Programme Manager and Chair of a Health Research Authority ethics committee
Place of work / study:
UK Dementia Research Institute
Area of research:
I manage the Oxford Imaging Trials Unit where we undertake the imaging requirements for research studies in almost every disease area, our biggest area includes cancer trials and we, of course, scan participants participating in dementia studies.
How is your work funded?
Both commercial and non-commercial funding sources.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I have previously acted as Director of a pre-eminent NHS centre conducting clinical trials with individuals with dementia and cognitive impairment. I have over 12 years clinical research experience working with the National Institute of Health Research networks, Imperial College London, the National Health Service and global pharmaceutical companies. My specialist skills include the training, selection and use of neuropsychological assessments in clinical trials. I am passionate about patient care and the progression of others and most recently developed competency framework for clinical researchers with my West London Mental Health Trust colleagues. I now manage the Oxford Imaging Trials Unit within Radiology.
I am also the Vice chair of a Health Research Authority ethics committee where I lead, along with the Chair, a multidisciplinary group. We apply knowledge of the mental capacity act to review research studies recruiting individuals who lack capacity.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I once starred in an MRSA health promotion video at UCLH as a patient with MRSA (and I am sure my Mum probably still has a copy of the DVD Eeek!).
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
The first research project I conducted was over 10 years ago, alongside a group of researchers in Lewisham. We ran a randomised control trial investigating infection control in care homes – my first experience of care homes and their residents. I then went on to work at the Dementias and Neurodegenerative Disease Research Network (DeNDRoN), then Imperial College London where I worked with many other investigators, charity groups, commercial companies, participants with dementia and their families.
I’ve always liked the underdog (and supported Wimbledon when they were at Selhurst Park), I still see dementia in terms of funding and our understanding of the disease as the ‘underdog’ to other disease areas, but am very pleased that this is changing.