Our people

headshot of Professor Julian Rayner

Wellcome Connecting Science is led by its Director, Professor Julian Rayner. Julian combines his passion for malaria research with his conviction that dialogue, learning and public engagement are a fundamental and essential part of the research process. He provides strategic leadership to Connecting Science, ensuring our mission stays relevant and delivers the change we want to see.

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The Programme and Strategy area is responsible for supporting the Director with strategy development, impact and evaluation, equity and inclusion, governance, stakeholder engagement, and large-scale projects. Teams in this area provide programme-wide support across strategic communications and marketing, and venue management. It is led by the Associate Director, Programme and Strategy, Dr Ireena Dutta.

Ireena has a PhD in antimicrobial resistance from the University of Cambridge, and extensive experience in knowledge transfer, science communication, and strategy development. She remains an enthusiastic microbiologist.

The Learning and Training area develops and delivers learning events, activities and resources for professional audiences across the life science research and healthcare sectors. It is led by Associate Director, Learning and Training, Dr Michelle Bishop. Michelle has spent more than 15 years in genetics and genomics education, previously working at Health Education England. She has a background in molecular biology and genetic counselling and a PhD in the field of genetics education.

Headshot of Anna Middleton

The Engagement and Society area explores public perspectives on genomics, using both social sciences research approaches and by engaging directly with defined communities. It is led by Associate Director, Engagement and Society,  Professor Anna Middleton. Anna leads a team with expertise across social sciences methodology, psychology, genetic counselling, education, community engagement, and creative production.

Anna is a qualified genetic counsellor with a PhD in psychology and genetics from the University of Leeds. She is a Professor/Affiliate Lecturer within the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, and the Director of the Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science and the Public.
Anna is passionate about delivering research that has real practical value to patients.

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Connecting Science’s operations are led by its Head of Programme Operations, Katrina Robinson. Katrina is responsible for the management of Hinxton Hall Conference Centre, in addition to programme-wide administration, financial management, and governance.