IPG Health Celebrates The Second Annual Festival of Science

The IPG Health Festival of Science, hosted by the McCann Health Global Scientific Council at IPG Health, continues to be a major landmark in building a connected scientific community across IPG Health.

Our aim for the event is to inspire, engage, connect and celebrate our scientific community and clients.

This free event is open to all IPG Health staff and clients. Please email Lucy Eardley for more information on registering.


To have or not to have: Why health equity matters and how we can all take action

Monday, September 27th 2021: 9am – 11am ET

In this session we will be defining health disparities and health equity, and exploring how these have changed over the years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted systemic deficiencies and the need to further close the equity gap. This need has prompted pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and healthcare communicators to accelerate their focus on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

We will hear from our panel of leading experts about the challenges they face in this area, and their planned actions to improve health equity. We will also discuss other important approaches from the industry, such as increasing diversity in the workplace and improving our communication to everyone across the network. But are we all doing enough? And how can we measure true impact? We will explore how we, as healthcare communicators, have an important role to play in this critical topic.

Day 1 of the Festival of Science will be opened by Charlie Buckwell, IPG Health Chief Medical Communications Officer & President, Global Scientific Council.

Keynote speaker:

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, FRCP (Keynote): Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London; Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity


Catherine Skobe, MPH, MT(ASCP): Publications Innovative Solutions Lead, Pfizer

Avery Ince, MD, PhD: Vice President in Medical Affairs, Janssen North America, a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson

TBC, AstraZeneca

Sommer Bazuro, PhD: Chief Medical Officer, FCB Health


Alice Choi, MSc, MPH, PhD: Chief Operating Officer, McCann Health Medical Communications & Executive Director, Global Scientific Council

Mysteries of the deep: exploring the microbiome in wellness and disease

Tuesday, September 28th 2021: 9am – 11am ET

What do we really know about the invisible world of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi living on and within us?

Only recently have we started to recognize that the microbiome contributes substantially to our health, wellness, and diseases – we have barely scratched the surface of understanding its essential synergistic roles.

In this session we will dive into recent discoveries and explore key concepts such as the dichotomy of pre/probiotics, antibiotics, and promising research efforts.

We will hear from some of the world’s leading experts on hot topics ranging from unsuspecting areas of impact, such as autoimmune diseases and mental health, to scientific perspectives on inflammation and other diseases. We will also further examine the relationship between the microbiome, the gut, and the brain.

Presentations will be followed by a lively panel discussion on the evolution of microbiome research, and the current and future opportunities and challenges in this area.

Keynote speakers:

Norman Moore, PhD: Director of Scientific Affairs, Abbott Rapid Diagnostics

José Carlos Clemente Litrán, PhD: Associate Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Jack Gilbert, PhD: Professor at the University of California San Diego

Our speakers will be joined by the following panelists:

Dan Carucci, MD, MSc, PhD: Global Chief Medical Officer, McCann Health

Alison Humphries, MB, ChB, MRCGP: Director of Medical Strategy, CMC Connect


Sarah Funderburk, PhD: Medical Insights Director, Caudex

Vijay Sarma, H.BSC, PharmTox, B.Pharm, VP, Expert Audience Marketing, McCann Pharmacy Initiative

The health tech explosion: exploring the rewards, risks and opportunities

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021: 9am – 11am ET

Healthcare has been rapidly advancing through the exploration and adoption of technology. Peri- and post-pandemic, the need for this acceleration was and has been driven not only by desire but also by necessity. Moving forward, how is healthcare going to adapt, embrace, and reinvent itself in this new, hybrid world?

With the help of our leading industry and in-house experts, we will explore new trends, applications, and expectations in the areas of drug discovery, clinical trials, digital therapeutics, and patient/healthcare professional engagement.

We will ask what we can learn from other industries. For example, how powerful is AI? Should we be excited by it, or afraid of it? And what should we, as healthcare communicators, prepare ourselves for in this brave new world?

Keynote speakers:

Lisa Banks, PhD, MBA: Vice President, Global Head of Digital Innovation and Beyond, GSK

Scott Penberthy: Director, Applied AI, Office of the CTO at Google

Ed Macko, VP, Industry Data & AI and Healthcare CTO at IBM

Our speakers will be joined by the following panelists:

David Hogben: Director, US Region & Global Multi-Channel, Complete HealthVizion

Tim Hawkey, Chief Creative Officer, AREA 23


Jason Gardner, PhD: Head of Scientific Services, CMC Connect

Hypersonic healthcare: the accelerating pace of clinical development and demand for data

Thursday, September 30th, 2021: 9am – 11am ET

Has the speed of clinical development, and the accompanying expectations on data availability and change in healthcare provision, accelerated in recent times? One of the most obvious and shining examples of this acceleration is the development of the COVID-19 vaccines, the public’s thirst for information on this topic, and how healthcare systems have adapted to meet the demands of vaccinating millions of people per day.

Does the world now expect a new standard in the speed a therapy takes to affect clinical practice? It would seem so, and other endeavors such as rapid translation of research, AI in drug design, big-data placebo populations, pre-print publications, and applied behavioral change techniques are on the rise to meet that standard.

We will hear from some of the world’s leading experts about the scientific and leadership challenges for those involved in this faster paced clinical research. We will consider the future impact and potential implications for those involved in healthcare communications, and the challenges they face when both speed and accuracy are of the essence.

Keynote speaker:

Mace Rothenberg, MD: Former Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer


Peter Marks, MD, PhD: Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Fergus Walsh: Medical Editor, BBC News

Karen King, PhD: Head of Growth and Development, CMC Affinity


Gary Burd, PhD, SCP: SVP, Medical Director, Caudex

Vew All News