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Purpose and the Pandemic
The Francis Crick Institute is Europe’s largest single-site biomedical research facility. Dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease, it hosts 1500 scientists and support staff from a wide range of disciplines in a purpose-designed building in St Pancras.

2020 was a momentous year for the Crick, repurposing first as a Covid testing facility to help keep London cancer care open and safe for patients and staff, and more recently as a vaccination centre. Dr Sam Barrell CBE, who is COO of the Francis Crick Institute and leads the operational management and running of the biomedical research centre, will talk about the intense cultural impact of the Crick’s response to the pandemic (which involved repurposing to be a testing, then a vaccination centre) and the importance of purpose. She will also share some of the ethical challenges that the executive team faced and how they successfully managed the relationship with their board.

May 26, 2021 12:00 PM in London

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Please note this webinar will be recorded and shared with registrants after the event as well as hosted on the Institute of Business Ethics website and our YouTube Channel.


Dr Sam Barrell CBE
Chief Operating Officer @Francis Crick Institute
Dr Sam Barrell is the Chief Operating Officer of the Crick and is responsible for leading the operational management and running of the institute. She joined the Crick in September 2017 from a career in the NHS as a noted healthcare leader. Sam was Chief Executive of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. Before that, she was the Accountable Officer and led the formation of the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group. Sam was awarded the CBE in 2014 for services to healthcare.
Mark Chambers
Associate Director - Governance @Institute of Business Ethics
Mark brings 30 years of experience from a successful career in business to help grow the IBE’s interaction with boards, regulators and policy makers. After graduating in Zoology from Oxford University, Mark re-trained as a lawyer and spent his early years at Slaughter and May in their London and New York offices before moving into business. During his career, he managed world-class global functions responsible for governance, legal and regulatory risk management in large, complex, regulated businesses. He was General Counsel & Group Company Secretary at RSA Insurance Group and at Worldpay Group, and held senior positions at American Express and GE Capital. He retired as Deputy Group Company Secretary of HSBC in 2018 to pursue a second career, which also includes non-executive and advisory work. For many years, Mark has had a successful career as a non-executive director. He is a member of the board of the Care Quality Commmission, the independent regulator of health and social care