UK Young Academy announces inaugural Executive Group members

12 April 2023

UK and Ireland National Academies have today announced seven newly elected members of the UK Young Academy’s first Executive Group. They are:

  • Jahangir Alom, Barts Health NHS Trust 
  • Michael Berthaume, London South Bank University
  • Denis Newman-Griffis, University of Sheffield
  • Linda Oyama, Queen's University Belfast
  • Edward Pyzer-Knapp, IBM
  • Catarina Vicente, University of Oxford
  • Amy Vincent, Newcastle University

The UK Young Academy is a network of early career researchers and professionals established to help tackle local and global issues and promote meaningful change. Made up of 67 members, the first cohort of the UK Young Academy was formed in January 2023 and brings together researchers, innovators, clinicians, professionals and entrepreneurs who have made significant contributions to their field.

The inaugural Executive Group will be an interim leadership team, in term for 18 months. They will work together with members, tapping into their collective knowledge and expertise to set the foundations of the new organisation and shape its strategy. This includes establishing work programmes and initiatives with the aim of tackling global and societal challenges based on areas that matter to them and informing policy discussions.

The UK Young Academy has been established as an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Learned Society of Wales, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Royal Society. It joins the global initiative of Young Academies, with the UK Young Academy the 50th to join the Young Academy movement.

More information about the seven Executive Group members (in alphabetical order):

  1. Jahangir Alom, Emergency Medicine Doctor and Former Clinical Lead for the NHS Staff Vaccination Programme, Barts Health NHS Trust, London

    Jahangir Alom gained his primary medical qualification at the University of Southampton, where he set up an outreach programme to help young people from underrepresented backgrounds to consider a career in the NHS. Jahangir was President of the medical student body and graduated with the Dean’s Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Faculty of Medicine. He holds an MSc in Public Health from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he researched the experience of British Bangladeshis during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. He is also Programme Director at Selfless UK, an international charity which delivers evidence-based global health projects in rural Bangladesh.

    As a UK Council Member at the British Medical Association, Jahangir lobbied for better working conditions for ethnic minority doctors. He was the National Clinical Lead for the Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Programme at NHS England and has appeared on BBC Newsnight, QuestionTime, SkyNews and CNN to discuss health inequalities and COVID-19 disparities. He was a recipient of an NHS Parliamentary Award (London) for his work on tackling vaccine inequality and was ranked in the top 100 influential healthcare leaders in 2022 by the Health Service Journal.

  2. Michael Berthaume, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Design, London South Bank University

    Alongside his academic post, Michael Berthaume serves as treasurer of LSBU’s LGBTQ+ organisation and sits on the School of Engineering’s EDI committee. He studied mechanical engineering and anthropology at UMass, Amherst, before moving to Europe in 2013 and completing postdoctoral researcher positions in bioengineering and anthropology at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology and Imperial College London.

    Michael believes that transdisciplinary research is the future, providing a holistic view of problems and enabling them to be solved in new ways. He is working to establish the independent, transdisciplinary field of anthroengineering, which combines anthropology and engineering to address questions within and beyond both disciplines. The three main pillars of his research are human evolutionary biomechanics, the mechanics of human biological variation, and medical devices (prosthetics) for LMICs.

  3. Denis Newman-Griffis, Lecturer in Data Science, University of Sheffield

    Denis Newman-Griffis (they/them) is a transdisciplinary data scientist working at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), disability and responsible design. Their research integrates perspectives from AI and machine learning, critical data studies and health informatics to understand how AI systems can be ethically designed and managed to improve health equity of all populations.

    Denis has developed some of the first natural language processing methods for analysing information about the lived experience of disability and is pioneering methods for examining the AI design process from a critical disability perspective. They are working to develop best practices for responsible AI design and growing the international community around disability informatics.

    Denis is a Lecturer in Data Science at the University of Sheffield Information School. They hold a PhD from the Ohio State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. They received the AMIA Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2021.

  4. Linda Oyama, Lecturer in Microbiomics, Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health, Queen's University Belfast

    Linda Oyama is a microbiologist and lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences and Institute for Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast, with a First-class Microbiology degree and a PhD in Biological Sciences.

    Linda’s research interests centre around understanding antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in microbiomes from a One Health perspective through surveillance and epidemiological studies using meta-omics approaches. She aims to tackle AMR through the discovery and development of novel treatment options for various clinical and veterinary multidrug resistant infections.

    Linda is also a busy mother of three kind, beautiful, intelligent girls and a lover of all things nature and music. 

  5. Edward Pyzer-Knapp, Global Lead, AI Enriched Simulation, IBM, Cheshire

    Edward Pyzer-Knapp is IBM’s lead for AI Accelerated Simulation and provides technical leadership on the confluence of AI, HPC and Quantum computing to accelerate the scientific method. He is interested in the use of powerful emerging technologies to help to answer some of the biggest challenges of our time, especially through the lens of modelling and simulation. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, and then moved to Harvard University, finally leaving to help start the IBM Research Lab in the UK in 2015. He holds a visiting Professorship at the University of Liverpool, and an honorary position at the University of Cambridge.

    Edward is Editor in Chief of the Wiley journal Applied AI Letters, has authored more than 60 papers and conference proceedings, filed multiple patents, and has authored a textbook on the use of AI for physical science, published by Wiley in 2021.

  6. Catarina Vicente, Science Strategy and Projects Manager / Official Fellow in Public Engagement with Research, University of Oxford

    A scientist by training, Catarina Vicente’s professional career has followed the belief that science cannot be truly successful or impactful without effective communication, both between scientists and with wider society. After a PhD in cell biology, she pursued roles in intra-scientific communication in the publishing industry, later focusing on public engagement and science communication in an academic context.

    In her current role as Science Strategy and Projects Manager at the Dunn School of Pathology (University of Oxford), Catarina has a unique opportunity to influence academic research directly, capitalising on her communication skills. Alongside this, Catarina is an Official Fellow in Public Engagement with Research at Reuben College, where she develops public engagement projects from a unique scholarly and interdisciplinary perspective.

  7. Amy Vincent, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow (Mitochondrial Research), Newcastle University

    Amy Vincent is a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at Newcastle University in the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research (WCMR) and John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre. She completed her PhD in 2017 and was awarded a Fellowship in 2019, when she was invited to be a principal investigator in the WCMR. Mitochondria are the batteries of our cells making the energy for the cells to function. Amy’s group work on understanding the cause and progression of a rare disease called mitochondrial disease, and the effect of mitochondrial dysfunction on muscle cells.

    Public and patient engagement are incredibly important to Amy, who regularly attends family days run by the Lily Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy UK. Amy is active on several committees which focus on equality, diversity and inclusion and career development for early career researchers. Amy is a woman in STEM and a member of the LGBTQ+ community in STEM.