Our Team

Dr Anthony Byrne

Community Theme Lead, Wales Cancer Research Centre; Director MCPCRC & Thematic Lead: Rehabilitation & Cachexia

Anthony qualified in medicine from University College Dublin in 1988 and undertook his generalist post-graduate training in Dublin. He was awarded a Health Research Board Post Doctoral Fellowship in 1993 to study the effects of oxidative stress on cylo-oxygenase expression and function in endothelial cells, initially at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science in Dublin and later at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He moved to the UK in 1997 to complete higher specialist training in Palliative Medicine and became a consultant in 1999. He initiated the MSc in Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University as course coordinator from 2000-2008 and is a past co-chair of the South East Wales Clinical Palliative Care Network. He was Medical Director at the Marie Curie Hospice in Penarth from 2000-2010 and is currently consultant at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. His research interests lie in developing a sustainable research infrastructure, aspects of palliative rehabilitation and functioning, and patient experience. He is a NISCHR AHSC Clinical Research Fellow, Scientific Lead for Palliative Care Research at the Wales Cancer Trials Unit and member of the NCRI Palliative Care Clinical Studies Group and its Cachexia Subgroup.

Dr Annmarie Nelson

Dr Annmarie Nelson

Scientific Director MCPCRC & Thematic Lead: Patient Experience

Annmarie Nelson is the Scientific Director of the MCPCRC, managing the Centre on a day to day basis and leading on the thematic group, Patient Experience. Previously, she was acting Scientific Lead for palliative care clinical trials at the Wales Cancer Trials Unit, and continues to coordinate the palliative care portfolio with clinical colleague Dr Anthony Byrne, and acts as qualitative research lead for the unit. She is an honorary lecturer on the MSc Palliative Medicine course based at Cardiff University, acting as supervisor to students undertaking qualitative research projects. Nationally she is a member of the NCRI Pscho-oncology Clinical Studies Group, and chairs the sub-group, Side Effects and Interventions. She sits on the Marie Curie research board and represents Wales for a methodological group interested in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Annmarie is interested in the patient experieince at all levels and, as such, has initiated a range of qualitative studies linked to existing clinical trials, and works closely with Involving People to develop an active consumer group at the WCTU.

Prof Simon Noble

Thematic Lead: Thrombosis

Prof Simon Noble is Clinical Reader in Palliative Medicine and honorary consultant at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport. His main research interests are in the management of venous thromboembolism in advanced cancer, the anticancer effects of heparins and the quality of life associated with VTE. He is involved at a national level in the delivery of evidence based thromboprophylaxis for hospitalised patients through the All Party Thrombosis Group and the UK Thromboprophylaxis Forum. He is Trustee and Medical Director (Wales) for Lifeblood: the Thrombosis Charity and is currently chairing the All Wales HAT Prevention Steering Group .

He is co-director of the Thrombosis Research in Advanced Disease Alliance (TRADAlliance) a joint venture withHullYorkMedicalSchool, which is involved in developing thrombosis studies in the palliative care population. Internationally he sits on the ISTH Cancer Scientific Sub Committee and the Worldwide GCP Cancer Associated Thrombosis Guidelines.

Dr Despina Anagnostou

Marie Curie Research Fellow

Despina joined the MCPCRC in April 2014. She is a research fellow and also co-ordinates the PACT study, a multi-site, multistage qualitative study which looks at decision-making processes in advanced lung cancer. Despina is a qualified nurse and her research interests include decision-making in palliative care, support systems for carers and patients with advanced disease, longitudinal aspects and transitions within end of life care and palliative care in non-palliative care settings.

Dr Cathy Sampson

Qualitative Researcher

Cathy joined the WCTU as a qualitative researcher in May 2010, following completion of her PhD entitled "Stories in Isolation: The impact of gene discovery on families and professionals." Cathy is a qualified Occupational Therapist with experience within the NHS and the not for profit sector. She has worked with adults and children with incurable hereditary muscle conditions and as a research officer for the Myotonic Dystrophy Support Group. Cathy's research interests include narrative analysis, oncology and palliative care.

Dr Amanda Woodward

Senior Palliative Care Portfolio Developer

Amanda has over fifteen years management experience in clinical trials in a number of therapeutic areas. Her experience ranges from Phase I First into Man studies, where she managed Clinical Pharmacology Units, through to large multi-national Phase III trials, where she has worked as Project Director and held management positions in Medical Affairs, Safety and International Clinical Trial Applications.

Amanda is the Portfolio Developer for Palliative Care Research Studies and is the primary point of contact for anyone who is interested in developing a research idea in palliative care. Amanda acts as a central point of contact to the Welsh palliative care community to facilitate a coordinated, collaborative approach to high quality research activity in palliative care across Wales.

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