Plenary Speakers

The G-I-N 2018 Scientific Committee is honoured to announce the following list of international speakers.  

Please note that this list will be updated regularly when additional speakers are confirmed.


Fergus McBeth

Dr Fergus Macbeth, MA DM FRCP FRCR, is a retired Oncologist who worked in Glasgow and Cardiff for 25 years until 2010. He has been involved with clinical guideline development since 1992 and has worked for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for over 10 years, first developing cancer guidelines for NICE and then as Director for the Centre for Clinical Practice, responsible for NICE’s wider clinical guidelines programme.  Since retiring, Fergus has chaired three guideline committees for NICE.  He has a long standing clinical and research interest in lung cancer, leading and participating in important clinical trials. He has been Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Lung Cancer Review Group for 7 years and is Co-Chair of the Cochrane Council.

He is currently Associate Director of the Wales Cancer Trials Unit, Cardiff and Honorary Professor at Cardiff University, and has published widely on lung cancer and on guideline related topics.

Dr Macbeth is presenting at the Opening Plenary - Once upon a guideline:  The story of developing an evidence ecosystem

Click to read Dr Macbeth's abstract: Guidelines – a brief history and why we need them

Wednesday 12 September at 9:00am


Gordon Guyatt

Professor Guyatt is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Health Evidence and Impact at McMaster University. He coined the term “evidence-based medicine” (EBM) in an editorial introducing the idea in 1991 and has since been a leading advocate of evidence-based approaches to clinical decision-making.  His over 1,000 publications in peer review journals dealing with health status measurement, clinical trials, systematic reviews, and clinical practice guidelines, have been cited over 100,000 times; according to the Web of Science, 162 publications have been cited more than 162 times (h-factor). 

Recognition for his work includes, in 2011, his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2013 the Canadian Institute of Health Research Researcher of the Year, and in 2016 to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Professor Guyatt is presenting at the Opening Plenary - Once upon a guideline:  The story of developing an evidence ecosystem

Click to read Professor Guyatt's abstract: Progress in evidence-based medicine - A quarter century on - Focussing on the role of guidelines in EBM

Wednesday 12 September at 9:00am


Linn Brandt

Linn Brandt, MD, PhDc, is a hospital-based general internist from Oslo, Norway. She is conducting research at the University of Oslo  while working clinically in a local hospital in Oslo.

Her research focuses on digitalization, sharing and implementation of guidelines and their use as decision support in clinical systems. This includes strategies for digital writing, structuring of content and use of common standards and terminologies.

 She is a founding member of MAGIC (, a not-for-profit organization, and has made her research available as functionality included in MAGIC's guideline authoring and publication software ( She is the proud recipient of the 2017 Najoua Mlika-Cabanne Innovation Award and is active in several bodies that promote improved use of technology in healthcare, including vice chair of G-I-N Tech and vice chair of the Health IT representatives of the Norwegian Medical Association. She has worked tirelessly to create a network of the relevant people and organisations who are equally motivated to help close the gaps in the evidence ecosystem.

Dr Linn Brandt is presenting at the Opening Plenary - Once upon a guideline:  The story of developing an evidence ecosystem

Wednesday 12 September at 9:00am


Jonathan Senker

Jonathan Senker is the Chief Executive of Voiceability.  Working with 30,000 people each year, Voiceability supports disabled people and people who face disadvantage to have stronger voices, rights which are respected and greater control over their lives. It is a leading provider of independent advocacy and peer-led support services. Jonathan was the chair of the NICE Guideline Committee on Learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges: service design and delivery (2015-2018).  Jonathan has helped to develop English social care legislation, in particular shaping the advocacy provisions of the Care Act (2014). His early career included piloting individual budgets and supporting brokerage in the UK during the 1990s and enabling people with learning disabilities to move from long-stay hospitals from the 1980s onwards.  Jonathan is the Chair of the SHP, (the Single Homeless Project), a London based charity which works with 8,000 people each year to tackle social exclusion and homelessness.

Jonathan is presenting at the Opening Plenary - Once upon a guideline:  The story of developing an evidence ecosystem

Click to read Jonathan's abstract: From review to delivery - embedding the voice of the service user in our work

Wednesday 12 September at 9:00am


Joanne LordProfessor Joanne Lord is a health economist specialising in cost-effectiveness analysis and decision modelling.  She runs the HTA group at Southampton University, who are one of the UK teams commissioned to review clinical and economic evidence for NICE technology appraisals.  Joanne has previously worked in the clinical guidelines and technology appraisal teams at NICE, the health economics group at Brunel University, the business school at Imperial College, and public health department at St. George’s Hospital. Her research focuses on the applied economic evaluation of health care programmes, including trial-based evaluations and secondary studies in the fields of back pain and arthritis, tuberculosis, pharmacological and lifestyle prevention of cardiovascular disease and management of atrial fibrillation.

Professor Lord is presenting in Plenary Panel 1 - Guidelines:  Does cost matter?

Wednesday 12 September at 2:30pm


Hestor Castro

Dr Hector Castro is a Colombian Doctor in Medicine and Surgery, MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) joint degree with the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), Specialized in Health Management and previous MSc in Occupational Health (Public Health Branch). Doctor in Public Health & Policy/Health Economics from the University of London (LSHTM). Former Takemi Postdoctoral Fellow at the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health.  Broad professional experience (over 18 years) as Chief Officer, Technical Advisor, Director and Manager in Strategic Planning, Quality Assurance, Health,

Safety and Environment for Pharmaceutical and Health Insurance and Non-Governmental Organizations. Main focus of work has been on health systems` strengthening in areas such as quality assurance, assessment, strategic purchasing and provision of healthcare technologies (including medicines, devices and procedures).

He is the former funding director of the HTA Institute of Colombia (IETS) and Director of Medicines & Technologies at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia. Currently Senior Technical Director of Pharmaceutical Economics and Financing at Management Sciences for Health-MSH.

Dr Castro is presenting in Plenary Panel 1 - Guidelines:  Does cost matter?

Click to read Dr. Castro's abstract: Does Cost Matter? Combining Clinical Guidelines and HTA The Case of Colombia

Wednesday 12 September at 2:30pm


David Owens

Douglas K. Owens, MD, MS, is the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr., Professor at Stanford University, where he is a professor of medicine and of health research and policy. He is director of the Center for Health Policy in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and director of the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research in the Department of Medicine. He is a general internist and associate director of the Center for Innovation to Implementation at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. His research focuses on technology assessment, guideline development, cost-effectiveness analysis, evidence synthesis, and methods for clinical decision making.  Professor Owens chaired the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians.  He is also Vice-Chair of United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which creates national guidelines on prevention services. Recently, he has helped lead the development of national guidelines on screening for HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and the use of statins and aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Professor Owens is presenting in Plenary Panel 1 - Guidelines:  Does cost matter?

Click to read Professor Owen's abstract: International perspectives on how to develop guielines with cost in mind

Wednesday 12 September at 2:30pm


Patrick Mbah Okwen

Dr. Patrick M. Okwen is an  Adjunct Senior Lecturer with the University of Adelaide in Australia. A clinician with the Ministry of Health in Cameroon--with an administrative and decision-making role as the district medical officer. He coordinates activities of Effective Basic Services

(eBASE) Africa: A Joanna Briggs Affiliated Group ( ), which is an evidence implementation organisation. He is a research fellow with the Centre for Development of Best practices in Health in Cameroon. He is the recipient of the Cochrane Aubrey Sheiham Leadership award for evidence-based healthcare for Africa in 2016. He is part of the Cochrane Learning Initiative for Experienced Authors. He is also a Joanna Briggs Clinical Fellow and leads the African Guidelines International Network Community.

He has been working with the MagicApp Project to develop trustworthy rapid recommendations available on mobile devices. He is also an external member of the WHO guidelines review committee and a senior consultant with the World Bank Group.

Dr. Patrick M. Okwen is presenting in Plenary Panel 1 - Guidelines:  Does cost matter?

Click to read Dr. Okwen's abstract: Does Cost Matter - An African Perspective for Guidelines

Wednesday 12 September at 2:30pm


Picture of Julian Elliott

Associate Professor Julian Elliott is Lead for Evidence Systems at Cochrane, Senior Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia and Head of Clinical Research in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital and Monash University. His research is focussed on the use of new technology and systems to improve evidence synthesis and the use of evidence for health decision making. He is leading Cochrane’s development of new evidence systems, including co-leading Project Transform, a major Cochrane project that is using new software systems, artificial intelligence and citizen science to improve the production of systematic reviews. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Covidence, a non-profit online platform for efficient systematic review production.

Associate Professor Elliott was previously Chair of the Australasian HIV Guidelines Panel and was the 2017 recipient of the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.

A/Professor Elliot is presenting in Plenary Panel 2 - Mind the gap:  Developing recommendations with alternative forms of evidence

Click to read Associate Professor Elliot's abstract: Using real-world evidence

Thursday 13 September at 8:30am


Andrew Hutchings

Andrew Hutchings is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Research and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He has degrees in management science and medical statistics and previously worked in industry and at the Audit Commission in England.          

The focus of his research is on the use of linked data in quality improvement and for evaluating the impact of organisational change in health care. He has provided methodological input for the development of national and international guidelines in rheumatology. He is on the editorial board of the journal Health Policy and Planning and is a board member of Health Services Research UK.

Assistant Professor Hutchings is presenting in Plenary Panel 2 - Mind the gap:  Developing recommendations with alternative forms of evidence

Click to read Associate Professor Hutchings' abstract: Using formal consensus methodology

Thursday 13 September at 8:30am

Eve Kerrr

Dr Eve A Kerr, MD, MPH, is the Louis Newburgh Research Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, Director of the Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research, a VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation,  Director of the Michigan Program on Value Enhancement, and a member of the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. Dr Kerr received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She subsequently completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar’s Program and received a Masters of Public Health from UCLA.

Dr Kerr studies ways to develop and implement innovative methods to assess and improve quality, appropriateness and patient-centered care and to decrease low-value care. In particular, she studies ways to develop more clinically meaningful and valid ways to assess and motivate quality improvement for patients at high risk for poor outcomes while minimizing the potential for unintended consequences. Dr Kerr has spoken nationally and internationally on performance measurement and has published over 100 books, book chapters, manuscripts, and editorials in many high impact journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, BMJ, Health Affairs, and Harvard Business Review, among others. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Dr Kerr is presenting in Plenary Panel 2 - Mind the gap:  Developing recommendations with alternative forms of evidence

Click to read Dr. Kerr's abstract: The Role of Experts in Guideline Development: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Thursday 13 September at 8:30am


Gregor Smith

Dr Gregor Smith is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government, is proud to be a GP and was appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Scotland in October 2015. Prior to this, he combined roles as a Senior Medical Officer in the Scottish Government and medical director for Primary Care in NHS Lanarkshire where he spent most of his clinical career as a GP in Larkhall. He is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow and Fellow of both the Scottish Patient Safety Programme and Salzburg Global.  He is passionate about continuous quality improvement and innovation in healthcare, with a particular interest in person-centred care, shared decision making and working in teams. He is a resolute advocate of the values that define our NHS, of universal health care, and of widening access to medical careers to those from all backgrounds. When not working, he tries very hard, but not so successfully, to use his quality improvement skills to improve his cycling, triathlon and guitar.

Dr Smith is presenting in Plenary Panel 3 - Beyond Guidelines:  Where does patient choice fit in?

Click to read Dr. Smith's abstract: How do you reconcile strong recommendations with patient choice and shared decision making

Thursday 13 September 2018 at 2:00pm


Thomas Agoritsas

Professor Thomas Agoritsas, MD, PhD, is a hospital-based general internist and health research methodologist, at the University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland – as well as assistant professor at McMaster University, Canada.

His research focuses on real-life implementation of Evidence-Based Medicine. This involves methods for moving from evidence to recommendation, strategies to enhance clinicians’ evidence retrieval at the point of care, and using evidence for shared-decision making.

He is a board member of MAGIC (, a non-for profit organization that provides authoring and publication software ( for evidence summaries, guidelines and decision aids. In this context, he is leading the SHARE-IT project, which aims at creating a new generation of Decision Aids from evidence summaries and practice guidelines. Within MAGIC, he is also contributing to the BMJ Rapid Recommendations (, which accelerate evidence into practice to answer the questions that matter quickly and transparently through trustworthy recommendations.

Professor Agoritsas is presenting in Plenary Panel 3 - Beyond Guidelines:  Where does patient choice fit in?

Thursday 13 September 2018 at 2:00pm.


Catherine DesRoches Catherine M. (Cait) DesRoches is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a distinguished health services researcher with expertise in emerging trends in health care delivery. She came to OpenNotes from Mathematica Policy Research, a national firm with extensive expertise in social policy research, where she was a Senior Fellow studying the use of electronic health records by hospitals and physicians, the effect of health care organisations on physician clinical practice, and primary care workforce issues. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, School of Public Health, and the Joseph P. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she received her doctoral degree, Cait has worked as research scientist and project director for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and has held faculty positions at Vanderbilt University, Simmons College of Social Work and Harvard Medical School. Much of her work has focused on electronic health record adoption and organisational change.

Associate Professor DesRoches is presenting in Plenary Panel 3 - Beyond Guidelines:  Where does patient choice fit in?

Click to read Associate Professor DesRoches' abstract: Fully informed decision making: patient access to their health care centre

Thursday 13 September 2018 at 2:00pm.

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