• The Right Hon. Professor Lord Kakkar PC, Director of the Thrombosis Research Institute and Emeritus Professor of Surgery at University College London joins the Abdul Latif Jameel Health Scientific Advisory Board
  • MIT Professor James J. Collins, PhD appointed as Special Scientific Advisor, Abdul Latif Jameel Health, complementing his work in synthetic biology and systems biology and founding of the Jameel Clinic at MIT
  • Professor Charles Coombes, PhD MBBS FRCP MD FMedSci, Professor of Medical Oncology, Imperial College London takes Special Scientific Advisor role at Abdul Latif Jameel Health

Abdul Latif Jameel Health has announced the appointment of three globally respected medical and biotech leaders as special scientific advisors who will work together with the leadership team to realize the Company’s mission in accelerating access to modern medical care for those who need it most.

The Right Honorable Professor Lord Ajay Kakkar PC is Emeritus Professor of Surgery at University College London and Director of the Thrombosis Research Institute.  Completing his medical degree at King’s College Hospital Medical School, he received his PhD from Imperial College London.  His research interests include the prevention and treatment of venous and arterial thromboembolic disease and cancer associated thrombosis.

Joining Professor Lord Kakkar is Professor James J. Collins, the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science at the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) and Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Professor Collins’ research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. 

Professor Charles Coombes, MBBS FRCP MC FMedSci, Professor of Medical Oncology at Imperial College London is the third advisor to join the Abdul Latif Jameel Health Advisory Board.  As Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, and Director of The Imperial CRUK Cancer Centre, Professor Coombes is engaged in developing novel methods for prediction of response to endocrine therapy in breast cancer and research aimed at understanding the mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapy, including the development of novel anti-cancer drugs.

Akram Bouchenaki, Chief Executive Officer, Abdul Latif Jameel Health, said:

“Appointments of this caliber underline just how seriously we take our mission to make health care more accessible in every corner of the globe.  With the guidance, support and commitment from Lord Kakkar, Professor Collins, and Professor Coombes we are very well situated to make impactful and meaningful change to communities in need.  It is an honor to work alongside these three hugely qualified individuals, true experts in their fields, and I look forward to addressing these challenges with them.”

Lord Kakkar was created a life peer in 2010 and sits on the crossbenches in the House of Lords in Great Britain.  He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (England) and the Royal College of Physicians (London) as well as an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.  He is also Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission and appointed a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council in 2014.   

Professor Collins’ patented technologies have been licensed by more than 25 biotech, pharma, and medical devices companies, and he has helped to launch a number of successful businesses, including Sample6 Technologies, Synlogic, Sherlock Biosciences, Senti Biosciences, and Cellarity.  He has received numerous honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur “Genius” Award, the Dickson Prize in Medicine, and a Sanofi-Institut Pastuer Award. 

He is developing innovative ways to reprogram organisms, including bacteria, to perform targeted tasks such as detecting and treating infections, which may lead to the development of cheaper drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, and more effective treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections and a range of complex diseases.  Along with his MIT colleague Regina Barzilay, Professor Collins is a faculty co-lead of the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (Jameel Clinic) at MIT, since its founding in 2018.

In a recently published Q&A interview to mark his appointment as special advisor to Abdul Latif Jameel Health, Professor Collins discusses the progress that can be made through partnerships, and his mission to ensure that technologies are available to all, where impact is prioritized over profit.

Professor Coombes works with scientists engaged in molecular target identification and chemists whose remit is to target specific signaling abnormalities to develop novel therapies for breast cancer.  He also runs a translational laboratory which focuses on detection of micro-metastatic disease and application to the treatment of breast cancer.

Fady Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman, Abdul Latif Jameel, added:

“It is my firm belief that working collaboratively with scientific specialists and true experts is the most effective way to create change.  These three additions to our growing team are true measures of the impact we will have.  Abdul Latif Jameel Health builds upon my family’s long-established philanthropy, Community Jameel, and its focus on innovating for a better future by seeking the solve problems at source.  We take this philosophy into a commercial environment addressing tangible real-world needs today, for a better tomorrow.  Lord Kakkar, Professor Collins and Professor Coombes share this vision with us, and I am very excited welcome them all to the Abdul Latif Jameel Health Advisory Board team.”

Abdul Latif Jameel Health was founded in 2020 as a response to one of the greatest problems of today’s global society – the disparity in access to modern medical care, notably in the fast-growing markets and economies of the developing world.  Backed by Abdul Latif Jameel, one of the Middle East’s most respected diversified family businesses and investors, with a 75-year heritage, deep roots, and established networks, as well as a multi-sector presence in 30 countries across six continents, Abdul Latif Jameel Health is uniquely positioned as a trusted partner to realize the exciting opportunities ahead.