Therapeutic Leadership Team

Graham J Birrell, PhD, MBA — Neurology

  • Global Head Therapeutic Strategy, CNS
  • Head, Project Operations, APAC

Graham gained his degree and PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University of Edinburgh Medical School. His more than 30 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience includes 10 years focusing on the discovery of novel compounds for the treatment of stroke and chronic pain (GSK, Pfizer, Servier) and 20 years in Neurology clinical development in the biotech sector and with global CROs. Graham has worked on over 50 Phase I-IV clinical development programs including the planning and management of 13 Phase III programs with compounds that obtained NDA approval with the FDA. Most recently he held the position of VP, Clinical Development with the Neurology focused biotech Travecta Therapeutics, and prior to that was VP, Neurology Clinical Development with Syneos Health, providing scientific and strategic drug development expertise across a wide range of indications including dementia, movement disorders, stroke multiple sclerosis, mood disorders, acute & chronic pain and rare Neurology diseases. Graham has been an invited speaker at several international conferences and has published 2 patents and over 25 scientific papers in major journals.

Susan Cole — Oncology

  • Global Head Therapeutic Strategy, Oncology
  • Head, Project Operations, USA & Europe

Susan is responsible for U.S. project and clinical operations, including project management, study startup, monitoring and site management services. With over 25 years in clinical research, she brings experience in all phases of clinical trials, multiple therapeutic areas including over 12 years in oncology, and key leadership roles in clinical operations and financial management. She has helped develop or improve services for multiple U.S. Contract Research and Site Management organizations, as well as a national oncology site network. Her work with global and cross-functional teams brings added value to the George Clinical team as the Global Head of Therapeutic Strategy, Oncology.

Manthinda Hettiarachchi, BSc, PhD — Kidney & Metabolic

  • Global Head Therapeutic Strategy, Kidney & Metabolic
  • Senior Project Director

Dr. Hettiarachchi specializes in clinical trial operational strategy for recruitment, retention and successful trial delivery. An experienced clinical trial specialist, he has nearly three decades of clinical research experience in academic research, CROs, Pharma and biotech. He has managed many global clinical trials from start-up to CSR in various therapeutic areas, specializing in pivotal renal trials (IgAN, CKD, DKD, etc.) and in supporting operational teams in APAC and globally. He is exploring opportunities for clinical trials in new countries where there is high patient availability.

Gillian Ryan — Early Phase

  • Global Head Therapeutic Strategy, Early Phase
  • Director, Medical Services

Gillian specializes in early phase clinical trial management and developing productive relationships with key opinion leaders. With more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and contract research organizations, she has worked in all phases of drug development and across multiple therapeutic areas. She is experienced in local and international quality and technical standards, project operations and medical affairs. She has a proven ability to develop strategies to support new business proposals in the early phase research arena.

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