Alumni offered unique experience in US biomedical industry

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Dr Peter Milner

As medicine and healthcare change globally, there is an even greater need for doctors to become more innovative and entrepreneurial.

The Peter G. Milner Scholarship was set up with the generosity of University of Liverpool alumnus Dr Peter Milner (BSc Biochemistry 1978, MBChB Medicine 1980) to offer applicants the opportunity to spend three months at one, or a combination of three biomedical companies (one month each) in the US, learning about innovation in the biomedical industry.

Peter, who is based in California, is a cardiologist and successful entrepreneur with extensive experience in drug development, clinical trial design leading to approval in the fields of neuroscience, gastroenterology, cardiovascular, autoimmunity and immunology.

International experience

This fellowship will provide an opportunity for the recipients to travel to Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley, California to work in three leading medical technology companies involved in revolutionary pharmaceuticals, to be involved with the invention of drugs and the trials to develop and treat a range of pathologies involving neurodegeneration, autoimmunity and even COVID-19.

This year, after interviewing a competitive pool of applicants, Dr Milner and the medical school faculty awarded scholarships to both Dr Stephen McKeever (MBChB 2018) and Dr Christian Flynn, who are currently undertaking his Academic Foundation Training Programme in Liverpool.

Reflecting on awarding his Fellowship, Dr Milner said: "My wife and I were struck by the deep pool of postgraduate medical talent in Liverpool. What was most impressive was the willingness and desire of junior doctors to learn new skills in business, science and medicine."

Once in a lifetime opportunity

Dr Christian Flynn is an Academic Foundation Doctor currently based in Aintree Hospital and an Honorary Clinical Fellow at the University. He said: “Gaining this fellowship is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get involved with leading Medical technology and pharmaceutical companies in California, US and to experience first-hand the next generation of medical technologies which will change how we practice.

“We have a chance to make a real impact and learn how clinical trials are designed and take place, securing complex FDA licensing deals, gaining venture capitalist funding, patenting new technologies and bench to bedside innovation of new drugs for a range of diseases from neurodegenerative to autoimmune disorders.

"I am fortunate to receive this fellowship as it provides a unique insight into the American healthcare system and to embrace the culture of innovation in the infamous home of tech giants, Silicon Valley, to ultimately improve patient care and personalised medicine.

“We will work with companies developing drugs with a lot of focus on rare diseases which currently have little or no effective treatments and innovating in this area has the potential to revolutionise the quality of life for a whole cohort of patients." 

A global community

Christina Turner, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, said: “We treasure the support we receive from our global alumni community.

“Peter’s commitment to our University is fantastic and by generously providing these Fellowships and sharing his career experiences, he affords unique and worthwhile experiences for our medical students and alumni. Giving back to support the next generation of medical innovators has never been more critical and we are sure that these placements will be transformative for Stephen and Christian’s future careers.” 

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