Our Scientific Advisory Committee

Our scientific advisory committee have been chosen for their relevant professional and personal experience in the word of infectious diseases.

They help to review project funding proposals to ensure that we make informed decisions, and that the money of our donors is allocated to research of the highest quality.

Emma Sandbach (Chair)

Emma currently works as a Consultant in Public Health and has 18 years experience of working in Public Health departments for both the NHS and Local Government.

Before becoming a Consultant in Public Health she worked as an epidemiologist and has experience of working in a wide range of Public Health issues.

Emma also sits on our Board of Trustees.

John Chandler M.Phil. CBiol, MRSB

John has a Masters in Philosophy in Public Health & Hygiene, is an EU Chartered Biologist, and has studied entomology.

He reviews research applications for the National Institute of Health Research and was a member of the Medical Research Council in Kenya for 7 years, undertaking basic research into the role of mosquitoes in arbovirus and malaria transmission.

He brings experience in vector-borne diseases and research applications reviewing.

Dr Joseph Freer

Dr Freer is an Academic Clinical Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London and a GP registrar working in Tower Hamlets, East London.

His clinical and research interests involve the impact of infections on marginalised groups. He has previously worked in this field in public health and research positions in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.

He has clinical experience of Lyme disease and is aware of issues surrounding the reliability of diagnostics. He also has an interest in understanding chronic fatigue conditions.

Dr Freer has also worked in UK Parliament with the Health and Social Care Committee and at The BMJ. In these roles he has developed a passion for translating research into practice, which is especially important for Lyme disease. 

Dr Russ Hagan

Russell provides independent advice on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. A pharmacologist by training, he has a wealth of scientific knowledge and business experience gained in a career of over 30 years in a variety of scientific, business development and leadership roles in industry.

He worked in companies such as GlaxoSmithKline where he focused on innovative medicines in neuroscience.

His strengths are in evaluating the research strategies, development paths and commercialisation of medical innovations, skills he hopes he can bring to bear now to meet the needs of patients with Lyme disease.     

Rebecca Harmston

Rebecca is a research scientist and has worked at both Cancer Research UK and Cambridge University. She holds a B.Sc (Hons), M.Res and Ph.D in molecular biology and the life sciences and has been working in patient involvement in research as a patient representative for nearly eight years.

Rebecca is an active member of a number of health research panels including a NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Committee and the NICE Health Technology Assessment Committee D.

She has a wealth of experience including writing patient facing documents, ethics, reviewing grant applications and experience as a research co-applicant.

Rebecca is living with a number of long term health conditions and is the main carer for a child with special education needs. She hopes to bring the patient perspective the the committee and make sure that research is relevant and important to patients, carers and their families.

Louise Alban (patient representative)

Louise holds a Natural Sciences degree from the University of Cambridge and has a background in science teaching.

Her interest in Lyme began when her daughter caught Lyme disease. Louise has spent much of the last six years reading research papers, offering patient support and listening to the experiences of Lyme patients. She contributed to the 2017 UCL Review on Lyme disease, and the 2018 NICE guideline consultations. 

As a member of the scientific committee she hopes to help identify research projects which will have the greatest impact in advancing our collective understanding of how to diagnose and treat Lyme disease more effectively.