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 Connecting Science Programme Office is responsible for supporting the Director with strategy development and stakeholder engagement, providing marketing and communications support across the programme, and developing and delivering large-scale, programme-wide projects. It is led by the Head of 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.

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We are currently recruiting for a new Head of the Courses and Conferences team, and in the interim it is being lead and supported by the Director and senior managers in the team.

Headshot of Linda Pior

Linda Prior is the Conference Centre Business Manager. Linda leads a core events team of nine, and manages a wider contract team who provide support services to the Conference Centre ranging from housekeeping to fine dining. Together, these teams focus on providing outstanding facilities and services to both Connecting Science, and to external Conference Centre clients. Linda has over three decades of experience in the events and hospitality sector, leading major venue renovation projects and creating new services.

Headshot of Kenneth Skeldon

Dr Kenneth Skeldon is the Head of Public Engagement team. Ken leads a team of engagement and education professionals whose ambition is to create a world-leading engaged research campus. The team have expertise in research support, project planning, stakeholder management and creative production. Ken completed a PhD in lasers and optoelectronics from the University of Glasgow, and has a particular interest in embedding engagement within research culture.

Headshot of Anna Middleton

Professor Anna Middleton is the Head of Society and Ethics Research team. Anna leads a team with expertise across social sciences methodology, psychology, genetic counselling, empirical bioethics, and digital resource production. Collectively they contribute a societal voice on the impact of genomics on patients, as well as develop policy and teaching practice. 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. Anna is passionate about delivering research that has real practical value to patients.