Our Management Team

Our co-founders Alex Johnson and Emily Crossley met after their sons were diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They both set up charities, Alex with Joining Jack, Emily with the Duchenne Children’s Trust. The two charities have now joined forces to become Duchenne UK. In November 2017, Emily and Alex were honoured by the Prime Minister's office with the Points of Light award.

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Emily Crossley

Emily is the co-founder and joint CEO of Duchenne UK. 

Emily set up the Duchenne Children’s Trust in 2012 after her son was diagnosed with Duchenne. Before that she was a reporter and anchor for Channel 4 News and CNN International. The Duchenne Children's Trust raised £3.5million in its first three years, to spend on clinical trials, research, and clinical trial infrastructure. The charity set up the annual Duchenne Dash, which brings in money for research and raises awareness around Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Emily has advocated on behalf of patients around the world. She's spoken many times in the Houses of Parliament. She is a member of the MHRA patient group consultative forum. 

Alex Johnson

Alex is the co-founder and joint CEO of Duchenne UK.

Alex founded the charity Joining Jack with her husband, ex-rugby league player Andy Johnson, following their son Jack’s diagnosis with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2011. The rugby community came together to help the family and helped them create international awareness for Duchenne with innovative campaigns like #Link4DMD. The charity has successfully raised more than £2 million to spend on translational research and clinical trials. Alex has subsequently joined the board of United Parent Project (UPPMD) and has helped organise international awareness events like World Duchenne Awareness Day. She has represented the Duchenne community by speaking at international conferences around the world, workshops and meetings with the FDA, EMA, MHRA, NICE and at the Houses of Parliament. Alex was honoured to join the steering committee that helped organise a workshop with the EMA on exon skipping. Following the meeting the steering committee published an article in the Lancet. Alex completed training at a Eurordis summer school to become a trained patient advocate and is also a member of the MHRA patient group consultative forum.

David Bull

Dr David Bull is Director of Research for Duchenne UK. David spent 16 years as a research scientist at GlaxoSmithKline. His initial training was in neuroscience, studying novel treatments for Parkinson’s Disease and Schizophrenia, David then led the research team looking into the molecular biology of 5-HT receptors in terms of treating migraine.

David then moved into science development in the UK and USA and led the UK Learning & Development team, subsequently becoming VP Leadership & Organisation Development for GSK International.

Molly Hunt

Molly Hunt is Head of Communications for Duchenne UK. Molly joined Duchenne UK in September 2016 and has previously worked for a FinTech startup and an Interior Design studio. Molly has an MA (Hons) undergraduate degree in English from the University of Edinburgh.

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Megan Mullany

Megan Mullany is a Team Assistant at Duchenne UK. Megan joined the team in November 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons) in Genetics.

Dala Jenkin

Dala Jenkin is a Team Assistant at Duchenne UK. Dala joined the team in May 2018 having previously worked as a lifestyle manager at Quintessentially, fashion buying assistant at Matches and Austin Reed Group and has also spent time working with autistic children. Dala has a First Class BA (Hons) in Marketing and Fashion from the University of Hertfordshire

 

Lisa Kuhwald

Lisa Kuhwald is Duchenne UK’s Advocacy Support Officer, this is a voluntary role. Lisa is mum to 4 boys, Oscar, Casper, Felix and Herbie, they live near Manchester. She set up Team Felix in 2013, after her son Felix, then 2, was diagnosed with Duchenne. Lisa also sits on Duchenne UK’s Patient Advisory Board.

 

Emma Heslop

Emma Heslop is the DMD Hub manager based at The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre at Newcastle University, funded by Duchenne UK.

Emma trained as a biological anthropologist at Durham University and was awarded an MSc (Research) in 2005. She has been part of the muscle team at the John Walton Muscular Dystropy Research Centre at Newcastle University since October 2006 when she joined the TREAT-NMD neuromuscular network of excellence as assistant project manager.

Within TREAT-NMD, Emma was responsible for leading the work relating to ‘Network in Action’ for DMD and SMA and enhancing international collaborations. From 2009 to 2013 she helped form and coordinated the TREAT-NMD Advisory Committee for Therapeutics (TACT) and was subsequently the nominated first point of contact for industry enquiries to the network.

Before taking on the role as DMD Hub Manager, Emma was the RD-Connect Project Manager at Newcastle University in 2013 with responsibility for leading the strategic development and delivery of the project to ensure the objectives were achieved. 

Cathy Turner

Cathy Turner is the DMD Programme & TACT Coordinator, based at The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre at Newcastle University, funded by Duchenne UK.

Cathy coordinates the TREAT-NMD Advisory Committee for Therapeutics (TACT). This is a unique multi-disciplinary and international group of leading academic and industry drug development experts as well as representatives from patient foundations and regulatory experts. A TACT review provides detailed guidance on the translation and development path of therapeutics programs in rare neuromuscular diseases, many of which have been for Duchenne.

She works closely with colleagues (in Newcastle and beyond) involved in all aspects of Duchenne diagnosis, care and research - from physiotherapists, clinical consultants and trial coordinators to lab-based research staff, patient organisations and members of international networks such as TREAT-NMD.

This means that Cathy can act as a link between Duchenne related activities involving these stakeholders and help to join-up efforts and initiatives which relate to Duchenne muscular dystrophy.