Meet the team
Makara Health is made up of experienced and talented people all motivated by one goal – passion to improve people’s health and their lives through effective communication that creates sustained behaviour change.
Louise SharpOwner and Managing Director
Louise is a healthcare communications professional with 25+ years’ experience in marketing communications and education. She is a marketeer and NLP Trainer and loves working closely with clients to achieve great results, believing that ‘anything is possible’. Outside of work Louise likes to explore new places and learn new skills. Her current challenge is mastery of the French language.
Anna HaydenOperations Director
Anna is a highly organised support and administration professional who thrives on finding solutions and ensuring everything runs smoothly. She has over 10 years’ experience in delivering logistical support both to clients and in house. Anna has a menagerie of animals including dogs, chickens, ferrets and pigs.
Helen LaurenceExecutive Director, PR and Medical Education
Helen has worked in the field of healthcare communications for 15 years. She has led large scale PR and comms programmes for a number of prescription-only brands and also has consumer experience involving a mixture of traditional and social media relations. Alongside her agency experience, Helen has worked in-house for the charity Alzheimer’s Society. When not at work Helen enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and running
Katie BrightDeputy Managing Director
With a strong scientific background and consumer advertising experience, Katie had been focusing in healthcare communications for over 15 years. Her experience ranges from advertising and promotion through to medical education and patient engagement, across a wide range of therapy areas. Outside of work she loves exercising her project management muscles coordinating two children, a terrier and a tortoise named George
Shula SarnerExecutive Director, Scientific Strategy
Shula has almost 20 years of experience in medical communications, following postdoctoral fellowships in Berlin and New York. Shula has directed scientific strategy, communications, training and program design across a wide range of therapy areas, with significant experience in global and local launches. When not working, Shula enjoys running, bakes sourdough bread and plays the violin and viola in a chamber-music group.
Diana EvansExecutive Director, Patient Education and Head of UK Business Operations
Diana has 18 years healthcare communications experience across agency and in-house roles, including leading a successful communications function within UK pharma. From high-profile corporate communications to largescale global internal programmes, Diana has covered the full spectrum of the communications mix with a particular passion for UK healthcare policy and patient engagement. Her other love is her family and her pets including an ancient Labrador, AWOL cat and three lop eared bunnies.
Sam CarterFinance Director
Sarah LylesHR Manager
Sarah has more than 15 years’ experience working in HR most of which has been spent within the social care sector, providing support and advice to Leaders and Employees alike. Sarah is passionate about continuous development in herself and others and will often be found with her nose in the latest research paper or book on the topic of personal and professional development. She has two teenage children that she adores but as they are now grown up and do not wish to have their picture taken, her cameral roll is now filled with pictures of her cats.
Ekta RohraBusiness Unit Director, Digital
With a medical background and degree, Ekta has been focusing on the digital aspect in healthcare communications for over 12 years. She is particularly interested in delivering projects that can measure outcomes and ROI. Her experience ranges from eDetails and websites, to online training, apps and targeted communications, across a wide range of therapy areas and target audiences. Outside of work she is a budding photographer and an amateur short filmmaker.
Tony KnibbDirector, Digital Development
With almost 20 years digital development experience, with 18 years in healthcare communications across a diverse range of self-promotional, disease awareness and branded campaigns. Tony has diverse experience which includes 3D modelling and animation, motion graphics and video editing, websites, games, eDetails and apps. When not at a computer Tony can be found woodworking, stargazing or painting. And often with a cat nearby.
Martin CanningsSenior Digital Developer
Martin has over 11 years’ experience as a developer in healthcare communications. He has a creative passion for all things visual and has a wide range of experience in motion graphics, eDetails, websites, apps, VR/AR and 3D animation. In his spare time he loves upcycling furniture and thoroughly enjoys donning his parent hat to look after his 3 young children.
Amy TurnerJunior Developer
Amy has worked in NHS administration for 6 years, taking a break to undergo a new challenge in a commercial role. She is excited to be back in a healthcare environment and to be involved in a different side of healthcare comms. In her spare time Amy enjoys cooking, baking, walking, playing with my cats and tries to travel when possible!
Jamie HicktonSenior Designer
Having worked across a variety of sectors in the design industry, creativity and design are a part of Jamie’s DNA. With over 20 years of experience, he is adept at bringing ideas to life as well as navigating through complex and technical work. Jamie enjoys spending his free time with his family, is currently learning the piano and has a keen interest in film poster art.
Neil PadgettCreative Director
Neil provides inspiration, drive and experience having led multi-award winning creative teams in healthcare for over twenty years. Covering promotion, education, market preparation and disease awareness he has created campaigns in many major therapy areas across the UK, EMEA and Global markets. Unsurprisingly, Neil has a keen interest in the arts (with his ever-growing art collection) and you may also catch him (for a brief moment anyway) riding his beloved motorcycle.
Craig LoweCreative Services Manager
Craig has over 25 years’ experience working within creative agencies and has worked across a broad range of sectors in the design industry, providing direction and leadership to ensure teams perform to the best of their abilities. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf, and spending time with his family.
Christina BurgessSenior Designer
Christina is a passionate and highly creative designer with more than 12 years experience of developing and executing award-winning projects for high profile brands. Her knowledge covers a diverse range of sectors where she is experienced in typography, branding and art direction across both print and digital channels. In her spare time you can find her renovating houses with her partner, hiking scenic landscapes, or relaxing with her cat Loki.
Helen RodwayBusiness Unit Director, Learning & Development
Although Helen started her career in consumer advertising, she has been dedicated to healthcare marketing for 25 years, both agency and client side. Her experience covers integrated campaigns for both patients and HCPs, including disease awareness and patient support programmes. While Helen has been leading mostly Global and European level accounts, she has also led the implementation of those campaigns on a local level. In her spare time, Helen enjoys reading and Pilates, but is usually found cheering on her 2 rugby-playing daughters.
Alice CarlisleAccount Director
Alice has over 10 years’ experience in healthcare communications. She has worked with both International and national clients to deliver customised solutions, from integrated product launches to disease awareness campaigns. Alice’s diverse experience includes medical education, event management, publication planning and digital communications. In her spare time Alice is a keen runner and is training for her first marathon.
Zoë HaytonSenior Account Director
Zoë has over 15 years’ experience in marketing communications throughout the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry from product management and new product launches to developing integrated communication programmes for market leading pharmaceutical brands. Zoë focuses on delivering added value to clients through strategic support and excellent tactical implementation. Zoë enjoys spending time on the beach with her family and English Bulldog.
Gillian WainClient Partnerships Director
Working in healthcare communications for over 20 years, Gillian initially started her career in medical publishing. This led to healthcare communications agency positions with a strong editorial focus, before a move into broader project delivery. Her wide-ranging experience includes delivering salesforce training materials in new therapy areas and products, commercial launch meetings, standalone medical education events and symposia, advisory boards and steering group meetings, and publications planning. In her spare time, Gillian enjoys being involved in her local community in North East Hampshire.
Kim BondeLearning Lead, Learning & Development
Kim has been working in healthcare communications for over ten years. Specialising in digital and eLearning programme delivery, Kim is passionate about impacting patient outcomes with positive behaviour change and works closely with clients and healthcare professionals to understand needs and deliver solutions. She has extensive experience of working with NHS organisations and professional bodies to develop meaningful, high quality content. In her spare time, Kim loves to spend time outdoors with her family.
Nuray ErsozAccount Director
Nuray has over 15 years of experience in marketing communications, medical education, events management and publication planning with both national and international clients. She also has experience in patient support, disease awareness and corporate social responsibility projects that gave her the opportunity of working in partnership with medical societies and patient associations. In her spare time Nuray enjoys spending time with her daughter, going for long countryside walks, doing body combat and body balance to keep her body and mind healthy.
Fiona DownesAccount Director
Fiona has worked in healthcare communications for over 10 years. She has guided and delivered a diverse range of projects, programmes and strategic solutions for UK, European and global clients: from innovative digital activities to healthcare events management; from Delphi Consensus programmes to disease state messaging. She remains passionately committed to delivering best-quality outputs and achieving excellence. Outside of work, Fiona enjoys jogging (running is too strong a word), creative pursuits and spending time with her family.
Alex AdnittAccount Director
With a background in healthcare advertising and medical communications, I have experience and an interest in the world of biomedical science and continue to focus my career path with the improvement of patient outcomes in mind. I am a resourceful account director, used to partnering clients and offering solutions to their communications requirements. I have been responsible for the full project lifecycle, from winning the business, managing the financials, through delivery and reconciliation and have line managed and developed teams under my supervision.
Eva McCartneyAccount Director
Eva has 20 years’ experience handling Rx brands across the product life cycle. She has worked with global, EU and local markets on both, agency and client side. Eva has experience in leading the strategic direction and delivery of traditional and digital marketing campaigns from concept to completion. Furthermore, she has led global congress program strategy and the planning of numerous international congresses. Outside of work, Eva is an outdoors enthusiast and keen mountain biker. Her passion is shared by her dog Jimbo who never misses an opportunity to join any adventures.
Sue EalesAccount Director
Sue has over 16 years of experience in medical communications and scientific publishing. She is passionate about supporting patients and HCPs to access high quality educational content and making a real difference within a disease area for that community. Sue has extensive experience of working in partnership with medical societies to create targeted educational content. When not at work she is mostly likely to be found riding along her local beach.
Kathryn SparrowAccount Director
Kathryn has over 10 years’ medical communications experience delivering strategic consultancy, project management and editorial expertise for global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. Her experience spans a wide range of therapeutic areas and includes strategic communications planning, tactical delivery of materials across print and digital media, publications planning, and meetings and events. When not at her desk, Kathryn can be found exploring her beloved Norfolk on two wheels.
Johanna LeiflandAccount Director
Johanna has 10 years’ experience working in healthcare advertising. She has worked on a range of projects, including photoshoots and video production projects, internal communications, brand materials, congress materials and launch materials. Outside of work, Johanna enjoys exploring the world, trying out new recipes, exercising and spending time with her family.
Laura CarswellProject Director
Laura has over 8 years’ experience working in healthcare communications. She has experience managing accounts across a range of products for Global, pan European and UK Accounts. Her experience includes product launches, internal communications, patient materials as well as medical education. In her spare time she loves to keep busy, often found whizzing around from place to place, loving running, spending time outside and time with her friends and family.
Helen RaeAssociate Director
Helen has over twelve years of experience delivering high quality, results driven, strategic communications programmes. With a wealth of experience in the hands-on development and delivery of a full range of communication activities; from disease awareness campaigns to medical education for UK and global pharmaceutical clients. Outside of work Helen can be found running on the Bristol Downs or providing a taxi service for her two small children.
Gurjit ChahalBusiness Unit Director, PR
Gurjit is a passionate healthcare communicator with over 10 years’ experience leading a diverse client portfolio ranging from pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics through to healthcare services and consumer health and wellbeing brands. She has developed and delivered a number of high-impact integrated campaigns with a focus on digital and social media communications. Outside of work Gurjit can be found exploring the New Forest and South Coast beaches.
Donna GregoryAssociate Director
Donna has 18 years’ experience in healthcare communications, working in central government as well as in the voluntary sector before moving agency-side. She has developed and managed UK and global communications programmes, disease awareness and patient advocacy campaigns, and collaborated with KOLs and clinicians on educational programmes and events. In her free time, Donna enjoys running, and family walks when she can drag her three sons away from screens. A keen reader, Donna started a book group a year ago and it’s still going strong, with most people actually finishing the books.
Kunbi Ayo-OkanlawonSenior Project Manager
Kunbi started her career in product copywriting and freelance writing before making a move to medical communications where she has over 5 years’ experience. Her career in medical communications began in medical writing before a complete move into project delivery and then publications management. Her experience includes publications planning, development and management, delivering advisory boards, symposia, and standalone meetings for Global, European and UK clients. Outside of work, Kunbi enjoys weightlifting and powerlifting, spending time with her family, and designing knitwear and crochet items.
Sarah BundockProject Manager
Sarah has 15+ years’ experience in healthcare market research, marketing and communications. Her patient journey research for a patient advocacy organisation has been published in the BMJ. She has experience in consumer health, advertising and promotion, product launches, brand positioning, medical education, behaviour change, real world studies, eLearning, disease awareness campaigns and patient support programmes across a wide range of therapy areas. Outside of work Sarah enjoys spending time with her daughter, running and is passionate about personal development.
Georgina WardellProject Director
Georgina is an experienced project director who has worked in pharmaceutical, digital, and healthcare agencies for over 12 years and maximises her deep ‘big pharma’ knowledge to deliver projects in a variety of therapeutic areas within highly regulated environments. Georgina is constantly looking for improvements and her key strength is to understand clients’ needs and developing strong relationships based on trust and confidence. Outside of work, Georgina loves exploring the countryside, interior design, and crafting.
Tom BeareProject Manager
Tom started working in medical communications around 5 years ago and in that time has been involved in a variety of projects, ranging from medical education and digital advertising to publications planning and patient engagement. Tom has proven himself in all aspects of project management, from initial strategic planning through to content development, managing finance, resources, and timelines to successfully deliver on time and on budget. In his spare time, Tom enjoys exploring new walks with his dog, experimenting with cooking, and trying to pick up new skills: he has recently started learning to sew and make his own clothes, albeit with mixed results so far!
Victoria MortonProject Director
With over 7 years healthcare communications experience, Victoria has delivered a variety of HCP and patient campaigns across a range of therapy areas, from rare diseases such as Haemophilia and Crohn’s Disease, to Oncology and HIV. She has extensive global brand and marketing experience, including launching global HCP campaigns, strategic value proposition projects and international brand planning. Victoria has a passion for health and nutrition, and enjoys all things active including running, swimming, cycling, netball, and yoga.
Tara DominickConsultant Director of Performance Communications
Tara’s combined use of theatre skills and NLP creates a unique approach that rapidly improves individual performance and creates highly effective and motivated teams. She has extensive media experience and won a Millennium award for her work in transformative learning. She lives on the Jurassic coast and has a passion for writing, photography and mindfulness.
Dr Nick BroughtonEthics and Compliance Partner
Dr Nick Broughton is a specialist consultant in pharmaceutical ethics and compliance. He has over 15 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry including UK and European medical and regulatory affairs director roles.He provides education in pharmaceutical ethics and compliance to UK, European and global codes of practice focusing particularly on the decision making process and compliance culture.
Mark ThomasConsultant Presence and Impact Coach
If you need to deliver an engaging and influential presentation then speak to Mark. With over 20 years working across Pharma, Mark has helped sales teams improve their performance, trained medical teams to communicate science in a way others understand and coached senior leaders to deliver killer presentations at conferences. Outside work, Mark runs to keep sane and is learning to parent social media savvy children.
Leslie RobertsonConsultant Director of Audience Engagement
Leslie has held many senior leadership roles in healthcare, spanning human resources, events, employee engagement, and global sales and marketing. A true innovator, Leslie is constantly exploring ways technology can help create better audience participation, and turn delegates into participants. When not working, Leslie is eternally curious about many things from the neuroscience of learning through to his favourite football team Raith Rovers.
Sandie LoweryScientific Engagement Director
Sandie has worked across a broad spectrum healthcare communications sectors for over 18 years. With ethical, consumer and patient-group experience, she offers a proficient versatility. She has a passion for cooking and loves to read.
Gina Dootson-ScottScientific Engagement Director
Gina has almost 30 years’ experience in the healthcare environment starting in research and moving to medical communications over 10 years ago after completing a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology. Gina thrives on translating complex science into engaging and creative content for all target audiences and has extensive experience in developing educational concepts from digital e-learning programmes for commercial pharmaceutical teams to disease awareness websites. Gina is a singer-songwriter in her spare time and is currently recording her own album.
Francesca KolbeScientific Director
Francesca has a background in cardiovascular research, with a degree in pharmacology and a PhD in lipoprotein metabolism, followed by 17 years’ experience in the healthcare communications industry. She has delivered a wide range of commercial and non-commercial projects covering a variety of therapy areas. In her other life, Francesca speaks fluent Italian and has her hands full with three children, a husband, two cats and – until recently – 3 chickens
Matt WheelerPrincipal Medical Writer
Matt has almost seven years’ experience in healthcare marketing. He has written promotional and non-promotional materials across a wide range of therapy areas, and holds editing and proofreading qualifications. In his spare time, Matt enjoys following the Northampton (rugby) and New Orleans (American football) Saints.
Harriet BellSenior Medical Writer
Harriet has almost 10 years’ experience in clinical research and communications, including writing for patients, healthcare professionals and colleagues in pharma. Outside of work, Harriet can usually be found sailing, stand up paddleboarding, baking or getting creative on her sewing machine. Like many of the team, she has a burgeoning menagerie, which includes a dog and three rescue hens.
Jacqi PanSenior Medical Writer
Jacqi has over eight years of experience in clinical trials, research and healthcare communications, with a special interest in launch activities, localisation and medical translations. She has worked across a broad range of therapeutic areas with extensive experience in rare and ultra-rare diseases, paediatric oncology and otorhinolaryngology. Her clinical research interest lies in acute kidney injury and critical care medicine. Fluent in all languages spoken in world’s three largest pharmaceutical markets, Jacqi also provides interpretation services for international and Asia-Pacific congresses and meetings. She is a retired athlete, who also enjoys collecting kimonos, katana and pretty slippers outside work.
Olivia MorrisSenior Medical Writer
Katie AikinMedical Writer
Katie’s background is in intellectual property within the pharmaceutical sector. She has worked as a biotech patent attorney for over 15 years, representing high profile pharma clients at the UK and European Patent Offices. Katie has a passion for new developments in the health care industry and is very excited to be transferring to the field of medical communications. She has worked across a wide variety of therapy areas and is looking forward to developing her new role as a medical writer with the Makara team.
Rose HalesEditorial Manager
Rose is an experienced editor and editorial manager with 4.5 years’ experience in medical communications, and 9 years of experience in writing and editing roles. Rose has experience in publications, medical affairs, medical communications, medical education, and commercial work across a range of therapeutic areas, clients, and drugs. She is passionate about making sure work is of the highest possible standard. In her spare time, Rose loves to walk and run with her dog across the South Downs, and is an avid reader
Becky PamplinSenior Copywriter
Becky has over 25 years’ experience working in medical communications agencies and has worked across a broad range of projects and therapy areas. In her free time she enjoys reading, and has recently learnt how to crochet.
Sarah BirchConsultant Senior Medical Writer
Sarah combines a strong scientific background, honed during 8 years’ Postgraduate and Postdoctoral medical research, with 15 years’ experience in Medical Communications. She has written a range of materials including peer-reviewed publications, scientific abstracts, slide sets and training materials across a range of therapeutic areas. She loves walking her dogs and continuing her scientific experimentation by making jams and chutneys.
Yarden Cohen JonesScientific Associate
Yarden has Joined Makara as a Scientific Associate after graduating from the Open University, studying Health Sciences. She has experience in number of industries including hospitality, retail and administration and excellent organisational skills from her military background. Yarden loves a challenge and is keen to learn and develop new skills in medical writing. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, running around after her little boy and chocolate Labrador.
Sophie HollandScientific Associate
A recent Chemistry graduate from Durham University, Sophie has joined Makara as part of the writing team. Having previously worked for a year in an industrial lab on novel chemistries, she is excited to move into the field of medical communications, driven by her interest in science and keen eye for detail. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading and spending lots of time of outside!
Georgia McGlassonScientific Associate
Having recently graduated from Bournemouth University studying a master’s in Clinical and Developmental Neuropsychology, Georgia has joined Makara as a Scientific Associate. She has a passion for science and is keen to develop skills in medical writing. She has several years of experience working within the healthcare system across a variety of roles including care work, mental health support work and health coaching. Outside of work, Georgia practises yoga and meditation to keep her mind and body calm.
Louisa BellScientific Associate
Louisa has joined the team as a Scientific Associate. Her background is in linguistics and language pathology and she has previously worked as a speech and language therapist, supporting patients with a range of communication difficulties. She developed an interest in healthcare education and is now keen to apply her clinical experience and training to the healthcare communications industry. In her spare time Louisa enjoys spending time outside walking and exploring the coast and countryside.
Thuy Linh BuiPR and Communications assistant
Linh has 2-year experience in the PR and Marketing field, and she is now keen on developing herself in the healthcare industry. Her experience ranges from content writing and website content development to organising events and implementing PR strategies. Outside of work Linh can be found on the mat doing yoga or in the kitchen cooking delicious Vietnamese food
Vicky LakerClient Services Team Manager
Vicky started her career as a Stage Manager, working in theatre for ten years before moving into arts and charity admin. She loves a challenge and the opportunity to learn something new. In her spare time, Vicky enjoys cooking, yoga, going to the theatre and walking the dog.
Emma ReakesSenior Project Coordinator
Emma has an extensive background in Sales and Administration across sectors including management consultancy, banking and recruitment. Following a career break to organise her 3 boys and golden retriever, Emma is looking forward to a new challenge at Makara. In her spare time, she can be found on the sidelines of football and rugby games but tries to enjoy theatre, travel and reading when possible!
Ben PerezProject Co-ordinator
Ben has experience in a number of industries including Education Recruitment and Administration in Online Real Estate delivering a quality service to both customers and clients. Ben recently qualified as a translator/interpreter and has experience in translating in legal, medical and sport sectors. He speaks three languages and is currently learning a fourth. In his spare time he enjoys travelling with his partner and playing a number of sports.
Gina GoughProject Co-ordinator
Gina has spent most of her working life as a theatre electrician and sound designer but has also worked as a waitress, a knitwear designer, a writer, a teaching assistant, and even had a very brief stint as a pig farmer. She has two very annoying cats who have learnt how to open their food cupboard and, in her spare time, she enjoys sewing, yoga, and dancing.
Lauren WildmanProject Coordinator
Having recently graduated from Winchester studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Lauren is keen to develop her skills within the client services team.
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with local community projects, digital illustration, crochet and travelling as much as possible.
Linda VillegasProject Coordinator
Linda has over ten years of experience in Admin and has recently been certified in HR Management. After working at the COVID Vaccination Centre, Linda decided she wanted to get into the medical sector.
Born in California, Linda is now a proud British Citizen who is obsessed with her cat, Taco. She also enjoys TV & films, music, reading, travelling, and has recently taken up Karate lessons!
Lauren TongueFinance and Admin Assistant
Lauren has an array of experience in various industries, having started her career as an electrical engineer working with our Defence organisations before moving into Project Management in the Financial Industry. After spending a number of years living in South America and Canada Lauren still enjoys a challenge and an adventure and can be found more often than not, enjoying the outdoors with her dog, paddle boarding and skiing.
Julie CaseAccounts Assistant
Julie has over 25 years of experience working within a Finance Department, mainly in Payroll & Accounts Payable.
In her spare time she also runs her own cake making business!
Outside of work she enjoys cycling, visiting family overseas, and spending time at home with her cats.