Our team

Meet our team

The NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) provides a skilled and experienced team who are committed to delivering expert support and efficient trial management.

Our staff are specialists, whether within data management, statistics or clinical operations.

Our CTU leadership comes from Dr Lise Estcourt, CTU Director and Rachel Johnson, Assistant Director Statistics and Clinical Studies. 

For enquires please contact us.

Our Leadership Team

Lise Estcourt


Lise became our Director in January 2018. Lise is a consultant haematologist with NHS Blood and Transplant and a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Transfusion Medicine at the University of Oxford. She graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in medicine. She did her haematology training in London before moving to Oxford in 2010 to become a Clinical Research Fellow in Transfusion Medicine with NHSBT. During her time as a research fellow she was awarded a prize for her research from Oxford University, as well as being awarded a DPhil from Oxford University in research on risk factors for bleeding in people with haematological malignancies. She also holds an MA in Medical Ethics and Law from Keele University and an MSc in Clinical Trials from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has already worked with the CTU as a CI or co-investigator on several studies and trials (TREATT, InCiTe, ATHENA, and TOPPS). She performs Cochrane and non-Cochrane systematic reviews in transfusion medicine in association with the Systematic Reviews Initiative in Oxford.

Rachel Johnson

Assistant Director - Statistics and Clinical Research

After gaining a Masters degree in Medical Statistics at the University of Southampton, Rachel joined NHS Blood and Transplant (or UK Transplant as it was then) as a statistician in 1992. Since then she has worked with clinicians, scientists and others to analyse the UK Transplant Registry database to provide an evidence base for clinical practice and organ allocation. In 2017 she was appointed Assistant Director for Statistics and Clinical Studies in NHSBT, leading the statistics team and the NHSBT Clinical Trials Unit. In 2021, the R&D Office and Systematic Review Initiative joined the team and Rachel became the Assistant Director for Statistics and Clinical Research. She is a member of the NHSBT Clinical Services Management Team and supports the Board level NHSBT R&D Committee. Rachel is also a member of the steering group for the UK Organ Donation and Transplantation Research Network and is an elected member of the British Transplantation Society’s Clinical Trials and Research Committee.

Our Statistics Team

Our statisticians provide a full statistical service throughout the life cycle of the clinical trial. From the outset, we can advise on trial design and sample size requirements, and contribute to the production of trial protocols and funding applications. Our statistics team, based in Bristol, will also work with you to develop plans for interim analyses and develop the analysis plan for the final dataset using the latest techniques to make best use of the data. After the data has been locked and the analysis performed, we can assist with final trial reports and papers for publication

Helen Thomas

Head of Clinical Trial Statistics

Helen has an MSc in Medical Statistics from the University of Leicester and has worked at NHSBT since 2004. Helen is Head of Clinical Trial Statistics, co-ordinating all aspects of statistical support for the CTU and co-leading the CTU management team. Helen is the lead statistician and co-applicant for several trials within the CTU and focuses on the design of forthcoming trials. Helen also has experience serving as the independent statistician on a Data Monitoring Committee.

Email: Helen.Thomas@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Cara Hudson

Principal Statistician

Cara is a Mathematics graduate from University of Bristol and joined the Statistics and Clinical Studies team in August 2007. She subsequently gained and MSc in Statistics and Management Science from University of West England. Cara is a Principal Statistician providing statistical support for the design and analysis of clinical trials. Cara was the trial statistician for PLANET-2 and is the trial statistician for TREATT and the PANDA programme. She is the lead statistician for several trials and is also involved in several funding applications.

Email: Cara.Hudson@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Rosie Brown

Senior Statistician

Rosie joined NHSBT CTU in September 2021 following the completion of her PhD in Cardiovascular Science and a short post-doctoral position at the University of Glasgow. Before that, she obtained a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Bath, where she undertook a placement year at Roche, and an MSc in Statistics with Applications in Medicine from University of Southampton. She is currently providing statistical support to the PLUTO, PANDA and DeFat trials.

Email: Rosie.Brown@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Emily Sanderson

Senior Statistician

Emily is a Senior Statistician working full time on clinical trials. She joined NHSBT in September 2022. Emily worked in medical statistics for 7 years before starting at NHSBT, both in a health tech company, working in cardiovascular diagnostics, and at a clinical trials unit, at The University of Bristol, working on a variety of different clinical trials. Before that, Emily studied a BSc (Mathematics) and MSc (Statistics) at Lancaster university and moved to Bristol in 2015. She is trial statistician on SWiFT, RePAST, DeFat and Pancreas perfusion.

Email: Emily.Sanderson@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Laura Smith

Senior Statistician

Laura undertook a placement year at NHSBT during her undergraduate degree and subsequently gained an MSc in Statistics with Applications in Medicine from University of Southampton. She returned to NHSBT in 2011, initially undertaking analyses of kidney transplant data from the UK Transplant Registry. Now as a Senior Statistician, she provides statistical expertise in the design and analysis of clinical trials. Laura is the trial statistician for several transplant trials, and is the independent statistician for TREATT.

Email: Laura.Smith2@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Elisa Allen

Principal Statistician

Elisa completed an MSc in Mathematics and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Bath. She then worked as a Statistician at a UK agricultural research centre for several years. She joined NHSBT in 2013 as a Principal Statistician, leading the areas of liver and small bowel transplantation in the Statistics Department. In her liver transplant role, she supported the national introduction of the liver offering scheme in 2018. She now leads the area of blood transfusion studies as well as being the trial statistician for ProGrES, SONAR and ADVENT in the CTU. She also works on the design of forthcoming trials including writing proposals for funding.

Email: Elisa.Allen@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Laura Silsby

Statistician II

Laura joined the team in July 2022 and works to support the Clinical Trials Unit and the Donation team within NHSBT. She has a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics and has previously worked as an analyst in both secondary and tertiary healthcare services.

Email: Laura.Silsby@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Nkechi Onwuka

Statistician II

Nkechi joined the team in October 2021 as a Statistician and provides support for blood transfusion studies and the Clinical Trials Unit. Before joining the team, she obtained a BSc. in Demography and Social Statistics from Covenant University, Nigeria, an MSc. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Leeds and an MPH in Public Health from the University of Birmingham. Nkechi is a support statistician for PANDA work stream 3 and the independent statistician for the SIGNET clinical trial.

Email: Nkechi.Onwuka@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Joseph Parsons

Statistician I

Joe is a Mathematics graduate from University of Bath, and during his degree he undertook a placement year working as a Biostatistician at Amgen. Joe started work at NHSBT in 2018. He provides statistical input in the clinical trials team to support the TREATT clinical trial and the ITOPS study.

Email: Joseph.Parsons@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Suzie Phillips

Statistician I

Suzie joined NHSBT in August 2020 as the placement Statistician and subsequently after completing her Mathematics degree from the University of Sheffield re-joined NHSBT as a Statistician I in September 2022. Suzie is a support statistician for the SIGNET and PITHIA clinical trials.

Email: Suzie.Phillips@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Anagha Narayanan

Statistician I

Anagha joined the team in November 2023 after completing an MSc in Medical Statistics and Health Data Science at the University of Bristol. She also has an MSc in Statistics and a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Kerala, India. Anagha has previously worked as a research intern at the Reserve Bank of India and as a guest lecturer, teaching undergraduate students.

Email: Anagha.Narayanan@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Jenni Banks

Statistician II

Jenni joined NHSBT in August 2020 after graduating from Cardiff University where she studied Mathematics with Statistics Operational Research. During her degree she undertook a placement year as a Biostatistician at Amgen. Jenni is a support statistician for the SIGNET and RePAST clinical trials.

Email: Jenni.Banks@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Our Data Management Team

Our Data Management team provides data management support that covers the full data lifecycle. We give input during protocol drafting to ensure the technical data aspects are possible and are in line with regulations and current standards. Our databases are bespoke builds for highly unique trials. We use industry standard clinical trial database management software - MACRO™ and OpenClinica - for the design, management, capture, quality assurance and final data cleaning of clinical trial data for all our trials. The functionality we currently offer our trials includes electronic Participant Recorded Outcomes (ePRO) and electronic Case Report Forms (eCRFs), and aim to offer SMS communication, in house randomization, stock management and electronic Consent (eConsent).

Jessica Workman

Clinical Data Services Manager

Jess hails from the idyllic city of Cape Town, South Africa, and joined the Cambridge-based data team in January 2023. She holds a MSc in Global Health from Manchester University and focussed her undergraduate studies on microbiology and human physiology. Being based in South Africa, Jess spent 10 years working on trial management and data management teams for tuberculosis and HIV research projects and clinical trials. Her focus is to bring efficiency, high data standards, and future-proof solutions to all members of research teams through user-centred data systems.

Tel: 07495 584099

Email: Jessica.Workman@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Rupa Sharma

Senior Clinical Data Manager

Rupa joined NHSBT CTU data management team in April 2017. Following her graduation, Rupa began her career working in IT sector in India. After moving to the UK, Rupa has worked in different services within NHSBT where she initially developed an interest in clinical research. In the CTU, Rupa is the lead data manager for several trials and responsible for full clinical data management support within the CTU portfolio.

Email: Rupa.Sharma@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Emily Arbon

Clinical Data Manager I

Emily joined NHSBT CTU in April 2018. Prior to her role at NHSBT, Emily started her career working on agricultural trials before transferring her skills to clinical trials. Emily is the lead data manager for the PLUS trial. Emily’s role encompasses database build, documentation, CRF design, handling data queries, and she provides training and support to sites. Emily has worked on several other trials in the CTU portfolio.

Tel: 01223 588151

Email: Emily.Arbon@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Nikki Dallas

Clinical Data Manager I

Nikki has recently joined the clinical data services team as a Data Management Support Officer. She has 12 years experience in a pharmaceutical laboratory setting, liaising with clients and generating and assessing data packages. Nikki also has experience in dealing with governing bodies such as the MHRA and adhering to Good Manufacturing Practice.

Tel: 01223 588151

Email: Nikki.Dallas@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Jonathan Last

Junior Clinical Data Manager

Jonnie joined the NHSBT CTU as a Junior Data Manager in January 2022. Jonnie has previously worked in the Blood Donor Centre building and has experience of working as a data manager from his days working for the Medical Research Council’s Food Nutrition department. Jonnie has worked with many databases during his career and was eager to get back into Data Management. Jonnie will be helping with many studies, but initially CRYOSTAT-2.

Email: Jonathan.Last@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Roshni Paul

Junior Clinical Data Manager

Roshni is an engineer with an MTech in Genetics and BTech in Bioinformatics from India. She has 9.5 years of experience in clinical data management working in various global pharmaceutical and clinical companies like ICON, PPD, CTS, AstraZeneca, Biogen and Novartis. She first joined NHSBT in 2020 before rejoining the team in September 2023.

Email: Roshni.Paul@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Sara Last

Junior Clinical Data Manager

Sara joined the NHSBT CTU as a Junior Data Manager in February 2022. Sara previously worked as a Cancer Registration officer for NHS D formerly PHE. She worked on-site before working in one of the clinics at Addenbrookes Hospital and working in the Blood Donor Centre for a few years for the NIHR Bioresource. She enjoys working with databases and working in a research environment that strives to improve lives. Sara is currently helping with the TREATT study and will be involved in the PANDA study. She is looking forward to growing within the CTU and getting involved where she can.

Email: Sara.Last@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Our Clinical Operations Team

The Clinical Operations team work with investigators to ensure that the trial is successful. A Clinical Operations Manager will be assigned to your trial at the beginning of our involvement and will remain with the trial until completion. They will oversee the work of the trial manager, manage the budget and timelines and liaise with data management and statistical staff as required.

James Griffiths

Head of Clinical Trial Operations

James joined NHSBT CTU in July 2022 as a Clinical Operations Manager and was appointed to Head of Clinical Trial Operations in February 2024. He studied Anthropology before becoming interested in clinical research and has been working in clinical trials ever since. James has worked in clinical trials for over 15 years, previously at academic CTUs specialising in haematology and cancer, neonatology, and more recently psychiatry.

Email: James.Griffiths2@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Catherine Bain

Clinical Operations Manager

Joined NHSBT CTU in July 2023 as a clinical operations manager. Have a PHD in Optometry and was previously working at Cambridge clinical trials unit as a senior coordinator, specialising in renal, ophthalmology and maternity trials.

Email: Catherine.Bain@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Claire Rourke

Clinical Operations Manager

Claire has a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences and, following graduation, worked at GlaxoSmithKline in pre-clinical research based in Harlow, UK and then Singapore before starting a career in clinical research at Barts Health NHS Foundation Trust and Queen Mary University London. For over 10 years, Claire worked in trauma research managing both CTIMPs and non-CTIMPs. During this time, she studied a MSc in Clinical Trials at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2020, Claire moved to the University of Hertfordshire as Clinical Trial Manager working on a mental health trial. Claire joined NHSBT as a Clinical Operations Manager in 2022.

Email: Claire.Rourke2@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Kerrie Brusby

Clinical Operations Manager

Kerrie joined NHSBT CTU in August 2022 as a Clinical Operations Manager based in Cambridge. Following my PhD Kerrie worked as a Data Manager and Clinical Trials Coordinator and developed particular expertise in data linkage to routinely collected healthcare data, EDC systems and bespoke database systems. Outside of work Kerrie can most likely be found rock-climbing, in the pub, wild swimming or gardening.

Email: Kerrie.Brusby@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Amy Evans

Clinical Trial Manager

Amy studied Medical Genetics at The University of Leicester and then went on to study a Masters in Assisted Reproduction Technology at Nottingham University. After University Amy started working for a clinical research organisation, both in the QA department and in toxicology as a trainee study manager. She started working for NHSBT CTU in 2018 as the Clinical Trial Co-ordinator for CRYOSTAT-2. Amy is now the Trial Manager for SIGNET.

Tel: 0776 4280175

Email: Amy.Evans@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Anna Sidders

Clinical Trial Manager

Anna’s background is in medical microbiology. She worked for Sanofi-Aventis and then Roche as a Clinical Research Associate. When the Clinical Research Networks expanded, she joined the Kent & Medway CLRN as their Industry Manager, looking after their portfolio of commercial trials. Anna moved on to work at Addenbrooke's Hospital in neurosciences research, working in paediatric epilepsy and Parkinson's disease. Anna joined CTU in November 2017, initially working on PLANET2 and is now managing SONAR.

Tel: 07392 139868

Email: Anna.Sidders@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Ashley Foster

Clinical Trial Manager

Ashley began working at NHSBT CTU as a Clinical Trial Manager in March 2023. She studied Biochemistry at the University of Oxford has a PhD in Epigenetics from Queen Mary, University of London. She joined the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a trial coordinator working on a variety of CTIMPs and device trials in diabetes, paediatrics, and neurology. Ashley is the Trial Manager for ADVENT-DS.

Email: Ashley.Foster@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Charlie Brown

Clinical Trial Manager

Charlie joined NHSBT as a trial manager in April 2022. He earned a BSc in Biochemistry in New Zealand, following an initial career as a chef in various establishments in New Zealand, Australia and London, before moving to the UK for the second time in 2016. Soon after, he started with the University of Oxford as a preclinical lab research assistant before moving into clinical trial administration with the Jenner Institute, working on phase I, II & III IMP trials such as the Oxford COVID vaccine trial. Following this he progressed into project management in liver cancer research. Charlie is working on PLUS, looking at increasing the availability of donor livers available for transplantation, as well as SWiFT.

Email: Charlie.Brown@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Eleanor Hounslea

Clinical Trial Manager

Ellie joined NHSBT as a Clinical Trial Manager in March 2023. Ellie studied Natural Sciences at the University of Bath, completing an industrial placement year as a synthetic chemist at GlaxoSmithKline. After graduating, Ellie worked in clinical trials data management before moving into trial coordination and trial management.

Email: Eleanor.Hounslea@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Fotini Kaloyirou

Clinical Trial Manager

Fontini has a degree in nursing from the University of Athens, a PhD in cardiology nursing from Cyprus University of Technology, and an MSc in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Fotini's previous role was Senior Cardiovascular Research Nurse in the Vascular Research / Experimental Medicine and Immunotherapeutics department at Addenbrookes Hospital. Prior to that, she was the haematology trials nurse at the Cancer Clinical Trials Centre at Addenbrookes hospital.

Email: Fotini.Kaloyirou@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Gillian Powter

Clinical Trial Manager

Gillian’s background is nursing with a degree in Health Care Studies and a Diploma in Critical Care. Prior to joining NHSBT her specialities had been intensive care, intravenous therapy and blood transfusion. She initially came into the CTU as a research nurse in 2008 for the TOPPS trial and since then has been involved in co-ordinating the TOPPS, GIN, ATHENA and ISOC2 trials. She is manager for the TREATT trial, but also worked on the Convalescent Plasma arm of the University of Oxford RECOVERY Trial alongside many other collaborators from NHSBT. Currently Gillian is working with CTU colleagues on RESTORE, MELODY and continuing with TREATT, studying the effects of tranexamic acid on bleeding in patients with haematological malignancies, as it approaches close down.

Tel: 07590 353091

Email: Gillian.Powter@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Joanne Lucas

Clinical Trial Manager

Jo has previously worked as a trial manager in the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, and in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Most recently Jo worked as research & development co-ordinator at the James Paget University Hospital. Her research interests include trauma, critical care, cardiovascular and mental health. Jo is currently managing CRYOSTAT-2 study, looking at the effect of early cryoprecipitate on mortality in patients with major haemorrhage.

Tel: 07764 280606

Email: Joanne.Lucas@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Thomas Holmes

Clinical Trial Manager

Tom joined the NHSBT CTU as a Clinical Trial Manager in April 2022. He has a BSc in Sport and Exercise sciences from the University of Birmingham. Following graduation he joined the University of Oxford as part of their Department of Oncology, progressing to trial manager where he responsible for several early phase, first-in-human trials. As part of the NHSBT team Tom will be managing the PANDA programme.

Email: Thomas.Holmes@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Aleema Iqbal

Clinical Trial Coordinator

Aleema joined the CTU in November 2022. With experience in Care Management, NHS Pathology labs, and Clinical Research, she also has a BSc and MSc in Clinical Biochemistry. Currently, she's pursuing an MSc in 'Precision Cancer Medicine' with support from NHSBT and is assisting with the DeFat and PLUS projects.

Email: Aleema.Iqbal@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Anne O'Maolain

Clinical Trial Coordinator

Anne has studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, and has been a Research Nurse for the University of Cambridge Department of Haematology. She started working in January 2023 for the NHSBT CTU on the Signet trial.

Email: Anne.O'Maolain@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Val Hopkins

Clinical Trial Coordinator

Val has both an administrative and clinical background which began in Higher Education at Anglia Ruskin University and The School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge. She went on to train as an Assistant Practitioner in Breast Imaging, working at The West Suffolk Hospital and The Rosie, Addenbrooke's Hospital for the NHS Breast Screening Programme. Prior to joining CTU, Val worked as a Medical Laboratory Assistant at The Pathology Partnership’. Val joined the CTU Data Management Team in March 2014 working on the PlaNeT-2 trial. She is now part of the operations team working on SONAR and REPAST.

Tel: 01223 588188

Email: Valerie.Hopkins@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Viona Rundell

Clinical Trial Coordinator

Viona joined the NHSBT CTU as a Clinical Trial Coordinator in October 2022. She has a BSc in Psychology and started working in research shortly after graduating in 2011. Her first role was working as a research assistant in her home country, Germany, at the Centre for Psychosocial Medicine, Heidelberg University Hospital. Since moving back to the UK, Viona has gained research experience in both the NHS and Academia, as well as the private sector. Viona is currently supporting the SWiFT and RESTORE trials as part of the NHSBT team.

Email: Viona.Rundell@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Our Administration Team

The CTU is supported by our business manager together with trial administrators. They ensure that the unit is running smoothly.

Wayland Hui

Business Manager

Wayland started his career in clinical research industry as a CRA in Hong Kong in 1997, and has experience in monitoring, regional project management and line management in global pharma and CROs. Wayland joined NHSBT CTU as a Business Manager in Apr 2023.

Tel: 01223 588004

Email: Wayland.Hui@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Harriet Nye

Senior Clinical Trial Administrator

Harriet joined NHSBT as a Senior Clinical Trial Administrator in September 2023. Prior to this, she worked as a Clinical Trial Coordinator and Data Management Assistant at the Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research, where she specialised in phase III haematological cancer studies. She holds a BA (Hons) in English Language and Linguistics with Cognitive Science Studies from the University of Sussex.

Email: Harriet.Nye@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Kavya Baswana

Clinical Trial Administrator

Kavya joined NHSBT CTU in September 2023 following the completion of her MSc In Public Health at University of Northampton. Before moving to the U.K., she obtained a Doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD) from India. She is currently working on and supporting the SIGNET, PLANET-2, RESTORE clinical trials.

Email: Kavya.Baswana@nhsbt.nhs.uk

Our Quality Assurance Team

Katie Keen

GCP Quality Project Specialist

Katie has a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences from the University of Birmingham. She joined the QA team in July 2019 specifically to provide Quality Assurance support to the CTU by ensuring compliance with Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and the regulatory environment for clinical research. Katie joined NHSBT as a Senior Clinical Data Manager in 2018 and prior to that worked in safety and quality support at Cambridge University Hospitals specialising in applying the principles of root cause analysis to the investigation of serious patient incidents in areas of oncology, haematology and imaging. Katie has over 10 years' experience in clinical data management and clinical research gained in the biotechnology industry and contract research organisations, primarily in the fields of oncology and haematology.

Tel: 01223 588177

Email: Katie.Keen@nhsbt.nhs.uk

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