved in research. She firmly believes in the power of sharing knowledge and experience with a commitment to tailoring care to each individual and strives, within the team, to provide timely education and psychological support, signposting people to research offering future hope.

Mark Evans - Cambridge

Mark is a Clinical Academic / researcher at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Consultant Physician at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He runs a preclinical team using mouse models to examine how brain responds to hypoglycaemia, how defences against hypoglycaemia becomes abnormal in diabetes and, using brain imaging techniques, what the short and long term effects of episodes of hypoglycaemia on the brain are. He is involved in a number of clinical studies focusing on diabetes technology and innovations (e.g. sensors, automated insulin delivery and new insulin preparations).

Shareen Forbes - Edinburgh

Shareen is Professor and Honorary Consultant in Diabetes at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, Lead Physician for the Islet Transplant Programme in Scotland and Visiting Professor for the Islet Transplant Programme in Edmonton, Canada. She conducts clinical and laboratory based research. She is interested in the progression of diabetes related complications in people with type 1 diabetes in relation to different treatments and the mechanisms behind insulin and glucagon secretion. She also investigates the mechanisms behind islet-graft loss and aims to reduce islet loss and improve islets’ engraftment in vivo using innovative therapies including cell and gene-therapy based approaches.

Sebastian Grimston - Leeds

Sebastian is a lay member of the SAC. Having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14; he feels strongly about supporting other people with type 1 diabetes and in particular, those with the condition who are younger or newly diagnosed. He is also passionate about research, policies and other developments which can improve the quality of life of all those with type 1 diabetes. Sebastian is currently studying for a degree in International Business and Marketing at the University of Leeds Business School.

Laura Heaton - Manningtree

Laura is a lay member of the SAC representing parents of children with type 1 diabetes. She has three children, the youngest of whom was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 3 in 2017. Laura hopes that by being close enough to diagnosis but also far enough from that point she will be able to bring some perspective and an understanding of the important next steps including in the mental health space. Laura is a barrister and part time judge in the family court.

Judith Kennon - Glasgow

Judith is a Diabetes Specialist Nurse and educator based in Glasgow. She is passionate about advocating for people living with type 1 diabetes and her sub-speciality interests include: transition to adult services; health inequalities; and the psychological impact of living with diabetes. She is part of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde ‘equality of access’ and ‘children & young adults’ managed clinical network subgroups. She is actively involved in collaboration with health and social care partners, working with homeless and asylum services within Glasgow.

James Pearson - Cardiff

James is a Research Fellow at Cardiff University. He carries out research in the immunology of type 1 diabetes, with the aim of developing novel strategies to prevent the development of type 1 diabetes. He is particularly interested in the role that intestinal bacteria play in modulating immune responses and how that may lead to changes in susceptibility to developing type 1 diabetes. He is the Treasurer of the Autoimmunity affinity group within the British Society for Immunology and an active member/participant in diabetes volunteer support groups and public engagement activities aimed at raising awareness of type 1 diabetes.

Susan Wong
Susan Wong - Cardiff - Outgoing member

Susan is Professor of Diabetes and Metabolism at Cardiff University and Honorary Consultant Physician in Diabetes at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. She has carried out research in the immunology of type 1 diabetes, and has been involved in translational work in developing immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes. She also has many years of clinical experience and in recent years, she has been particularly involved in treatment and care of individuals with type 1 diabetes treated with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, as well as in structured education for people with type 1 diabetes.

Romilla Jones - London

Romilla is a retired Diabetes Specialist Nurse whose career spanned around 20 years in the clinical setting managing patients with both type 1 and type 2. She has always been keen to empower people with diabetes to develop self-management skills so that they as individuals with busy lives, are able to manage the daily demands that diabetes presents them with. Coming from a research background, and with the introduction of new technologies, she was always keen to embrace these in order to benefit her patients - ranging from Continuous Glucose Monitoring to Insulin Pump Therapies.

Andrew McArdle Booker - Oldham

Andrew is a lay member of the SAC, representing those diagnosed under the age of 18 and having lived with type 1 diabetes for a long time. Andrew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 17 years old in 1999. Only last year did Andrew start to receive a CGM on the NHS, and the impact has been life-changing. Now a Global Marketing Manager for Ashfield MedComms, Andrew is particularly interested in ensuring young, and newly diagnosed, people receive excellent healthcare and have access to the right technology to suit their needs.

Matt Reaney - Sandhurst

Matt is a Chartered and Practitioner Health Psychologist, a Chartered Scientist, a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of Medicine and Public Health, and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has been engaged in diabetes research - including pharmacological treatments, transplantation, self-management education, and insulin pumps - since 2006. Matt holds research, advisory and teaching roles across academic and private organizations. Matt’s passion for diabetes research and the mission of JDRF to improve lives and one day eradicate the need for exogenous insulin comes from living with a spouse and daughter with type 1 diabetes.

David Mitchell - Incoming member

David was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 30. As a lay member he is passionate about driving increased awareness across the entire Type 1 community about the range of treatment options available. As an active person with a keen interest in sport, he is also interested in research and technology which can allow individuals with type 1 to follow their passion without being restricted by their condition. David works at GoCardless and he is a product and partnership specialist in the payments industry.

Sarah Gatward - Guildford - Past member

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a seven year-old in March 1972, Sarah has seen the huge benefit research has had on the treatment of the condition over the many years since diagnosis. As a lay member, she is passionate about supporting and promoting research that has the potential for improving the quality of life for those living with the condition. She is a reviewer for the Type 1 Resources website and works as Finance Director for the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford.

Simon Heller - Sheffield - Past member

Simon is Professor of Clinical Diabetes at the University of Sheffield, Director of Research and Development and Honorary Consultant Physician at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. He is currently the National Speciality Lead in Diabetes to the NIHR Clinical Research Network. He led the first DAFNE trial and two subsequent NIHR programme grants aimed to improve the effectiveness of the intervention. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator interested in the pathophysiological responses to hypoglycaemia and hypoglycaemia unawareness, the potential contribution and mechanisms of hypoglycaemia to cardiovascular mortality, the use of technologies to reduce hypoglycaemia.

Sufyan Hussain - London - Past member

Sufyan is a Consultant Diabetes Physician in one of the leading services for type 1 diabetes at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College London. He has over 25 years personal experience of living with type 1 diabetes and is passionate about improving care for diabetes and has a particular interest in the application of technology to type 1 diabetes care. He is a member of the ABCD Diabetes Technology Network, NHSE London Diabetes Strategic Clinical Network and Parliamentary think tank for Diabetes.

David Fatscher - London - Past member

David’s teenage daughter Eliza was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 12 so he has observed the challenges of adapting to a blood glucose management regime. David and his family have volunteered at JDRF and he sees his contribution to the SAC as an extension of that commitment. David leads a programme of standards development for sustainability and environmental management at the British Standards Institution. Shaping such solutions requires him to collaborate with subject-matter experts, which has proven to be good training for his SAC lay-member role.

Vicky McKechnie - London - Past member

Vicky is a Clinical Psychologist. She works as part of the type 1 diabetes multidisciplinary team at Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Her role involves helping the team to be aware of and to address the psychological aspects of living with type 1 diabetes, and offering one-to-one psychological interventions for people who use the service. She also supports psychological therapies services in developing skills and expertise in working with people living with long-term health conditions, including type 1 diabetes, who experience anxiety and depression.

Sara Hartnell - Cambridge - Past member

Sara is a Dietitian with 20 years of experience working with people with diabetes. She is an insulin pump educator at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and manages a team of 20 dietitians working in the institute of Metabolic science. Sara’s main interests are in insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring and closed loop insulin delivery. She is part of Roman Hovorka’s Artificial pancreas research team at the University of Cambridge and is dedicated to improving access to new technology.

Annette Wiles - West Sussex - Past member

Annette is a lay member of the SAC. Her son, Sam, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and underactive thyroid at the age of 9. Sam was born with a rare genetic skin disorder (EBS) meaning his skin blisters easily. With so much of type 1 care focused on technology that sticks to the skin, managing Sam’s health is particularly complex and she is grateful to leverage all the knowledge she has acquired in the service of the SAC and JDRF.. Annette is a Democratic Services officer in Local Government. She supports the decision-making process and make sure it is constitutional.

Nick Oliver - London - Past member

Nick is clinical lead for type 1 diabetes and diabetes technology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The multidisciplinary clinic has developed a Centre of Excellence for type 1 diabetes care and has established insulin pump, continuous glucose monitoring, including implanted devices, and intraperitoneal insulin delivery. Nick also leads a group with active research in diabetes technology areas including glucose control using closed loop systems (artificial pancreas), non- or minimally-invasive glucose sensing, decision support, diabetes prevention, and other areas where technology can be applied to diabetes.

Craig Beall - Exeter - Past member

Craig Beall’s laboratory is interested in the complex changes that occur in the brain in response to acute and recurrent hypoglycaemia, which is still a frequent concern for people with type 1 and advanced (insulin-treated) type 2 diabetes. The lab focuses on understanding how brain cells talk to each other during hypoglycaemia with the aim of developing treatments that prevent hypoglycaemia or that restore hypoglycaemia awareness in people when this is impaired.

Christopher Walker - Bristol - Past member

Chris is a lay member of the SAC who represents the views of those aged between 18-25 with type 1 diabetes, having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes age 19 whilst at university. Chris is interested in helping shape both research and policy discussions surrounding type 1 diabetes treatment and care, and is currently a trainee solicitor at UK law firm Burges Salmon.

Nicola Baillie - Edinburgh - Past member

Nicola is a General Practitioner who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has four children, two of whom have type 1 diabetes and as a family they have been living with type 1 for ten years. She is also currently working with JDRF in Scotland as a support worker for those newly diagnosed and their families. In addition, she is on the committee for the JDRF ball in Edinburgh.

Sandra Singleton - Blackpool - Past member

Sandra has worked as a children and young people’s diabetes specialist nurse for over 20 years and is the diabetes team leader in Blackpool teaching hospital. She is experienced in partnership working, resources development and research. She was the lead in the National Individualised Health Care Plan and the E-Learning School programme. She has presented at national meetings and conferences.