Public Release: 

Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation donation unites funders for £1.35 million program

The program is set to develop a new generation of leaders in medical science

Academy of Medical Sciences (UK)


IMAGE: Dennis and Mireille Gillings. view more 

Credit: Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation

The Academy of Medical Sciences is delighted to announce a pledge of £600,000 from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation towards a pilot programme to develop two cohorts of innovative new leaders in medical science. This pledge along with a £750,000 commitment from the UK Government through their Investment in Research Talent provides a total investment of £1.35m towards creating the leaders able to build our life science industry into a global hub, making the UK the home of clinical research and medical innovation.

The programme, called Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research (FLIER), will develop dynamic future leaders in biomedical and health research who can create the vital collaborations and partnerships needed to drive new innovations across the life sciences sector. Representatives from pharma, biotech and MedTech companies including GSK, BTG International and BenevolentAI have been involved in scoping the programme.

Dr. Mireille Gillings, Hon DSc neuroscientist, business entrepreneur and founder of HUYA Bioscience International said: "Future leaders in the biomedical and health sector will need to be brilliant scientists that can manage money and medicine. I am confident that the FLIER programme will give researchers expertise in what I call the 3M's - management, money and medicine. Skills across the 3M's will help get new drugs to patients faster. We are delighted to contribute to this new programme that will help fill this gap."

The FLIER programme will create a network of talented people equipped to lead innovation and collaboration across academia, industry, the NHS and government in the years to come. The programme was developed after consultation with leaders in the health and life sciences sector demonstrated there is a need to develop an innovative, immersive programme focused on cross-sector and collaborative working.

Dr. Dennis Gillings, CBE FMedSci said: "As a proud Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, statistician and philanthropist, I can see how vital it is to champion the next generation of biomedical and health scientists. We need new leaders in the health research sector that can seize opportunities and overcome hurdles to work across sectors."

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: "The ability to navigate different sectors and disciplines is not a common skill and is not easily developed. Our new leadership programme will span sectors and help build connected groups of leaders. Participants will immerse themselves in a two year learning experience, with the look and feel of the scheme determined by their needs and interests. This is a bold programme that will offer a very different experience to existing leadership programmes - and I would like to heartily thank Dr Dennis and Dr Mireille Gillings, President and Vice President of the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation, for their support and contribution to this important programme."


Applications for the scheme are now open and the first cohort of participants will be announced in early 2019. The two-year programme will bring together a cohort of emerging leaders drawn from across academia, industry, the NHS and government/policy organisations. For further information see -

For more information please contact: Naomi Clarke, Communications Officer, Academy of Medical Sciences, 020 3141 3208, 07903 158979,

Notes for Editors

The Academy of Medical Sciences is the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Our elected Fellows are the UK's leading medical scientists from hospitals, academia, industry and the public service. Our mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. We are working to secure a future in which:

  • UK and global health is improved by the best research.
  • The UK leads the world in biomedical and health research, and is renowned for the quality of its research outputs, talent and collaborations.
  • Independent, high quality medical science advice informs the decisions that affect society.
  • More people have a say in the future of health and research.

Our work focusses on four key objectives, promoting excellence, developing talented researchers, influencing research and policy and engaging patients, the public and professionals.

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