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The Society’s Advisory Groups – guest starring the new International Advisory Group members

Published: 20 Apr 2017

The British Pharmacological Society is proud to have four Advisory Groups to represent the interests and views of its diverse membership. The Advisory Groups are essential in providing a two-way communication between the Society’s membership and its Council and Committees, and make a valued contribution to the Society’s activities by ensuring that members' needs are listened to and addressed.

The Society established its Women in Pharmacology Advisory Group and Young Pharmacologists Advisory Group in January 2015 after the Society reviewed its governance structures, and the Speciality Training Registrars Advisory Group was formed in August 2016. The success of these groups and the valuable contributions they have made to Society activities have paved way for the formation of one additional group in 2017: the International Advisory Group.

The Advisory Groups are a great way to get involved with the Society: they regularly share announcements about activities in the Society’s email newsletters such as volunteering in public engagement activities, funding, and prizes and awards. Members can subscribe to these newsletters by updating their membership profile preferences online.

Each Advisory Group consists of a core group of members who act as a steering group. These members were initially selected and approved by Council, but new members are chosen by the core group (subject to ratification from Council). The groups will advertise vacancies and invite applications from members through the Society’s email newsletter as well.

In addition, the Advisory Groups would welcome any thoughts and ideas you might have, and you are invited to get in touch (you can find contact details under each Group heading below).

Women in Pharmacology Advisory Group

With our growing membership, over a third of the Society’s members identify as female, and the Group exists to capture the needs of this member demographic, help promote careers for women in pharmacology and clinical pharmacology and to address the under-representation of women at senior level.

Chair: Vacant, to be appointed in 2017
Office support: Anna Zecharia, Head of Education, Training & Policy and Teesha Bhuruth, Engagement Manager

Young Pharmacologists Advisory Group

Over a third of the Society’s total membership are under the age of 30 and the Young Pharmacologists Advisory Group represents the voice of younger members to the Society’s Council and other committees. The Society considers younger members to be inclusive of undergraduate, postgraduate and early career membership categories.

Chair: Professor Clare Stanford, University College London
Office Support: Teesha Bhuruth, Engagement Manager

Speciality Training Registrars Advisory Group

Our Society champions the importance of clinical pharmacologists in the NHS: their multi-faceted role includes treating patients, training other clinicians in prescribing best practice, and the development of innovative new medicines.

The Society has well-established, dedicated annual training and assessment sessions for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) Speciality Registrars during the annual Pharmacology meeting.

The Speciality Training Registrar Advisory Group was established by the Society to represent the interests and views of these members, and to provide two-way communication between the Advisory Group, Council & Committees. The Group ensures the needs of the Speciality Training Registrars are catered for by the Society and promotes the contribution of these members to the Society’s activities, particularly our policy and educational initiatives.

Chair: Dr Emma Morrison, University of Edinburgh
Office Support: Lee Page, Clinical Education, Training & Policy Manager

NEW! International Advisory Group

Now more than ever, the Society is committed to engaging our ~800 international members in efforts to promote and advance pharmacology worldwide, including publishing, scientific meetings and educational initiatives. An International Advisory Group was established in December 2016 to ensure that the Society delivers its commitment to addressing the needs of all its members, regardless of geography.

In January 2016, we conducted a survey to all members with valid emails based outside of the UK. It was very encouraging that 52% chose to participate in the survey (417 international members), 89% considering that an International Advisory Group would be valuable, and 74% expressing an interest in joining the Group themselves.

When we called for expressions of interest, we were pleased to receive 46 applications from members – and were impressed by the apparent enthusiasm and experience that the Group would be able to draw upon. Of course it proved to be a challenge for Council in the selection process to whittle the applications down to just 14 but it was important to launch with a core group of a reasonable size.

For its initial three-year term, Council selected the members outlined below. Led by Chair, Patrick Sexton, and Deputy Chair, Felicity Gavins, the first meeting of the Group is imminent as I write (March 2017).

It is anticipated that exciting collaborations and projects will arise from their activities and we look forward to updating on developments in the near future.

Chair: Professor Patrick Sexton (please see below)
Deputy Chair: Dr Felicity Gavins (please see below)
Office Support: Teesha Bhuruth, Engagement Manager

International Advisory Group members

Name: Patrick Sexton, Chair
Resident: Australia
Professional occupation: Theme Leader, Drug Discovery Biology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Name: Felicity N. E. Gavins, Deputy Chair
Resident: USA
Professional occupation: Assistant Professor & Director of Small Animal Imaging Center, Louisiana State University health Sciences Center-Shreveport
Name: Divya Vohora
Resident: India
Professional occupation: Professor of Pharmacology, Jamia Hamdard University

Name: Wan Amir Nizam Wan Ahmad
Resident: Malaysia
Professional occupation: Senior Medical Lecturer, Senior Medical Lecturer, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Name: Hesham Al-Sallami
Resident: New Zealand
Professional occupation: Senior Lecturer, University of Otago

Name: Rehab Hegazy
Resident: Egypt
Professional occupation: Researcher, Pharmacology Department, Medical Division, National Research Centre
Name: Olayinka Ogunleye
Resident: Nigeria
Professional occupation: Senior Lecturer and Consultant Physician/Clinical Pharmacologist, Lagos State University College of Medicine and Teaching Hospital, Lagos

Name: Serge Cremers
Resident: USA
Professional occupation: Associate Professor/Laboratory Director, Columbia University Medical Center, Reviews Editor of British Journal of Pharmacology, and member of the British Pharmacological Society Meetings Committee

Name: S.J Enna
Resident: USA
Professional occupation: Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education and Professor in the Departments of Physiology and of Pharmacology, University of Kansas Medical Center
Name: Richard Schulz
Resident: Canada
Professional occupation: Professor, Department of Paediatrics & Pharmacology, University of Alberta

Name: Kevin Pfleger
Resident: Australia
Professional occupation: Head, Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia
Name: Thomas Griesbacher
Resident: Austria
Professional occupation: Professor, Medical University of Graz
Name: Ingolf Cascorbi
Resident: Germany
Professional occupation: Professor of Pharmacology, University of Kiel
Name: Sonia Roberts
Resident: Switzerland
Professional occupation: Principal Scientist (Drug Safety), F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel


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About the author

Teesha is the British Pharmacological Society’s Engagement Manager. Having graduated with a First Class BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Southampton, her Technical Support and Field Sales Representative roles for laboratory specialists Anachem Ltd (Mettler Toledo) were followed by a year as Employment Contracts Officer for University College London. She works with the membership team, other staff and members, to develop and nurture the Society’s relationships with its growing membership, potential members, stakeholders, and members of the public. Teesha also manages the delivery of the Society’s public engagement initiatives as well as supporting the Society’s Ambassadors pilot scheme.