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 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 Senior Research Associate at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, responsible for the day to day management of a number of Department of Health funded projects and their associated staff. Since joining CDL, Richard’s focus has been on developing novel quality monitoring parameters for various blood component using flow cytometry and haematology analysers. He is a member of two 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 for 17 years as a Senior Research Associate in the University of Cambridge. Peter led a team that identified important aspects of the platelet collagen receptor Glycoprotein VI, has worked to establish methods to measure the effects of gene variants on transcription in megakaryocytes, and most recently has established a process for rejuvenation of red cells within NHSBT to support a clinical trial. In 2003, Peter received the British Blood Transfusion Society’s Race & Sanger Award for outstanding contribution to Transfusion Medicine.
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
Chloe Cavagnetto BSc
After gaining a BSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Reading in 2012, Chloe worked in the pathology labs of the Royal Berkshire Hospital until joining CDL in 2014. Since then, she has been involved in various projects looking at platelet component manufacture. Chloe has a special interest in flow validation of new assays to support the laboratory.
During her time in CDL Chloe has passed the BBTS Specialist Certificate in Transfusion Science Practice with distinction, and is currently studying for an MSc in Biomedical Science with the University of Greenwich.
Tel: 01223 588110
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
Luke George BSc
Senior Healthcare Technical Officer
Luke graduated in 2014 with a BSc Hons in Biomedical Science (Human Health). He joined CDL in 2016, and was awarded the Margaret Kenwright Young Scientist Award by the BBTS for the work he contributed on quality monitoring of red cell concentrates using different analysis platforms. This culminated in presenting the data at the British Blood Transfusion Society (BBTS) annual conference in 2017. Luke is currently completing distance learning modules via London Metropolitan University and an Institute of Biomedical Science portfolio, with a view to practicing as a registered biomedical scientist.
Tel: 01223 588146
Marie Anne Balanant MEng Biotech PhD
Marie joined CDL in 2018, after completing her PhD at the Transfusion Safety Research Laboratory of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology. During her PhD, she worked on characterising red cell morphological and mechanical properties as they age in storage and presented her results in several peer-reviewed journals and conferences including the International Society of Blood Transfusion in 2017.
Tel: 01223 588110
Rebecca Mellor BSc
Rebecca graduated in 2015 with a BSc Hons in Applied Biomedical Sciences from The University of Hertfordshire, and subsequently registered as a biomedical scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council. She worked within the Blood Sciences Laboratory in the Hospital Pathology setting, before specialising in Blood Transfusion, with a particular interest in haemostasis. Rebecca joined CDL in 2017 and has worked on studies involving platelet quality, involving assay validations for quality parameters and evaluating pooled platelet manufacture. Rebecca will be working on a 3 year externally funded project related to the development of blood group Universal Plasma.
Tel: 01223 588709
Carly Kempster BSc
Scientist (Whole Blood Project)
Carly joined CDL at the start of 2019 as a component development scientist.
Her previous experience at the University of Cambridge involved contributions in the generation and analysis of large quantitative platelet and neutrophil function cohorts in healthy donor and cardiovascular disease patients. Carly has extensive experience in flow cytometry and platelet biology.
Carly will be supporting and specialising in the evaluation of blood components and platelets for the treatment of major haemorrhage and trauma in a pre-hospital setting.
Carly.Kempster@nhsbt.nhs.uk 01223 588912
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
Project Manager, Universal Plasma Project
Will joined NHSBT in 2018 in the role of Project Manager for the Universal Plasma Project. Previous roles have included project management at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) and operational management within CUH Emergency department. Will has over 8 years experience working in a healthcare environment on high profile projects. He has a degree in Public Service Management and is a qualified PRINCE and change management practitioner.
Tel: 01223 588104
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
Donna joined CDL in 2014, having worked in NHSBT since 2005. She is responsible for assisting with project management, recruitment, monitoring of controlled documents and laboratory equipment, contracts, website content, finance & budget monitoring and PA to Dr Wiltshire.
Prior to joining NHSBT, Donna worked for HSBC (formerly Midland Bank) where she was a Mortgage and Business Financial advisor for over 20 years.
Tel: 01223 588104
Victoria Cooper BSc
Vikki joined NHSBT in 2017 as the Senior PA to Dr Cardigan. She is responsible for diary management, meeting arrangement, organising national and international travel and accommodation for all of CDL, minute taking and general admin support for the department. In 2015 Vikki graduated from the University of Kent with a BSc in Forensic Science. She worked for East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust as a procurement assistant technical officer and aseptic purchasing clerk.
Tel: 01223 588123