Leading health and life science sector specialist Dr Mandy Dixon has joined the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) as head of corporate engagement.
The NHSA is an alliance of the leading research universities, NHS teaching trusts and Academic Health Science Networks across the North of England. It is a driver for investment into the sector, and brings together research collaborations and is an advocate for the North’s health system in Government.
Mandy has worked within the health and life sciences sector for over 25 years, with a career spanning both the NHS and higher education.
She joined the NHSA from Lancaster University where she was assistant director at the Health Innovation Campus. In this position, she played a leading role in the development of strategic partnerships between the University and NHS organisations.
She also has a wealth of experience engaging with the commercial health sector to develop successful collaborations, including the coordination of the successful £1.7m funding application to NHS England for one of seven national Test Beds.
Mandy joins the NHSA team at an exciting time as the organisation evolves under the new Chief Executive, Dr Séamus O’Neill. It also follows the recent announcement of a £4.5 million initiative in collaboration with MedCity, funded by Research England, to elevate the UK’s life sciences sector and boost the economy.
Mandy will play a crucial role in helping to realise the NHSA’s vision to improve national and international visibility of the globally important assets and capabilities within the health and life science sector across the North of England.
She said: “I have respected the work of the NHSA for many years, having worked for one of its member organisations for the last seven years. I’m thrilled to now be a part of this team and to have the opportunity to improve health and generate wealth at scale across the North of England.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know our members, their individual strengths and exploring new ways of working together in this new era of corporate engagement and what that means for them. At a time when the health, economic and political landscapes are changing, I believe it’s important to take a fresh strategic approach where partnership working is at the centre of our future plans.”
NHSA chief executive Dr Séamus O’Neill said: “We are delighted to welcome Mandy to the NHSA to lead our corporate engagement at an exciting and pivotal time for the organisation. Our vision for Mandy’s role is somewhat of a departure from the traditional delivery of corporate engagement, placing multi-sector collaboration and engagement front and centre of activity.
“She has a proven track record of bringing together businesses, academia and the health sector to develop and deliver successful collaborations and projects. Her insight and cross-sector experience working within health research and business engagement in both the NHS and higher education will be invaluable to the NHSA and our members.”
Mandy officially stepped into the role of head of corporate engagement at the NHSA on November 1, taking over from Keith Miller, who has been interim head of corporate engagement since early this year.
As well as a varied background in research and a PhD in applied health research, prior to her time at Lancaster University, Mandy has previously worked as an NHS research and development manager in the Midlands, as an NHS research grants co-ordinator in Preston and as a social anthropologist/researcher at the South African Medical Research Council.