The Board of Directors

William Harvey Research Limited (WHRL) was established in 1990 to facilitate interaction between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. A primary aim of WHRL is to co-ordinate Contract Research as an Efficacy, Verification and Interpretation Service (EVIS). Scientific personnel of the William Harvey Research Institute provide the foundation of experience and expertise to complement drug development for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. WHRL also organizes Conferences, facilitates PhD fellowships, and provides registration and payment management services.

Governed by a diverse and dedicated Board of Directors, the company benefits from the strong leadership of scientific, clinical, and industry knowledge. 

Meet our Board Members:

Chris Thiemermann

Professor Christoph Thiemermann, MD PhD FBPhS FRCP FMedSci

Chairman & Chief Executive

Chris(toph) Thiemermann has been a Director of the company since 1995, and Chairman & CEO since 2003. He is also Professor of Pharmacology and Centre Lead for Translational Medicine & Therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Deputy Director of the Centre for Diabetic Kidney Disease at the Royal London Hospital, Bart’s Health NHS Trust.  

He graduated with honours in Medicine (1986), obtained his MD in Medicine (1987, summa cum laude) from the University in Cologne in Germany (awarded University Prize 1987 for ’Best Doctorate Degree of all Faculties of the University of Cologne’) and received consecutive Fellowships from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Thyssen Foundation (Germany). He joined the WHRI in July 1987, where he obtained a PhD in Pharmacology under the supervision of The Nobel Laureate Sir John Vane in 1991.

Thiemermann is a Scientist/Clinician with a strong research track record in cardiovascular disease (acute medicine, renal disease, trauma, shock, diabetes) with a specific expertise in target discovery, pharmacology and translational medicine. Since 2007, he is Centre Lead for Translational Medicine at the WHRI/Barts NHS Trust (since 2007). Recent successes have been phase II RCTs evaluating the effects of pentoxiphylline in patients with chronic kidney disease (on dialysis) and the repositioning of the antimalarial drug artesunate for patients with severe haemorrhage and organ failure (ongoing).

His research was recognised by Awards of the British Pharmacological Society (1994), the Surgical Infection Society Europe (1999) and the Menarini-Award for CV Research (2001). Over the years, Thiemermann’s research has been generously supported by the British Heart Foundation (Senior Fellow from 1996 to 2001), the European Union, the Medical Research Council, Kidney Research UK and William Harvey Research Foundation, Barts and the London Charity (BLC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

He has published more than 420 scientific articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, which have been cited more than 30,000-times (h-index:91, Google Open Scholar). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the United Kingdom (since 2003), where he serves on the Nomination Committee (Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience), a Member of the Helix Group of the Academy (since 2017), a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (since 2005), a Foreign Life Peer Member of the Academy of Sciences of Portugal (Lisboa) (since 2003), a Member/Deputy Chair and Chair of the Fellowships Committee of the NIHR (2008-2018), Member of the Training Implementation Group of the NIHR (since 2017), Past-President of the European Shock Society (presidency 2008-2011), Member of the Executive Council of the World Federation of Shock Societies (since 2008), Senior Associate Editor (Europe) of the Journal Shock (2003-17) and an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Immunology (Inflammation) (since 2017).

For his contributions as Scientist/Educator and Business Leader, Thiemermann is named in WHO’s WHO in Science and Engineering (since 2003), WHO’s WHO in the World (since 2004) and in 2018 has been awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by the WHO’s WHO Publication Board.


Brendan Whittle

Professor Brendan J. Whittle, B.Pharm., Ph.D., D.Sc., HonF.BPhS., HonM.FinPhS

Brendan Whittle has been a Director of the Company since 1996 and is also Professor Emeritus of Applied Pharmacology in Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. He is Visiting Professor of both the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Tampere, Finland. In addition to his three academic degrees, he is an Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and Honorary Member of the Finnish Pharmacological Society.

He joined the William Harvey Research Institute after some 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, latterly as Director of Pharmacology, and is still actively involved as a pharmaceutical scientific consultant. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers and reviews, while the Institute of Scientific Information has nominated him as one of the world's 100 most-cited scientists based on his publications over a 20 year period. He has also won numerous prestigious scientific awards.

His research areas have included studies on the gastro-intestinal tract, particularly in relation to the adverse effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Such work has significant  potential to understand and hence alleviate the associated gut damage, a major clinical problem still to be resolved. His work on colitis has identified new inflammatory mediators and processes that underlie this debilitating disease. He has found that a well-established class of anti-colitic agents that includes mesalamine, promotes the colonic expression of an endogenous anti-oxidant protective system, identifying a novel mechanism for this old but still clinically effective drug.

His work also concerns pulmonary arterial hypertension, a devastating and often fatal disease involving pulmonary vascular occlusion. He holds a number of patents in this area, and led the early identification, selection and early development of a highly effective prostacyclin analogue. This compound was subsequently developed into a number of pharmaceutical preparations, and is now one of the key therapies for this often-fatal disease. His ongoing collaborative work has identified the profile of receptors that are activated by clinically used prostacyclin-like agents, and is currently working on the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the adverse pulmonary vascular cell proliferation in this disease.

He is closely involved in many aspects of research and development of novel drugs in collaboration with a number of international pharmaceutical companies, and brings this expertise to William Harvey Research Limited.


Magdi Yaqoob

Professor Magdi Yaqoob, MD, FRCP

Magdi Yaqoob, MD, FRCP (Medical Director since 2003) is a Professor of Nephrology and Academic Director for the Department of Clinical Nephrology and Transplantation at Barts and the Royal London NHS Trust. He is also Director of Diabetic Kidney Centre for East London and member of advisory board for Barts Life sciences centre and Joint National Formulary for BNF.

Magdi Yaqoob is an internationally recognized expert in nephrology. He leads a research program designed to gain a better insight into the mechanisms underlying uraemic cardiovascular disease, diabetic nephropathy pharmacogenomics in transplantation, renal anaemia, and renal bone disease, progression of chronic kidney disease and mediators of acute kidney injury. He has been involved and co-ordinated a number of large clinical trials relating to testing the efficacy of novel therapeutics in acute and chronic renal disease. He has published over 300 peer reviewed publications with H-Index of 54 in addition to seven book chapters in medical text books including Clinical Medicine by Kumar & Clark, Oxford Clinical Medicine and Oxford Clinical Nephrology.

As an Educator, he has supervised more than 25 PhD-students, many of which have become leaders in theirs chosen fields of Medicine and hospital management. Together with Professor Thiemermann he has developed commercially funded 10 HCA-Barts Clinical PhD/MD studentships.


Mauro Perretti

Professor Mauro Perretti, PhD

Mauro Perretti, PhD FBPharmacolS FSB (Director since 2003) is Professor of Immunopharmacology (2001) and Co-Director of the William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI; 2013). He joined WHRI in 1991 after a 4-year experience at the Sclavo Research Centre (Siena, Italy). He obtained a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Florence (Italy) in 1985, and a PhD in 1996 (University of London). His inflammation research of the last decade has focused on the patho-pharmacology of endogenous anti-inflammatory mediators and their receptors, to be used as innovative targets for the development of therapeutics to moderate over-exuberant inflammation.


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