Samantha Barrell to become Chief Operating Officer at the Crick

22 May 2017

Dr Samantha Barrell

Image: Dr Samantha Barrell©  Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Samantha Barrell has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer of the Francis Crick Institute.

Sam is a noted healthcare leader, manager and a former GP, having trained initially as an anaesthetist. She will take up the role at the Crick in the autumn, replacing David Roblin who is departing for the biotech company Summit.

Sam is currently Chief Executive of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Musgrove Park hospital and serves a patient population of around 538,000 people. Before that, she played a major role as Chief Clinical Officer in overseeing the formation of the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group - the body which plans, organises and oversees healthcare services in that area - at the time of the 2012 reforms of the National Health Service.

Sam also sits on a number of advisory boards for think tanks and healthcare networks and was awarded the CBE in 2014.

Dr Barrell says: "It will be the most interesting, exciting role at the Crick. I've been attracted by the emphasis the Crick places on high-quality science and its approach to innovation, but also on people. The Crick wants to attract top talent, and 'gets' that people need to be nurtured with supportive management and the right leadership. That approach matches my own beliefs in what makes a successful organisation."

Although leaving Musgrove Park, "a wonderful hospital with a great staff who put patients at the centre of care", she says: "I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know staff at the Crick. The Crick has a great strategy, and I am excited to help develop it and take those aims forward."

Sir Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, said: "We're delighted that Sam has agreed to come to the Crick and very much look forward to giving her a warm welcome. She will bring to this position her experience of running complex organisations, as well as extensive leadership, people and managerial skills. With her clinical training she also fully understands our research mission and the potential it holds for human health."

Sam was appointed after a wide-ranging search as the best candidate from a strong field to become the Chief Operating Officer responsible for leading the operational management and running of the Crick. She takes over from David Roblin, who is joining Summit Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that aims to develop new drugs for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and C. difficile infection based on research carried out at Oxford University.

David helped make the Crick a practical reality. He was Chief Operating Officer and Director of Scientific Translation through a period when the Crick's new building was completed, 100 research groups were moved in and the new labs were set up for science.

David will retain a role at the Crick two days a month as a Senior Scientific Translation Fellow, advising the Executive Committee and Board on translating our scientific advances into novel treatments and health innovations. In this role he will continue as chair of the Crick Translation Advisory Board.

  • Dr Samantha Barrell has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer of the Francis Crick Institute.
  • Sam is a noted healthcare leader, manager, and a former GP having trained initially as an anaesthetist.
  • She will take up the role at the Crick in the autumn, replacing David Roblin who is departing for the biotech company Summit.
  • Sam is currently Chief Executive of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Musgrove Park hospital and serves a patient population of around 538,000 people