News

Professor Tom Solomon

Tom Solomon is a doctor, world-leading researcher, and award-winning science communicator, with experience across all the major national and international television channels, as well as radio and newspaper.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Tom has regularly appeared on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to provide his expert medical knowledge and insight. He also appeared on BBC One’s Question Time and two Channel 4 documentaries discussing the Pandemic.

Tom was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours of June 2021.

Tom appeared on Christmas University Challenge in 2019, as part of the team for Wadham College, Oxford, with his team making it to the final. He also featured as a key expert in the Channel 4 programme 24 Hours Inside Your Body. He presents the podcast series ‘Scouse Science’.

His other TV work has included a mild dust-up with Andrew Neil on the BBC One’s The Sunday Politics, a gripping ITV Tonight Programme, Ebola – Are We Prepared, and the four part series, My Strange Brain, for Channel Five. He has recently been on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, BBC One’s Watchdog Live and Matthew Parris’ Great Lives – where he nominated the author Roald Dahl; the programme was chosen for Pick of the Week.

Other science communication and public engagement work has included his highly acclaimed TEDx Talk Sex Drugs and Emerging Viruses, the creation of a Guinness World Record-winning “World’s Biggest Brain”, and an appearance at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which had very positive review: “Solomon is a skilful and experienced science communicator… His delivery was… almost reminiscent of a stand-up comedian at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”

When Tom is not communicating about medical science he is doing it. As Director of the UK’s Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging Infections at the University of Liverpool, Tom is acknowledged as a world-leading infectious disease expert. He heads an internationally acclaimed research group studying brain infections in the UK, Asia, and Africa, working to reduce the burden of these devastating diseases. Tom’s Institute tackles emerging infections, food security, antimicrobial resistance, and other major global public health challenges. He was awarded the Royal College of Physicians Moxon Medal (2014), and recently became a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator. Tom is also a Consultant Neurologist at The Walton Neuro-Centre, and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where he sees patients with all manner of brain conditions from Alzheimer’s to Zoonoses.

Tom originally trained in medicine at the University of Oxford, and spent years living overseas, doing medical research in Asia and America, before settling in Liverpool. In his spare time he likes to get a bit of exercise. He ran the 2010 London Marathon as the Running Mad Professor, winning a Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a doctor.

His motto: “Science is a serious business, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have fun whilst doing it!”

Click here for a profile piece on Tom in The Guardian

Dr Ravi Jayaram

Dr Ravi Jayaram is a Consultant Paediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

He co-presented the Channel 4’s series Born Naughty? and featured on the Channel 4 health series How To Stay Well. He has appeared on ITV’s This Morning and the BBC’s The One Show as a guest in studio and presented a film on NHS staffing issues. Dr Ravi has also taken part in a discussion on BBC’s Sunday Morning Live, on whether life and death decisions should be left to doctors. He has presented episodes of the Accelerating Health podcast exploring the bright spots, new initiatives, and partnerships supporting resilient health systems during COVID-19 and in the future. He has also been a contributor to the mid-morning show on the BBC Asian Network as a child health “guru”.

Ravi completed his undergraduate training in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and trained in paediatrics in the north-east of England, Bristol, New South Wales and London. He deals with many aspects of child health but has a particular interest in asthma, cystic fibrosis and other childhood lung disorders as well as in behavioural paediatrics, medical education and care of critically ill children.
In his spare time, he competes in triathlons, sings with a band and is a member of The Weakest Link winners club.

Marc Abraham

Dr Marc Abraham OBE, or ‘Marc the Vet’ as he is usually known, is a multi-award-winning veterinary surgeon, broadcaster, author, and animal welfare campaigner; regularly appearing on shows including BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Tonight, as well as being a producer of US movie documentary Dog By Dog. Marc has experience across a range of different veterinary work (including small animal, mixed, emergency) as well as his volunteering abroad, allowing him to bring a unique depth and breadth of knowledge to both his broadcast and corporate commitments.

Marc is the author of four books: Vet on Call, Pets in Need, Lucy’s Law: The Story of a Little Dog Who Changed the World, and most recently #BeMoreMosquito: How you can campaign and create change; as well as writing blogs and articles to raise awareness of animal welfare across local, national, and international media, is resident vet giving advice on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey, plus shares tips on his busy Twitter and FB channels. Marc has successfully collaborated with a whole host of household brands and events, plus is often invited to speak at public engagements as well as at meetings in Parliament.

His passion for animal welfare has also seen Marc volunteer overseas for numerous animal welfare organisations. These include vaccinating dogs against rabies in the Mumbai Slums, rescuing dancing bears in Ukraine, saving cats and dogs in post-tsunami Thailand, rescuing dogs from dogmeat farms in South Korea, neutering pets deep in the Amazon Jungle, working with pit-bulls in US prisons, operating on street dogs in Udaipur, India, going undercover to investigate Finnish fur farms, rescuing ex-breeding dogs and puppies from U.S puppy mills, as well as performing dental work on a rescued moonbear in Chengdu, China.

Marc campaigns extensively for animal welfare issues both in the UK and US, including promoting rescue pet adoption and responsible dog and cat breeding, as well as actively advocating to stop the cruel puppy farming industry. In 2009 he set up Pup Aid, a national puppy farming awareness campaign, featuring an annual celebrity-judged dog show in London’s Primrose Hill. Responsible for three of the biggest pet welfare government e-petitions of all time, Marc is also the co-founder and secretariat of the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) and helped source rescue dog Dilyn for previous Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie.

After leading a 10-year campaign, including 300+ visits to Westminster lobbying MPs and Ministers, the Government passed Lucy’s Law into English legislation banning the commercial third-party trade in puppies and kittens, making all dog and cat breeders accountable by providing a legislative framework to help investigation and prosecution; thus providing support and transparency for prospective puppy and kitten buyers. The campaign was also successful in changing the law in Wales, Scotland, and hopefully soon Northern Ireland.

Based in Brighton, East Sussex, Marc currently works at The Mewes Vets in nearby Rottingdean, and regularly visits local primary and secondary schools to chat with pupils about caring for animals and looking out for one another. He is proud ambassador and/or patron of several animal charities including All Dogs Matter, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, Humane Society International UK, SPANA, Oldies Club, Friends of Animals Wales, Nowzad, Compassion in World Farming, and Together Co.

Marc has just completed filming a documentary with Donart Film Ltd about campaigning for dog welfare, including exploring canine fertility clinics, the international legal and illegal trade in puppies, and the sale of puppies in U.S pet stores. This documentary (title tbc) is due for release in autumn 2023. In recognition of his work helping animals at home and worldwide, Marc was recently awarded the OBE for Services to Animal Welfare by King Charles III at Windsor Castle, after being announced on the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Recent Awards
Winner ‘Prime Minister’s Points of Light’ Award 2020
Winner ‘Best Public Awareness Cause Campaign’ PR Week Campaigns for Good Awards 2019
Winner ‘Golden Sabre for Animal Care’ #SABREAwardsEMEA 2019
Winner ‘Voluntary Sector Campaign of the Year’ PRCA Public Affairs Awards 2018
Winner ‘Special Award’ Daily Mirror/RSPCA Animal Hero Awards 2018
Winner ‘Vet of the Year’ 2014, 2015, 2016

Dr. Sian Williams

Dr. Sian Williams is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster whose warmth and presentation skills have made her one of the best known and most versatile broadcasters in British television and radio.

Sian has over 35 years of experience and was the lead anchor for Channel 5 News, presenting the flagship 5 News at 5 programme for over 6 years. In November 2021 she oversaw the transition to an extended hour-long bulletin which saw the introduction of Mind Matters with Dr. Sian, a weekly segment on mental health that she still presents.

Sian is a trained Trauma Assessor (TRIM), helping journalists who have returned from covering traumatic news events. She has an MSc in Psychology, which focuses on Post Traumatic Stress and studied for a Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, being awarded the title of Doctor of Psychology (DPsych) in 2021. Sian has also worked in the National Health Service with acute cancer patients and with ICU staff, dealing with the pandemic.

Sian spent more than a decade anchoring BBC Breakfast. During that time, audiences more than doubled.

She has presented numerous consumer and current affairs programmes including multiple series of Secrets of Your Supermarket Food on Channel 5, ITV’s Health Series, Save Money: Good Health and Channel 4’s My Family Secrets Revealed.

As the Radio 4 co-presenter of Saturday Live, she helped attract more than a quarter of a million new listeners. Sian presented the Radio 4 series, The Science of Resilience and How to Have a Better Brain. She also anchored Radio 4’s coverage of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral and was the co-host of a unique programme, in which The Queen joined her in the studio, to broadcast live.

Sian has presented the BBC One weekly programme, Sunday Morning Live and BBC One’s coverage of major anniversaries: D-Day, VE-Day and the outbreak of World War One. Sian has also presented many documentaries as well as fronting programmes such as Crimewatch and National Treasures Live.

Sian anchored BBC One’s News bulletins for over a decade. During this time presenting live from major news events; from the Pakistan earthquake, to the Royal Wedding, to the Olympics, Sian covered the full range.

She is known for her interviewing ability and was listed in the Radio Times Top 10 broadcast interviewers of all time. And she was awarded the Television and Radio Industries Club Best Newsreader/Reporter twice in successive years. Sian is Chair of the Young Women’s Trust Inquiry into why many young women lack opportunities and development.

Sian’s first book Rise: Surviving and Thriving after Trauma was published in June 2016.

Dr Helen Lawal

Nigerian born and Yorkshire bred, Dr Helen is a Doctor and Nutritionist. She works in the NHS as a GP and has her own private Nutrition practice.

Helen co-presents the Channel 4 series Food Unwrapped. She regularly appeared on Steph’s Packed Lunch, also on Channel 4, discussing topical medical issues.

She presented the documentary Coronavirus: Can You Avoid It? for Channel 4 to 1.8 million viewers – the largest audience for a Channel 4 documentary in 2020 at the time it aired. Also for Channel 4 she co-presented several series of the health programme How to Lose Weight Well and the series How to Stay Well.

During the Covid pandemic Helen recorded an instructional video on testing for the NHS and Cabinet Office and a nationwide radio advert to encourage testing. She took part in regular media interviews about keeping safe during the Pandemic and continues to work on medical campaigns.

Helen holds degrees in both Sport and Exercise Science (University of Leeds) and Medicine (Hull-York Medical School) and undertook her GP training at University College London Hospital. She is a qualified Nutritionist and certified Health Coach.

Dr Saleyha Ahsan

Dr Saleyha Ahsan is a practising emergency medicine doctor currently working in intensive care. She is also a filmmaker and a broadcast journalist, having worked and produced content across multi-media platforms. She has worked and presented programmes for Channel 4 (C4 News, Dispatches – Coronavirus: Can Our NHS Cope? exploring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the UK’s health services, What’s It Like to Catch Coronavirus? and Covid Critical: A Doctor’s Story which she filmed and directed herself) BBC (The One Show, Panorama, Newsnight, several series of the hit BBC Two series Trust Me I’m a Doctor, Horizon), The Guardian, BBC R4 (Inside Health) and ITV. She has also joined Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins team as the onscreen medic.

Her career began in broadcast as a junior reporter for BBC local radio. She had a four year break from journalism when she gained a place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to attend the arduous year-long army officer training course. She was the first British Muslim woman to do so and was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps as a non-medical support officer. During her operational tour of Bosnia in 1997 as part of Nato’s SFOR, Saleyha was inspired to re-train as a doctor, after witnessing severe trauma suffered by Bosnian civilians caused by landmines. She commenced her studies at the University of Dundee but at the same time, resumed her journalism career as a freelancer.

Her first cinematic short, My Mother’s Daughter, won Best European Film at the TED sponsored Pangea Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Her current affairs broadcast work spans coverage of health, humanitarian and conflict reporting. She has worked as either a filmmaker or a doctor in Syria, Libya, Kashmir, Palestine, DRCongo and Pakistan. After years of witnessing and documenting the challenges of access to healthcare in conflict zones, she completed her LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Essex. This has now evolved to further study and she is currently a Sociology PhD student at Magdalene College, Cambridge where she is examining the impact of attacks against healthcare in conflict zones.
When not pursuing current affairs, Saleyha also writes drama for BBC Radio 4, very much inspired by her journalism and is currently working on her fourth play. In 2018, in recognition of her media and humanitarian work, Saleyha was awarded an honorary degree from her alma mater, the University of Dundee.

During Saleyha’s time in the British Army she gave regular presentations to large audiences with the Army Presentation Team.

She has also spoken at a number of events in her role as a doctor including at medical conferences. She has given talks about her time in Libya, where she both worked as a frontline doctor and as a journalist and filmmaker and has spoken at the Royal Society of Medicine Extreme Medicine conference.

Dr Ellie Cannon

Geordie-born Dr Ellie is a leading NHS GP, familiar to many as the doctor for the Mail on Sunday. She has appeared regularly on ITV This Morning as one of their doctors and broadcasts on BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and ITV News. She is a well-known radio contributor often featuring on BBC Radio 4, Women’s Hour and LBC.

In 2022 she was recognised by the medical journalists’ association as highly commended for her writing on mental health.

Ellie’s most recent book, Is Your Job Making You Ill? focuses on health issues at work. Her first book ‘Keep Calm, The New Mum’s Manual’ is a guide for new parents.

She has appeared on prime-time Channel 4 series Health Freaks and Doctor in Your House as well as specials for ITV Tonight on breast cancer and work-place stress. She also channelled her inner-geek appearing in a Celebrity Eggheads team of TV doctors – winning her round!

Ellie is a confident public speaker and presents regularly at conferences and corporates on a range of topics. She has appeared in conversation with HRH the Prince of Wales at the inaugural mental health at work conference, This Can Happen.

She works extensively with brands across consumer health products and importantly is a respected voice for the NHS and Department of Health appearing for them on multiple health awareness campaigns across traditional and social media.

Ellie is a charity ambassador for a number of health charities working with them on awareness and advocacy. In October 2018 she travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo with Save the Children to film an awareness campaign on pneumonia.

Dr Ellie read medicine at Cambridge University and has worked in the same GP practice for over a decade, on London’s world-renowned Abbey Road. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of GPs, an honour given to those who have made an outstanding contribution to general practice. She has a social media following of over 40K and combines her work with motherhood and a love of swimming.

In 2022, she was named GDST Alumna of the Year, a national award with previous winners including Samira Ahmed and Olivia Colman.