Meet the team
The Psychiatry Consortium is governed by a Steering Committee and a Scientific Committee, and managed by Medicines Discovery Catapult:
The Steering Committee brings together a diverse group of representatives from member organisations and other non-member organisations with the relevant knowledge and expertise and the enthusiasm to provide the strategic guidance required to deliver the Psychiatry Consortium desired outcomes successfully.
Closely aligned to the Steering Committee, the Scientific Committee includes representatives from the member organisations and the management team with following responsibilities:
- scientific review of project proposals and project development
- to engage with the research community to lead to research opportunities that fit within the research scope
- to ensure timely and efficient decision-making on whether to progress a proposal to the next stage
Embedded within Medicines Discovery Catapult, the management team comprises a dedicated programme manager working closely with the Psychiatry Consortium members, the CROs, and the academic researchers to support the development of the projects and overall portfolio. The Psychiatry Consortium sits within the Syndicates team at MDC.
Embedded within Medicines Discovery Catapult, the management team comprises a dedicated partnership manager working closely with the Psychiatry Consortium members, the CROs, and the academic researchers to support the development of the projects and overall portfolio. The Psychiatry Consortium sits within the Patient-Focused Partnership team at MDC.
Dr Ekta Patel, PhD
Partnership Manager, Psychiatry Consortium
Ekta is a translational scientist with over 8 years of drug discovery research experience in both academic and industrial roles. Combining her scientific knowledge and experience of working across SMEs, academic research groups and pharmaceutical companies, Ekta provides in-depth support to our collaborators to develop and deliver our portfolio of projects.
Alongside her role at the Psychiatry Consortium, Ekta is a member of the Greater Manchester HRA Research Ethics Committee and is a strong advocate of patient involvement throughout the drug discovery process.
Dr Laura Ajram, PhD
Partnership Lead, Neuroscience
Laura has a research background in neuropharmacology and has worked in industrial, NHS and academic research institutions, including Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Kings College London.
Laura is responsible for setting up and delivering a portfolio of high-impact patient-focused partnerships across neuroscience and mental health, generating impactful collaborations in areas of medical unmet need and driving the delivery of patient-focused medicines R&D.
Head of Patient-Focused Partnerships, MDC
Jess is the Head of Patient-Focused Partnerships, overseeing the strategic and operational delivery of MDC’s portfolio of patient-focussed, collaborative drug discovery programmes. MDC’s patient-focused partnerships bring together key stakeholders across sectors to identify unmet needs and catalyse efforts to address them. They connect patient insights with industry know-how to progress promising ideas and position them for further development and investment, bringing new treatments to patients, faster.