Our Team

Kristen Thomas

Marie Curie Centre Administrator

Kristen joined the MCPCRC in October 2010 as PA to the Director and Deputy Director. In May 2011, Kristen took on the permanent role of Research Administrator for the MCPCRC and provides administrative support for all members of staff within the centre. In addition, Kristen is also pursuing a Psychology degree at the Open University.



Dr Jim Fitzgibbon

Volunteer Research Partner Coordinator

Jim was already known to the Wales Cancer Trials Unit as a Reserach Partner through his involvement in Trial Management and Steering Groups and was invited to become the Research Partner Coordinator in January 2011. He comes from a senior position in education which allows him to transfer his skills to this voluntary role. On a day to day basis this includes the recruitment of Research Partners to trials and providing support for both the Research Partners and Trial Managers in this aspect of their work.

Dr Mirella Longo

Research Associate

Mirella joined the MCPCRC in August 2016. Mirella has a background in Economics and a PhD in Health Economics where she used a mixed-method approach to study how to elicit patient’s preferences for health care. Mirella was previously a lecturer at Swansea University, a health economist researcher at University of South Wales and for three years she was seconded to Cardiff University to work for the Research Design and Conduct Service (RDCS). Mirella contributes to undergraduate and post-graduate teaching including the MSc in Palliative Care. Mirella is currently working on the PACT study and she would like to develop research around economics of end of life, eliciting patients’ preferences for healthcare, economic evaluation of end-of-life interventions and synthesis of economic evidence.

Mala Mann

Systematic Reviewer

Mala is part of the team conducting rapid reviews to support professionals and other decision makers working in palliative care with the newly established Palliative Care Evidence Review Service (PaCERS) funded by the Wales Cancer Research Centre. In addition to this, she is involved with the Marie Curie Palliative Care  Research Centre carrying out evidence synthesis work.

Mala is an Information Specialist / Systematic Reviewer with considerable experience in undertaking a wide range of systematic reviews and other evidence review projects in public health, clinical and social care, over many years. She has worked on evidence review projects for a range of organisations including the Welsh Government, NICE, NSPCC and Public Health Wales.

Alisha Newman

Research Associate

Alisha joined the Wales Cancer Research Centre (WCRC) as a Research Associate in October 2016. She has worked in the oncology field for over ten years and has extensive experience of co-ordinating public participation in programmes of research designed to influence service development and organisational strategy in the public and third sector. Alisha is responsible for supporting the development of social care research in cancer in older people. The post is hosted by the MCPCRC as part of the Palliative and Supportive Care package, within the Community theme of the WCRC.

Dr Ishrat Islam

Research Associate

Ishrat joined the MCPCRC as a Project Officer in April 2017, following completion of her PhD entitled "Effects of a participant-led physical activity intervention on physical performance of Bangladeshi women”. She has experience of research in the University of Bath and within the NHS. She has a background in Economics and worked as a researcher in the Health Economics Unit of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB) for 7 years. She was actively involved in project management of the DAB health care delivery programme. Ishrat is a member of the PaCERS team (Palliative Care Evidence Review Service), a rapid review service funded by Welsh Government to support professionals and other decision-makers working in palliative care. Ishrat’s research interests include health promotion of vulnerable people, research management, physical activity and palliative care, and evaluation of intervention.

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