Our weekly guide e to healthcare's most influential people No 66

Published: 18/04/2002, Volume II2, No. 5801 Page 20 21

Name: Naomi Fulop

Job: Director, NHS co-ordinating centre for service delivery and organisation research and development programme

Style: Evidence-based - 'My passion is the interface between policy and practice, ' she says.

Always has plenty of research on the go, but keen to 'stay connected' to what health services want and need.The 300-odd delegates at the first national SDO R&D conference last month seemed to agree.Finds time to be a non-exec at the not entirely stress-free Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals trust - now out for franchising - and a member of the Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill's advisory council.

Sings with a choir, clocking up an appearance with fey indie combo The Divine Comedy on their 1998 album Fin de Siecle .Oh, and a 'strangely wonderful' appearance with Michael Jackson at the Albert Hall.

Background: Graduated in 1985 in politics and social administration, but her PhD in medical sociology gave a better clue to her future.Became a research and policy officer at Islington health authority in 1989, then a public health specialist at Parkside HA.Won a Fulbright scholarship to Harvard, returning to work briefly at the HA before opting for full-time academia as a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1994.Became a lecturer, then senior lecturer, before scooping the post of deputy director of the SDO R&D programme in 1999.

Moved up to the top job last year.

Future prospects Expect her already long list of publications to get longer and - with luck - that clunky job title to get shorter.Should succeed in pushing R&D further up the NHS agenda, and must be due a professorship soon.