News & Events

Hear about our latest news, events and funding opportunities.

Dr Diane Harbison named as one of top 50 UK female leaders in healthcare business

Monday 19 November 2018

Each year, BioBeat identifies 50 women in the UK who are revolutionising the biotech industry, recognising that they are leading and innovating new technologies and treatments which continue to improve UK research, health and society. Diane has been recognised in the Collaboration category.

Diane has more than 20 years’ experience in life sciences and here at SMS-IC, she is currently collaborating with Eagle Genomics, the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and NHS Scotland, to build the world’s first shared genomics and clinical database for NASH – the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Most NASH patients experience no symptoms, allowing it to progress to advanced fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer and there is no approved treatment for the disease. Development of the NASH database will lead to tests and treatments becoming available in the future.

Prior to joining SMS-IC, Diane was the Managing Director at BioCity Scotland where she was instrumental in increasing site occupancy and achieving enterprise area status. In another previous role, she negotiated Pfizer’s first stem cell agreement with Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL, which is in stage 1 clinical trials, and has restored sight in patients with age related macular degeneration.


BioBeat has celebrated 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness each year since 2014. It champions collaboration by bringing together scientific and business expertise, and creating a forum for investors and entrepreneurs to partner, which ultimately brings benefits to patients in the form of innovative new treatments.

Diane said: “I am honoured to be included in BioBeat’s Movers and Shakers report alongside some really inspirational and talented women in our industry. It’s great that the collaborative work that we’re doing here at SMS-IC is being recognised at a UK level – we’re especially excited about the NASH data commons project and its potential to uncover new tests and treatments for this silent killer.”