Executive committee

Lawrence McGinty: Chair

Lawrence McGintyLawrence McGinty has reported on health and science for more than three decades. First for New Scientist magazine, then for Channel Four News, and most recently for ITV News. During that time he has covered an extraordinary breadth of stories. He has flown a Harrier jump jet, reported live from the military hospital at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, and presented a week of reports from Papworth Hospital that persuaded over 100 000 people to sign up as organ donors.  In 2014 he won the Lifetime Achievement award of the Association of British Science Writers. The citation said he had “a profound effect on the scientific community”.He has interviewed every health minister for the past two decades. More importantly he has interviewed thousands of patients – some delighted by new developments that have transformed their lives, others blowing the whistle on appalling NHS treatment. He has won awards from BAFTA, the RTS, the ABSW, the Medical Journalists Association and an Emmy. He also won the British Video industry’s award for the best comedy video (beating Morecombe and Wise!) He has chaired an international conference on drugs for the World Health Organisation and given talks to many professional bodies. But more important to him, he has won the respect of the many doctors, scientists and patients he has met.

To view Lawrence’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.

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Jane Symons: Vice chair and website editor

Jane Symons is a prolific freelance health writer and media consultant and a regular contributor to the Daily Express and Daily Mail. She edited the health pages of The Sun for five years and was health editor of Woman’s Own for  two. She has also written for a broad range of national titles including The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Sunday Express, Women’s Health and Woman and Home. She was the launch editor of the Feeding For Life Foundation magazine, a specialist publication for healthcare professionals and others working with infants and under-fives and has edited reports including Stop the MS Lottery for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Jane has written several pregnancy books including How to Have a Baby and Still Live in the Real World, which have been published  in the UK, USA, Europe and Russia. As a journalist who also provides media consultancy she offers bespoke advice in effective media messaging and press materials, identifying the best story angles, report writing and media training. Jane also chairs media advisory boards and meetings.

To view Jane’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.

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Caroline White: Vice chair

To view Caroline’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.

Sallie Robins: Administrator

Sallie croppedSallie leads a double life as both a science publicist and a fitness instructor.   After some disastrous practical exams during her BSc in Medical Biochemistry, Sallie realised that bench research might not be her forte, so after an MSc in Science Communication Sallie cut her teeth in public relations at the then British Association for Science (now the British Science Association) running the press office at the annual media jamboree that is the Festival of Science.   Prior to working in public relations Sallie researched, wrote and promoted science and public health policy at the British Medical Association, writing reports on boxing, alcohol, the age of consent, cycling and other public health issues.   For many years now Sallie has worked freelance initially as publicist to many popular science authors including Richard Dawkins and Martin Rees, but more recently with a variety of organisations including the Royal Society, the Science Museum, the Cheltenham Science Festival and the Big Bang.   Sallie’s work in books has also seen her diversify into publicity work for children’s books and children’s poetry.  Sallie is currently Committee Executive Secretary to the ABSW running their annual awards, fellowship schemes, conferences and journalism training events.  Sallie is also treasurer of the science PR organisation Stempra.  Sallie lives in London with her partner and son.

Dawn Connelly: Membership secretary

DawnDawn Connelly is currently deputy news editor at The Pharmaceutical Journal. She initially trained as a pharmacist but, after several years practising in hospitals where she gained a clinical diploma, joined the PJ in 2001. She has held several staff positions at the PJ, including contributions editor, senior news and feature writer, and now deputy news editor. She writes and edits stories on all things that affect practising pharmacists in the UK, including both clinical and political news.

Email: membership@mjauk.org

To view Dawn’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here

Sarah Comery: Treasurer

Sarah cropped

Sarah has worked as a freelance book-keeper/accountant to a number of different industries for over thirty years. She is currently acting as Treasurer to a charity researching childhood leukemia and has previously been Treasurer to a number of other charities in the UK. She is also a qualified CELTA teacher.


Danny Buckland

DannyDanny Buckland is a skilled and experienced journalist who has worked on the Daily Mail, Sunday People, The Sun and Daily Mirror, where he was Health Correspondent. He now supplies stories and editorial ideas across the breadth of titles from tabloid to broadsheet. He is regularly commissioned to write insight pieces for the The Times’ Raconteur sections and also reports for the pharmaceutical publication PMLiVE. Danny also writes widely on mental health issues and is an integral member of the Sunday Express Mental Health Crusade team which has won awards for its effectiveness in reducing stigma and providing positive, inspiring stories that are helping to reshape public opinion.

To view Danny’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here

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Lucy Elkins






To view Lucy’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here

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Nicola Hill

NicolaNicola Hill started work on local and national newspaper, before moving into broadcasting.  She has presented radio and TV programmes: for the BBC and independent radio and for Sky News where she was health correspondent. She also edited the health pages on Sky News online. She has been nominated for both an Royal Television Society and a Sony award. Among her scoops: gaining permission from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to film in Riyadh, and from Fidel Castro to film in Cuba. Since becoming freelance Nicola has reported on, and spoken at, international health conferences and made health documentaries in the UK and abroad.  She acts as a media consultant, hosting interactive web-casts, chairing media advisory boards and medical symposia, and presenting corporate films and podcasts. Her website is: www.ncmedia.org.uk

To view Nicola’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.

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John Illman

JohnJohn Illman spent eight years as the Guardian‘s health editor and five years as the Daily Mail’s medical correspondent. A former GP newspaper editor, he is now lecturing, writing a series of books and has set up a video production company. His publications include The Body Machine with the heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard.

To view John’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.



Thea Jourdan

Thea croppedThea Jourdan is a health writer and editor who has worked on many national newspapers as well as magazines over the past 20 years. She is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, the Daily TelegraphHarpers Bazaar and The Economist. She currently edits Apothecary, the journal of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London which was incorporated as a City Livery Company by royal charter from James I on 6 December 1617. In her capacity as editorial director of The Jourdan Agency, she commissions Careers in…Special Reports for the Daily Telegraph, as well as devising and commissioning online content for Netdoctor. She is also President of Jourdan Editorial LLC, New York, New York.

To view Thea’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.

Jill Palmer

JillMedical Correspondent for the Daily Mirror for 18 years until September 2003 when made redundant. As a freelance I wrote for various consumer magazines and national newspapers and was involved in media consultancy work with pharmaceutical companies and medical PRs for around nine years.

Now semi-retired I still do some writing and am a trustee of the Journalists’ Charity.

To view Jill’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.



Ann Shuttleworth

Ann croppedAnn has worked on a range of healthcare titles, including Speech Therapy in Practice, and Professional Nurse, of which she was editor for four years. As managing editor of Mosby Healthcare journals she launched Child Health for the Association of British Paediatric Nurses; Psychiatric Nurse for the Forensic Psychiatric Nurse Association; anf the Journal of Neonatal nursing. As a freelance she has contributed to titles including Nursing Times, Pharmaceutical Journal, Chemist and Druggist, Midwives Journal, and Pulse, and for organisations including the Department of Health, The NHS National Screening Committee and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. In her job share role as practice and learning editor of Nursing Times she is responsible for the title’s online learning programme and for overseeing the magazine’s clinical content.

To view Ann’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.

Deanna Wilson

DeannaDeanna Wilson started in medical journalism as a trainee sub on the Nursing Times, progressing to assistant editor. She went on to launch Hospital Life, for which she won an MJA/Reckitt and Colman award. Going freelance, she launch-edited a number of publications, including the Journal of Community Nursing, Pharmaceutical Marketing, Pharmaceutical Visions (two MJA Awards), the European Journal of Parenteral Science, and Hospital Decisions. In 1993, she was one of the UK Women of the Year. She has been consulting editor, leader writer and contributor on Campden Publishing’s Hospital Imaging & Radiology Europe. She has also carried out projects for pharma and public relations companies. She has a degree in French.

To view Deanna’s contact details and conflict of interest declaration click here.