Press release

Dundee academic named among 2021’s ‘Movers and Shakers’

Published on 2 November 2021

A University of Dundee researcher has been hailed alongside other innovators helping to tackle the biggest health challenges of our time.

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A University of Dundee researcher has been hailed alongside other innovators helping to tackle the biggest health challenges of our time.

Isla Mackenzie, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University’s School of Medicine, features in the Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2021 report for her work in increasing diversity and inclusion in clinical trials.

Having representative patient populations in clinical trials helps ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs for everyone. Professor Mackenzie has helped make trials more patient-centred by introducing digital technologies that allow them to participate from home, ensuring that results are more relevant to patients in real world settings.

Her team published best practice guidelines for remote decentralised clinical trials as part of the Trials@Home project funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, with these recommendations now widely consulted internationally.

The eighth annual Movers and Shakers report was published by life sciences network BioBeat, and highlights the work of 30 trend setters from across the UK who are creating new opportunities for growth by combining a human understanding of technology and data with the drive to make healthcare improvements more accessible.

Professor Mackenzie said, “I am delighted to be recognised in this report for the work I have led in advancing the use of remote decentralised clinical trials and improving the experience of participants in clinical research by enabling them to take part from the comfort of their own homes. Dundee is one of the leading centres for this type of clinical trial.

“Clinical trials are regarded as the best way to find out which treatments work well for patients. It is important that everyone who would like to participate in trials is able to do so, without geographical or logistical barriers getting in the way. It is vital that we encourage more diversity in people taking part in clinical trials so that the results can be applied in normal healthcare settings.

“The pandemic has accelerated the use of technologies to facilitate remote participation in clinical trials. We can also work towards making trials more environmentally friendly by cutting down on unnecessary travel for trial visits that could be carried out remotely instead, which may also be much more convenient for participants.”

Professor Mackenzie is also an Honorary Consultant Physician at Ninewells Hospital. Her research interests include the cardiovascular safety of drugs, clinical trials, hypertension, and technology in research.

The Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2021 report showcases women at the forefront of the UK’s flourishing biosciences sector including:

  • Pioneering scientists developing revolutionary healthcare products
  • Financial experts shaping the sector through diverse investments
  • Motivating and inclusive collaborators
  • Innovators whose inventions are making an impact on patients’ lives
  • Infrastructure specialists supporting innovation at scale, from concept to execution

BioBeat founder Miranda Weston-Smith said, “2021 has been a vindication of the power of science to make a difference to human health and the UK life sciences community continues to lead the way. Ranging from academia to industry and public sector to private equity, the leaders featured in this year’s report are shaping the healthcare landscape of the future.

“Congratulations to everyone featured and many thanks to the nominators and expert reviewers who provide their time and insights to make this such a valuable resource.”

The full report can be accessed at


Grant Hill

Senior Public Affairs Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768