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RPS Pharma Scene

Our regular podcast takes a fresh look at the Pharma Scene. We speak to new guests every fortnight: from industry experts to government leaders to stand-up comics.

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RPS Pharma Scene #16 - Careers in Pharmacy: Academia and Research

With Adam Todd and Anna Robinson

In episode 16 of our RPS Pharma Scene podcast, Adam Todd, Professor of Pharmaceutical Public Health, at the School of Pharmacy, Newcastle University, and Anna Robinson, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy and PhD Researcher at Newcastle School of Pharmacy, talk to RPS English Pharmacy Board member Ciara Duffy.

They discuss the availability and opportunities in Academia and Research in Pharmacy - how to get started and progress, as well as the rewards of these careers. 

If you've ever wondered whether a life in academia is for you, then Adam and Anna can help you decide!

Adam Todd

About Adam

Adam Todd is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Public Health, at the School of Pharmacy, Newcastle University.

He leads a programme of research that aims to apply pharmaceutical knowledge to prevent disease, promote health and reduce health inequalities, across different populations. His research programme is highly interdisciplinary, and uses methods from the social sciences, public health, clinical medicine, and epidemiology.

Adam is a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and is the new Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel for Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK).

About Anna

Anna Robinson

Anna is a Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy and PhD Researcher at Newcastle School of Pharmacy.

Her research interests lie in working with ethnic minority communities. Her recent published work has explored the accessibility of healthcare and pharmacy services for marginalised populations when seeking medication support.

Anna is also a Specialist Clinical Pharmacist, with a wealth of experience working in Primary and Secondary care settings across the North-East of England.

RPS Pharma Scene #15 - Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs)

With Anne Black and David Caulfield

In this episode, RPS English Pharmacy Board member Ciara Duffy talks to Anne Black, of NHS England’s Specialist Pharmacy Service, and David Caulfield, Assistant Director of Pharmacy – Quality Assurance at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust.

They look at the remarkable promise of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs). In future, these new therapies will be used to treat genetic disorders, cancer or long-term diseases; to treat, diagnose or prevent diseases, and to repair, regenerate or replace human tissue.

About Anne

Anne Black ATMPs

Anne is a member of NHS England’s Specialist Pharmacy Service. Her role is Regional Quality Assurance Specialist Pharmacist for the North East and North Cumbria.

Anne developed an interest and expertise in clinical trials and, in particular, advanced therapy medicinal products, as she became involved with Newcastle Advanced Therapies as a Qualified Person for investigational medicinal products.

She has since used this expertise to emphasise the important role of Pharmacy to optimise patient safety in the delivery of these medicines.

Anne is Chair of the NHS Pan UK Pharmacy Working Group for ATMPs and a steering group member of the Northern Alliance Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre, as well as sitting on NHS Pharmaceutical QA Committee and the National Pharmacy Clinical Trials Advisory Group. Anne was delighted to be made a Fellow of the RPS in 2020.

About David


David is currently Assistant Director of Pharmacy – Quality Assurance at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, he has spent his career working in the NHS, briefly in clinical pharmacy roles and latterly in production and quality assurance roles. 

David is passionate about delivering high quality care and with a love for science and innovation he was drawn to the field of advanced therapies. David passed his Qualified Person VIVA in 2016 and has been an operational Qualified Person across numerous dosage forms since then. He is now a Qualified Person Assessor on behalf of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and is passionate in supporting candidates within the NHS and industry in their own QP journeys, including lecturing at The University of Manchester where he did his original undergraduate degree. 

He has a unique perspective of the disruption that can face the NHS in adopting these exciting therapies, but also an understanding of the extremely complicated and highly regulated area of manufacture, 

David now assists industry in the shaping the design of the next generation of ATMPs to optimise adoption, maximising the incredible promise many of these therapies offer.

RPS Pharma Scene #14 - Pharmacogenomics (PGx)

With Sophie Harding

This episode, RPS English Pharmacy Board member Ciara Duffy talks to RPS Pharmacogenomics Lead Sophie Harding about the huge effect PGx is going to have on healthcare - and how pharmacists will be at the heart of that change!

About Sophie


Sophie has practised as a cancer pharmacist for 14 years, and as a pharmacist independent prescriber within cancer services since she qualified in 2010. Her cancer prescribing role involves reviewing and prescribing cancer treatments for patients throughout their cancer journey - as well as assessing patients, along with various test results which can include the result of a pharmacogenomic test.

She developed a passion for genomics in early 2020, when co-leading a pilot project to safely implement a pharmacogenomic DPYD test, alongside medical colleagues in collaboration with the All Wales Medical Genomics Service (AWMGS). DPYD is a pharmacogenomic test which helps to determine how a patient will respond to a certain cancer drug and tells us whether the dose prescribed needs to be personalised for that particular patient, or whether the drug needs to be avoided completely in order to reduce the risk of the patient experiencing serious side effects from their cancer treatment.

Since then, her expertise in genomics has led her to a role as RPS Lead for Pharmacogenomics, raising awareness of the key role that pharmacists already play in genomics, and the future role pharmacists can play within pharmacogenomics across all areas of healthcare.

Listen again

Did you miss an episode? Don't worry, every RPS Pharma Scene is available to listen again below.

Episode 13

With Helen Chang, from the RPS, and Gautam Paul, from Nottingham School of Pharmacy

Episode 12

With Tania Thomas, VP of Global Regulatory & Medical Affairs at Opiant Pharmaceuticals

Episode 11

With Gillian Renouf, Head of Quality UK and Ireland at Novartis

Episode 10

With Chief Pharmacist Ben Hannan!

Episode 9

With Kindeva Drug Delivery!

RPS Pharma Scene episode 8

A long-lost gramophone recording from 1888, made by the RPS' first female member, Fanny Elizabeth Potter.

RPS Pharma Scene episode 7

With Lubna Kerr - comedian, playwright, actress - and pharmacist!

RPS Pharma Scene episode 6

In conversation with Sir RIchard Sykes

RPS Pharma Scene episode 5

Black History Month, with Tase Oputu and Adanna Anthony-Okeke

RPS Pharma Scene episode 4

Allyship, with Farzana Haq and Mike Maguire

RPS Pharma Scene episode 3

The role of Industrial Pharmacy, with Nathalie Moll and Sunayana Shah

RPS Pharma Scene episode 2

Blockchain Technology and the future of Pharmacy, with Dr Kirit Virdee

RPS Pharma Scene episode 1

With Professor Dame Sally Davies