Keynote Speaker

Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport. Scottish Government

Biography: Shona was born in Redcar in 1966. Educated at Alva Academy, she went on to graduate from Glasgow University with a Social Sciences MA and Jordanhill College with a Postgraduate Certificate in Community Education. Previously she worked for Glasgow City Council's Social Work Department.
Shona was MSP for the North East from 1999 to 2003 and elected MSP for Dundee East in 2003. Latterly, she was Shadow Minster for Health and Social Justice and a member of the Parliament's Health Committee before being appointed Minister for Public Health in the Scottish Government after the May 2007 election.
She was re-elected in May 2011 and appointed Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, and was made Cabinet Secretary for Health in November 2014. 

After Dinner Speaker.

 Gala Dinner, 23rd May, Apex City Quay Hotel, Dundee 

Body of knowledge: solving clinical problems with anatomical solutions.

Tracey Wilkinson. CAHID, University of Dundee

Abstract:  The skills of a medical practitioner are not learnt overnight, and require years of repeated practice and training to refine. Also, the number of medical and surgical innovations increase every year, and require extensive research to inform evidence-based practice. The Thiel facility at Dundee University, unique in Scotland, offers a chance both for undergraduate and postgraduate practitioners to refine their skills in a safe and controlled environment without endangering patients, as well as providing a platform for state-of-the-art translational research and medical device testing through use of these flexible, realistic cadavers. This talk will describe several of the translational activities that are being undergone at Dundee University, including training, testing and research across several medical disciplines.

Session 1 – Global Challenges 

Value Based Health Care – Friend or Foe?

Mark Cook, Medtronic UK & Ireland 

Abstract: Value Based Healthcare ( VBHC ) is new way of thinking, espoused originally by Michael Porter, which is gaining traction around the world as a response to the challenges facing healthcare such as budget limitations and demographic change driving demand. It places the patient at the centre of the model, which prioritises the health outcomes that matter most to patients relative to their costs. It requires a shift in attitude from innovators, scientists, health systems and companies to deliver patient valued benefits, but to ignore it could be an expensive folly for all concerned. 

Preventing deaths from pesticide poisoning in rural Asia

Professor Michael Eddleston, University of Edinburgh 

Abstract: In the early 1990s, Sri Lanka had one of the world’s highest suicide rates, at around 52/100,000/year, up from around 8/100,000 in 1955. Much of the increase was due to the introduction of highly hazardous pesticides into poor rural homes during the Green Revolution, which aimed to increase food production and alleviate food-poverty. The rate has since fallen to 17/100,000, thanks largely to the Sri Lankan Registrar of Pesticides as well as a group of Sri Lankan and international researchers who have focused on preventing deaths through clinical and massive public health intervention trials. Their findings have resulted in improved medical management and revised national and international policies on the composition of pesticides and their availability within small rural communities. This work, particularly the Registrar’s bans on the most highly hazardous pesticides in agriculture, has saved an estimated 93,000 lives in Sri Lanka over 20 years. This effect has wide applicability to low-income rural communities across the world. 

The ecosystemic dis-integration of health – the challenge of our times.

Professor Dr Richard Anthony Kock. RVC, University of London 

Abstract: The current health systems, responsible institutions and professions are unable to address significant negative externalities produced by human behaviours, agriculture and industries leading to an ecosystemic collapse and growing unhealthiness amongst multiple species. Integration may or may not help to solve these problems but only if the resources available are fairly shared and well-focused, with appropriate governance and consensus on trade-offs. This debate illustrated by examples of animal epidemic diseases, their apparent drivers and consequences and significance to one health.

Session 2 – Health Impacts 

Preserving and Innovative Antibiotics for Human Use: How can Academic Health Science Centre’s [AHSC’s] help?

Dilip Nathwani, Academic Health Science Partnership (AHSP) Tayside 

Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance [AMR] is a quintessential One Health problem and global crisis. Excess and misuse of antibiotics in the human and agricultural sectors are major drivers of AMR. Promoting more prudent use, the need to develop new, safe and effective antimicrobials, and improving availability and access to new diagnostics are fundamental to the longevity of existing and new antibiotics. A cross-disciplinary and multiple stakeholder environment and infrastructure that enables innovation and better stewardship of existing antimicrobials is essential to success.
The Academic Health Science Centre, created in Tayside in 2014, has been instrumental in forging local partnerships through the creation of the Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance [] at the University of Dundee, and a national collaboration to drive research into drug discovery, diagnostics and improved implementation of better prescribing in the Tayside and Scottish population. The opportunity for broader collaboration is significant, as is the AHSC model for enabling innovation and wealth creation in the health, social and life sciences sector and cross-sector partnerships promoting synergy and integration.

Missing links in the One Health agenda.

Dr Nicola Holden, James Hutton Institute 

Abstract: The One Health agenda aims to take a holistic view to health, encompassing all of the interactors. This has required a step-change in thinking, taking a much wider perspective in consideration of aspects that impact health. In 2016, the James Hutton Institute and Scottish Enterprise partnered in a project to understand the opportunities and challenges for One Health science in Scotland.  Through a series of workshops and interviews, key players, opportunities and challenges were identified. One of the under-represented areas was buy-in from plant science, despite a clear alignment with the UK Agri-Tech strategy.  Here I will provide an overview of the Scottish Enterprise project and some examples of work relevant to plant science.


One Welfare – a new platform for improving human and animal welfare.

Dr Freda Scott-Park, Veterinary Surgeon & Chair, Links Group

Abstract: One Health recognises the relationship between animal and human health, and similarly there is also a strong link between animal welfare and human wellbeing.  There are many multidisciplinary areas where different professions and disciplines can work together to achieve common goals of One Welfare, thus influencing One Health. Animal welfare is often perceived as a cost rather than a benefit.  Our One Welfare approach highlights the direct and indirect benefits to human welfare. Those who mistreat and abuse animals are more likely to mistreat and abuse vulnerable individuals around them, such as children or the elderly.  Animal welfare indicators can be used as a sign of a farmer failing to cope and may be used to detect poor farmer health/wellbeing and poor farmer wellbeing could indicate poor animal welfare on the farm. Prison programmes have demonstrated that rehabilitation of stray dogs benefits both the prisoners and animals. 

Another crisis in the developing world: Why should we care?

Dr Steve McSwiggan, Tayside Medical Science Centre (TASC) 

Abstract: With a NHS seemingly under perpetual funding pressure alongside deep social and welfare care challenges there is a belief that foreign aid is a luxury the UK, and indeed the developed world, can no longer afford. Drawing on lessons from the past and looking at potential future global health challenges Steve will examine why we might wish to advocate a more caring, and at the same time pragmatic, attitude towards these emerging crisis in the developing world.


Session 3 – Internationalisation 

Title TBC

David MacCallum, Scottish Development International (SDI)


One Health: Animal health’s contribution.

Richard Mole, Moredun Group 

Abstract: Southern Scotland has one of the highest concentrations of animal scientists in Europe and includes a number of world leading research organisations, including the Moredun Research Institute, the Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College all focused on animal health, welfare, genetics, transgenics and immunology. Much of this expertise is directly applicable to medical applications.
The expertise in Animal sciences across southern Scotland will be outlined and a number of specific projects will be highlighted with “One Health” applications.


Improving human health: crops as a source of bioactives.

Professor Derek Stewart, James Hutton Institute 

Abstract: Consumer choices of lifestyle, diet and food have moved beyond personal preferences and are now societal concerns as the prevalence of diet-related chronic disease has reached epic proportions.  In, Europe, more than 50% of the adult population is now overweight and adult obesity rates exceed 20% in many European Union (EU) Member States.  Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. In addition, neurodegenration conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, are on an upward trajectory of incidence.
All these conditions are debilitating and decrease the quality of life yet it’s within our mean to reduce this by exploiting the phytochemical diversity in crops either for dietary or pharma routes to disease prevention and treatment.  In my presentation I will show the impact that apparently innocuous food stuffs (and their bioactives) can have on some fundamental processes in the body.


Session 4 – Pitch Perfect 

Business Pitching Competition

Chair: Brian McNicoll, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Manager, University of Dundee

Session 5 – Business, Finance & Regulation 

De-risking Innovation though Effective Communication.

Dr Andrew Powell, Asia BioBusiness & Global Scot 

Abstract:  Communication – letting people know your success and managing negative interest – is a factor that all innovators should consider sooner rather than later along their commercialisation journey.
The high standards of accountability and transparency that must be met for investors and funding bodies are certainly important; but recognising risk perceptions, often associated with new technologies and frequently enhanced by social amplification of risk, is also critical. Combatting these risk perceptions (and often lack of trust) with PR strategies or traditional science communication will often not succeed and risk communication strategies need to be put in place.

This presentation will outline how an understanding of risk perceptions and trust is vital to developing a communication strategy that ensures that social license to operate is in place. It will then describe some strategies for engagement with stakeholders to create an environment in which the innovation is allowed to reach its full potential. 

Supporting Commercialisation in Health and Life Sciences.

Dr Michael Sullivan, InnovateUK 

Abstract: Mike will discuss the role of Innovate UK in fostering business-led innovation and economic growth across its strategic areas of focus, highlighting opportunities for businesses including the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. 

An Investor’s Perspective.

Kevin Taylor, Dupplin Investments 

Abstract: Brief background on Dupplin Investments, which is not a specialist in life sciences but seeks opportunities across the investment spectrum. In that context an individual’s perspective on:
What do investors seek?
What we see in the many opportunities that cross our desk.
What does success look like?
Funds raised! What now? 

Title TBC

Jamie Beal, Henderson Loggie