Rebecca Cardigan BSc PhD FRCPath
National Head of Component Development
Rebecca is a Clinical Scientist and has worked in haematology since 1992. Her main areas of scientific interest relate to the laboratory and clinical evaluation of major changes to blood component production and methods used to assess blood component quality. She has published nearly 100 papers in the area of haemostasis and transfusion. Rebecca received the BBTS Race & Sanger award in 2007 for an outstanding contribution to transfusion medicine, and is a section editor for Vox Sanguinis (Blood Collection and Production).
Tel: 01223 588085
Mike Wiltshire BSc MSc PhD
Component Development Laboratory Manager
Mike joined CDL in 2003, becoming the laboratory manager in January 2014. Mike has extensive experience in many aspects of blood component manufacture, storage and pathogen inactivation, having led or supervised numerous projects working on red cell, platelet and plasma components. Mike is responsible for the management and delivery of CDL’s programme of Research and Development, overseeing the operational aspects of projects, including ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines.
Tel: 01223 588124
Athina Meli BSc PhD
Athina holds a BSc in molecular biology a PhD in vascular biology. She joined the CDL in 2012 to work on suitable storage solutions for red cells grown from stem cells, and has led several studies in relation to the in vitro quality of red cells. She is currently working to understand the effect of a rare genetic variant on potassium leakage on red cell storage. Athina is an author on over 10 peer reviewed publications in Journals such as Blood, Transplantation, Transfusion and Vox Sanguinis and she has presented at national and international conferences including the British Blood Transfusion Society and the International Society of Blood Transfusion.
Tel: 01223 588922
Richard Alejo Blanco BSc PhD
Richard joined CDL in 2015, having previously been a Senior Research Associate at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, where he researched on the blood transfusion associated transmission of prion diseases. Since joining CDL, Richard’s focus has been on developing novel, quality monitoring parameters for blood components by utilising haematology analysers and flow cytometry. Richard has authored several publications including peer reviewed papers in PLOS Biology and Transfusion. He is a member of both the National External Quality Assurance Schemes (NEQAS) Leucocyte Immunophenotyping Steering Committee and NEQAS Haematology General Scientific Advisory Group.
Tel: 01223 588152
Peter Smethurst BSc PhD
Before joining CDL in 2014, Peter worked as a Senior Research Associate in the groups of Willem Ouwehand and Richard Farndale at the University of Cambridge, on the platelet collagen receptor, Glycoprotein VI, then on methods to measure gene variant effects in megakaryocytes and platelets. In NHSBT, Peter acts as a reference on platelet projects whilst seeking to build CDL translational research capacity. Peter is an author on >30 articles and has acted as a reviewer for Transfusion, Vox Sanguinis and Platelets. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences. In 2003, Peter received the British Blood Transfusion Society’s Race & Sanger Award.
Tel: 01223 588162
Sian Huish BSc PhD
Sian joined CDL in 2014 after completing a PhD in haemostasis. Sian specialises in the evaluation of the haemostatic potential of blood components for the treatment of major haemorrhage and trauma. She was involved in the assessment of a never-frozen plasma component, and is currently the lead scientist on a project to assess the feasibility of whole blood for use in the pre-hospital setting. Sian was the lead in an Innovate UK-funded project to assess plasma following filtration with an antibody-removal device which won the Institute for Continuous Improvement in Public Services Award in 2016.
Tel: 01223 588916
Lucy Bower BSc
Lucy joined CDL in 2010 as a component development scientist, and her focus has been on projects relating to plasma and cryoprecipitate and assays for their assessment. Lucy validated a new cryoprecipitate manufacturing process, which is now in use nationally. She led a study evaluating options for providing hospitals with a readily available plasma component for massive haemorrhage, and is currently working on further optimising cryoprecipitate. Lucy is first author on 3 peer reviewed publications in Transfusion and Vox Sanguinis and has presented at national and international conferences.
Tel: 01223 588049
Sue Proffitt MSc MIBMS
Sue joined NHSBT in 1990 after working in a hospital pathology environment as a biomedical scientist. She worked in Donation Testing before joining CDL in 2010. She has worked on several red cell and platelet projects and has led studies looking at washed red cells and novel red cell additive solutions. In 2013 Sue completed an MSc in Biomedical Science at Greenwich University. Most recently she has completed a large ongoing project on pathogen inactivation of platelets.
Tel: 01223 588149
Jenny Jolley BSc
Jenny began her scientific career at the University of Leicester as part of the Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry Laboratory working on the university’s internal DNA sequencing service. In 2001, she joined the Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory at the University, and in 2005 joined Professor Willem Ouwehand’s group, within the University of Cambridge at NHSBT, Cambridge Centre. During this time, she developed her interest in platelet biology. Jenny joined CDL as a scientist in June 2015. Her areas of scientific interest include red cell and platelet biology.
Tel: 01223 588709
Margaret McAndrew BSc
Maggie holds a BSc in Microbiology from the National University of Ireland, Galway. After graduating in 2013, Maggie worked in the manufacturing department of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service in Dublin before joining CDL in 2015. Maggie has been involved in many projects, and has led projects working with commercial partners. Most recently, Maggie has begun a research degree with the University of Sunderland within CDL. This research includes developing a model of traumatic coagulopathy as a means of testing the efficacy of components for transfusion and improve haemostasis.
Tel: 01223 588709
Lubosz Lewandowski MSc
Senior Healthcare Technical Officer
Lubosz gained a MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. After graduation Lubosz worked in in the manufacturing department and hospital services of Blood Donation Centre in Olsztyn, where he was liaising with hospitals and doctors, as well as taking part in production of special ordered blood components. Lubosz joined CDL team in 2019 and currently ongoing training necessary to support work of scientists in upcoming component development projects.
Tel: 01223 588146
Nadin Fathallah BSc, MSc, PhD
Nadin recently joined CDL in 2020. She holds an undergraduate BSc degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Brighton, after which she subsequently undertook a 1-year MSc in the field of Infectious Disease at the University of Kent. Nadin completed her PhD at Lancaster University, in the field of Neuroparasitology research, focusing on the blood-borne pathogen Trypanosoma brucei. After graduation, Nadin worked as part of a Wellcome Seed Award funded project investigating the immunometabolism of macrophages within the pleural cavity during Type-2 mediated inflammation & local helminth infection. Nadin is an author on several peer reviewed publications, and has presented at both national and international conferences.
Charis Brind BSc
Charis gained a BSc in Medical Science form the University of Exeter in 2018. After graduating, Charis worked in the Microbiology Lab at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, preparing and processing patient samples. Charis Joined the CDL team in 2020. Her areas of interest include Red Blood Cell and Platelet immunology.
Hardeep Singh BSc
Laboratory Support Manager
Hardeep joined the Component Development laboratory in 2020, becoming the Laboratory Support Manager. Previously, he was the Microbiology Team Leader at ALS. Hardeep’s role in NHSBT includes the management of equipment and technical support for CDL as well as for the University of Cambridge R&D laboratories based in the Cambridge Blood Centre.
Nina Herbert-Trevitt RGN/EN
Senior Clinical Research Project Lead
Nina is a trained level 1 Registered Nurse originally specialising in liver and kidney transplantation. Since 2002 she has worked in clinical research. For the past 10 years Nina has lead clinical research projects, 8 of those for NHSBT and University of Cambridge. Her previous studies have included a clinical study examining whether variation in platelet activity in blood donors affects the clinical outcome from platelet transfusion. She is currently the clinical lead for a phase 1 trial assessing red cells that have been grown in the laboratory.
Tel: 01223 588134
Melanie Munro BSc DPhil
Programme Manager, Universal Plasma Project
Melanie joined CDL in September 2019 in the role of programme manager for the Universal Plasma programme. Melanie started as a bench molecular biologist in the field of neuroscience before moving into scientific project management. She has 10 years experience of leading pre-clinical drug discovery programmes at GlaxoSmithKline and over 5 years experience of product development projects, and leading a team of project managers, at Abcam. Melanie is a qualified Prince2 practitioner, Prince2Agile practitioner and a full member of the Association of Project Managers (the chartered body for the project profession).
Tel: 01223 588921
Research and Development (R&D) staff
Lesley Bruce BSc(Hons) PhD
Research Scientist – Project Leader
Lesley is a clinical scientist, working in haematology since 1990. She is currently laboratory manager at the Bristol Institute for Transfusion Sciences, NHSBT Filton R&D and a member of the National Institute for Health Research, Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Red Blood Cell Products. Her main areas of scientific interest relate to the structure and function of the red cell membrane, red cell membrane variants and their molecular causes, in vitro culture of red cells and reticulocyte maturation, and red cell storage and the pathological conditions that affect their storage. Lesley has published more than 50 papers.
Tel: 0117 921 7837
Gyongyver Gyorffy BSc(Hons) MSc
Research Assistant and PhD student
Gyongyver (Pearl) completed her undergraduate studies in biomedical science and holds an MSc in Cancer Sciences from the University of Glasgow. She is currently a second year PhD student at the University of Bristol, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Red Blood Cell Products, and working under the supervision of Dr Lesley Bruce at NHSBT, Filton. Pearl received a Margaret Kenwright Award in 2018 for her abstract titled ‘CRISPR-Cas9 mediated generation of a complete stomatin knockout BEL-A cell line’.
Christian Jannete Stevens Hernandez BSc MSc
Research Assistant and PhD student
Christian (Jannete) began working as a research assistant in the Bristol Institute for Transfusion Sciences at NHSBT, Filton in 2016. She holds a BSc degree in biomedical sciences (anatomy) from Cardiff University and an MSc in Transfusion and Transplantation Sciences from University of Bristol. She is currently undertaking a PhD in the “Development and Storage of Red Blood Cells” at the University of Bristol, funded by the NHSBT, and working under the supervision of Dr Lesley Bruce at NHSBT, Filton. Christian completed her MSc thesis in the H&I laboratory in Filton.
Tel: 01179 9217554
Business management and administration
Personal Assistant (PA)
Catherine joined CDL in 2020 after working as a PA for Public Health England’s National Infection Service. She has held PA roles in a variety of public sector and NHS organisations including hospitals, community services, mental health trusts, education and local government. Catherine provides PA support to Rebecca Cardigan and Mike Wiltshire and wider admin support to the CDL team.
Tel: 01223 588123