In this section


The NC3Rs delivers its activities through programme areas, each of which is developed and overseen by a programme manager.

A full list of staff and their responsibilities is given below.

Senior staff

Dr Vicky Robinson
Chief Executive

Vicky is Chief Executive of the NC3Rs. She holds a PhD in Developmental Biology from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London. Vicky was a post-doctoral researcher at the Medical Research Council's (MRC) National Institute for Medical Research before taking up a position as a Senior Scientific Officer in the Research Animals Department at the RSPCA. Prior to the establishment of the NC3Rs, Vicky was head of the MRC's Centre for Best Practice for Animals in Research. Vicky sits on numerous Ethical Review Committees, the Home Office's ASPA Better Regulation Steering Group, and the Association of Medical Research Charities' Animals in Medical Research Advisory Group.

Email Miss Kayleigh Purdon, PA to the Chief Executive


Dr Mark Prescott
Head of Research Management and Communications
Animals in academia, Non-human primate welfare

Mark oversees research funding and communications at the NC3Rs, and leads on the Centre's work to embed the 3Rs in the policies and practices of public funders of animal research. He trained as a zoologist and primatologist in Scotland, and has almost 20 years research experience in primatology and animal welfare science, authoring over 35 articles on the behaviour, care and use of non-human primates. He serves on the Advisory Board and Ethical Review Process of the Centre for Macaques, the Captive Care Committees of the Primate Society of Great Britain and International Primatological Society, and the PLOS ONE Animal Ethics Advisory Group. He is an Impact Assessor for the REF 2014, an Honorary Research Associate of the Scottish Primate Research Group, and an Honorary Member of European Primate Veterinarians. Previously, he was a member of the Animal Procedures Committee, the Bateson Committee which reviewed 10 years of publicly-funded research using non-human primates, and Expert Working Groups redrafting Convention ETS 123 and Directive 86/609.

Email Dr Mark Prescott


Dr Kathryn Chapman
Head of Innovation and Translation
Animals in the pharmaceutical industry

Kathryn is responsible for the programmes of work that engage specifically with the Pharmaceutical and Regulatory communities. She also leads the NC3Rs Innovation and Translation Group. Kathryn holds a PhD from the University of Manchester where she studied the genetics of osteoarthritis. Before joining the NC3Rs, Kathryn carried out post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School using mouse models to study brain development and cell fate, at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre developing high-throughput strategies for generating knockout mice and at GlaxoSmithKline, working with animal models used in drug development and validation.

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Dr Anthony Holmes
Programme Manager (Technology development)
Replacing animal use

Ant is responsible for the NC3Rs replacement programmes, engaging specifically with the academic community to assess the utility of animal models in specific research areas (e.g. asthma, and nausea and emesis), and to identify technologies that have the potential to reduce and/or replace animals (e.g. tissue engineering). Ant has a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from the Babraham Institute, University of Cambridge. Before joining the NC3Rs, Ant worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Laboratory of Molecular Signalling at the Babraham Institute, studying the role of calcium in the development and death of hippocampal neurons.

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Dr Nathalie Percie du Sert
Programme Manager (Experimental design)
Experimental design and systematic reviews

Nathalie is responsible for the NC3Rs programme of work on experimental design and reporting of animal studies. Nathalie holds a PhD in Physiology from St George's University of London, where she studied the mechanism of nausea and emesis induced by anti-cancer chemotherapy and developed expertise in animal model meta-analysis. Prior to joining the NC3Rs, Nathalie worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the field of emesis at the University of California, San Francisco and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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Dr Rubina Ahmed (currently on maternity leave)
Programme Manager (Research funding)
Funding schemes

Rubina is responsible for the NC3Rs research funding schemes. She holds a PhD in Immunology from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Before joining the NC3Rs, Rubina worked at the Wellcome Trust as a Grants Adviser, specialising in applications which use animals in research and the policies surrounding this. Rubina was also the Manager for the Pathogen Biology and Disease Transmission Expert Review Group and co-ordinated the Veterinary Fellowship Scheme.

Email Dr Rubina Ahmed


Dr Virginie Bros Facer
Programme Manager (Research funding - maternity leave cover)
Funding schemes

Virgine is responsible for the NC3Rs research funding schemes. Following a MSc and PhD in Neuroscience at King's College London, Virginie worked as a Postdoctoral research fellow  at the Institute of Neurology (UCL) studying  pathogenic mechanisms and investigating novel therapeutic strategies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Motor Neuron Disease using animal models. Before joining the NC3Rs, Virginie was Programme Manager at the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility for the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, a joint translational funding scheme between the Department of Health and The Wellcome Trust.

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Dr Fiona Sewell
Programme Manager (Toxicology and regulatory sciences: human health)
Animals in the pharmaceutical industry, Animals in the chemicals industry

Fiona is responsible for the NC3Rs programme of work on toxicology and regulatory sciences. Fiona gained her PhD with Cancer Research UK at the University of Leeds, where she investigated small molecule inhibitors of fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) as potential therapeutic targets for bladder cancer. Fiona then worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Imperial College London in the Stem Cell Differentiation Group, where she examined the role of telomerase in the differentiation and self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and the process by which they differentiate to neural lineages.

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Dr Natalie Burden
Programme Manager (Toxicology and Regulatory Sciences )

Natalie is responsible for the NC3Rs programme of work in ecotoxicology and regulatory sciences. Natalie previously worked as a preclinical researcher at Pfizer, supporting drug discovery programmes in Safety Pharmacology and Genitourinary diseases. She then went on to gain a PhD in Neurophysiology, studying mechanisms of chronic pain, at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Prior to joining the NC3Rs Natalie also carried out postdoctoral research at King's College London in the area of sensory neuron physiology.

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Dr Sam Jackson
Programme Manager (Disease Models, Efficacy and Safety Pharmacology)

Sam is a programme manager at the NC3Rs, with a focus on models of disease efficacy. Sam was awarded his PhD from the Institute of Neurology UCL, in 2004 and has subsequently worked on the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Following a post-doctoral position at the University of Wisconsin Madison USA, where he characterised and utilised animal models of multiple sclerosis, Sam returned to London to take up a position undertaking in vitro research into the mechanisms and prevention of demyelination in MS. Sam has most recently worked on the role of pathological protein spreading in Alzheimer's disease at Eli Lilly and Co.

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Dr Cathy Vickers
Programme Manager (CRACK IT)

Cathy is responsible for the NC3Rs' CRACK IT programme. Cathy has a PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Edinburgh. Before joining the NC3Rs, Cathy worked as a post-doctoral researcher in synaptic signalling at the University of Edinburgh and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan. Cathy was also manager for the international subsidiary of US company BrainBits LLC, that specialises in provision of in vitro cells and products to the neuroscience research community.

Email Dr Cathy Vickers


Dr Joanna Edwards
Science Manager

Joanna is Science Manager at the NC3Rs, working to support the Research Management and Communications programme of work. Joanna completed degrees in Pharmacology and Toxicology before gaining a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Leeds. Before joining the NC3Rs, Joanna worked as a senior database scientist at Lhasa Limited where she led projects on data sharing and liver toxicity.

Email Dr Joanna Edwards


Miss Laura McGuinness
Communications Officer
Laura is Communications Officer at the NC3Rs. Laura is responsible for creating engaging content to promote the work of the NC3Rs within the scientific community, in the media and to the general public. Previously, Laura worked as a Managing Commissioning Editor for Future Science Group. Laura was awarded a BSc in biology from the University of Nottingham.

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Dr Katie Lidster
Science Manager

Katie is Science Manager at the NC3Rs, supporting the Research Management and Communications programme of work. Katie completed an MSc in Drug Discovery Skills at Kings College London with an industrial placement at GlaxoSmithKline. She then gained a PhD in Neuroimmunology from Queen Mary University London, developing an animal model of optic neuritis to assess neuroprotective therapies for multiple sclerosis. Katie continued her PhD work as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on an NC3Rs funded project to refine and reduce an animal model of multiple sclerosis.

Email Dr Katie Lidster

Ms Ashley Scott
Business Manager

Ashley is Business Manager at the NC3Rs, responsible for the day-to-day running of the Centre, managing the budget, organising administrative support for all NC3Rs projects, and organising high profile NC3Rs events. Ashley is also the NC3Rs Board Secretary, responsible for supporting all Board activities and recruitment. Ashley was awarded a BSc in Microbiology from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and then worked in Japan investigating new treatments for Leishmania hertigi. Prior to the establishment of the NC3Rs, Ashley worked at the MRC's Centre for Best Practice for Animals in Research.

Email Ms Ashley Scott


Miss Emma Stokes
Website and Design Manager

Emma is Website and Design Manager at the NC3Rs. Emma is responsible for the development and management of the Centre's website and microsites, and also for designing and producing flyers, leaflets and coordinating publications. Emma was awarded a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne before completing an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College, London. Before joining the NC3Rs, Emma worked for Understanding Animal Research.

Email Miss Emma Stokes


Administrative staff

Miss Maureen FitzGerald
Events Administrator

Miss Joanne James
Events Officer

Mr Jonathan Lind
Office Administrator

Miss Suzanne McArdle
Research Funding Officer

Mrs Hazel McLaughlin
Research Funding Administrator

Miss Colette Roach
CRACK IT Officer

Mr David McCreanor
CRACK IT Administrator

Miss Kayleigh Purdon
PA / Office Manager


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