The new chair of the UK-based Institute of Clinical Research (ICR), Janette Benaddi, was on hand to open the ICR’s 30th Annual Spring Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham earlier this week.

Benaddi is chief executive officer of Medvance, which provides clinical research and regulatory services to the medical device and health industries worldwide from its headquarters in Selby, Yorkshire. Medvance opened a US office in Boston, Massachusetts last July.

A leading member of the ICR for a number of years, Benaddi has pioneered a developing interest in medical devices at the Institute and chaired its devices special interest group. She takes over from Susan Ollier, who has been ICH chair for the last two years.

The conference programme ranged across issues of emerging therapeutics, standards-raising, knowledge-sharing and professional development, from the future of cancer care and organ transplantation to offshoring of clinical research, electronic data capture, international inspections, the Declaration of Helsinki and adaptive clinical trial designs.

Opening the proceedings in Birmingham, Benaddi stressed the importance of the last year for the ICR, a period that included the appointment of Lord Howe as the Institute’s first president, with the capacity to table parliamentary questions on matters of interest to the clinical research community.

Within the next few months, the ICR will be announcing a new vice-president based outside the UK, underlining the Institute’s growing international credentials, Benaddi added.

Another marked achievement during the last year has been the extension of chartered scientist status to more than 200 ICR members. The Institute now has 230 chartered scientists in total, a distinction recognised throughout Europe, Benaddi noted.