Our Research Teams


Research Teams at ESNEFT

Following our merger of Colchester and Ipswich hospitals in July 2018 we have successfully integrated our research teams, creating a single leadership and administration structure for research across our Trust.

Our highly experienced Research & Development office has combined experience of over 50 years of leadership, set up and ongoing management of research within the NHS.

Our integrated team has very experienced nurse and practitioner team leaders who have expertise in research and study delivery managing our research teams across the two hospital sites.

They oversee the day-to-day running of research studies and ensure that the patients enrolled in the studies receive the best care possible. Many patients involved research studies are seen in hospital for many years and the research nurses/practitioners are often the first points of contact for these patients. We are on track to increase research recruitment by 22% in the first year.

Organisational Chart for ESNEFT Research Unit

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Trust Board Director and executive lead for Research

Director of Strategy Research and Innovation – Dr Shane Gordon shane.gordon@ESNEFT.nhs.uk

Clinical Director of Research – Dr Richard Smith richard.smith@ipswichhospital.nhs.uk

Head of Research – Frances Farnworth – frances.farnworth@ESNEFT.nhs.uk

Clinical Research Nurse Lead – Anita Immanuel – anita.immanuel@ESNEFT.nhs.uk


Research delivery teams

Many of our doctors, nurses and practitioners are involved in national and international research studies and six teams of specialist research nurses, practitioners and administrative staff support them. Our research programmes run across all disciplines from diagnosis to treatment to supportive care. This enables us to offer to our patients’ possible new treatments or procedures, which may widen their treatment options. The same clinical and research teams care for our patients during their course of treatment and follow up within the research study.


Oncology Research Team

Celine Driscoll

Celine Driscoll: Senior Therapeutic Radiographer/Team Leader.

Celine is an experienced therapeutic radiographer and enjoys her varied role within the radiotherapy department and clinical research. She heads up an enthusiastic and committed group responsible for looking after the complex needs of oncology patients on clinical trials. As a team leader she has oversight of several ongoing research studies and liaises with different departments within the hospital as they carry out their work needed to successfully progress trials. Celine’s role within the team includes identifying and facilitating new studies and ensuring the portfolio of studies is balanced to ensure the needs of as many potential cancer patients as possible are met. She spent 10 years working on the radiotherapy machines in the department, so has a great understanding of the challenges different patients can present, and how research studies can potentially assist them. Celine enjoys the opportunities she is able to give patients through trials at what can be a very difficult and challenging time in their lives and considers it a privilege to work in cancer research.

Haematology research team

Nyasha Nago

Nyasha Nago: Senior Research Nurse/Team Leader

Nyasha is an experienced nurse and leads the Haematology Research Team at Colchester. Nyasha has completed a Masters of Science in Adult Nursing from the University of Essex and has additional qualifications in haematology and research. The expert haematology research team undertake a number of clinical research studies in cancer of the blood. The team recruit patients to research studies for haematological cancers such as myeloma, leukaemia, lymphoma and some precancerous conditions. Nyasha ensures that she and her team are kept abreast of the latest developments and advancements in haematology research. Nyasha ensures that the portfolio of studies is equally distributed in order to be able to offer patients an opportunity to take part in research and access novel treatments.

Generic research team

Alison o'kelly

Alison O’Kelly: Senior Research Nurse/Team Leader

Alison qualified as a nurse in 1986 and has worked in many disciplines before moving to specialise stroke twenty years ago. She has gained additional qualifications in stroke management and has enjoyed being an acute stroke nurse prior to embarking on a career in research. As a dedicated stroke nurse, she was aware of how various research studies have benefited patients over the years. She has been active in clinical research in stoke for the past seven years. She has had the opportunity to be part of a team writing and carrying out their own research. She has witnessed the results of research studies and the benefits of its implementation in clinical practice; She now leads the Generic research team at Colchester covering a wide range of disciplines and this has enabled patients to have the opportunity to take part in the research studies.


Cancer research team

Paul Ridley

Paul Ridley: Senior Clinical Research Practitioner/Team Leader

Paul Ridley joined Ipswich Hospital in 2003 and now leads the cancer research team as Senior Clinical Research Practitioner.  He has a BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology and prior to clinical research had a number of academic and industry research posts in histopathology, cancer cell biology, genomics and biotechnology. The  Cancer research team comprises research nurses, practitioners, radiographers, data managers and coordinators. We usually have 30 plus cancer studies open to recruitment at any one time and several more in the follow-up phase. These are a mix of observational and interventional studies across the main tumour sites. The majority of these studies are academic but we like to have a number of commercial studies too.  We also have non-malignant dermatology studies, mainly for psoriasis.

Generic research team

Stephanie Bell: Senior Research Nurse/Team Leader

Stephanie has been leading the Generic research team at Ipswich since 2016. Steph has 16 years of experience as a CCU nurse at Ipswich with a passion for acute care nursing which she has always enjoyed. She has prior experience of working as a neurosurgical research nurse and in CCU working on observational and interventional research multicentre RCT in device, CTIMPS and Management pathways.  Her team cover a wide range of studies over many specialities recruiting outpatients and inpatients, collaboratively working within many departments. She has enjoyed introducing research to new specialities and working with new investigators and would like to spread research activity to research naïve areas to give the wider public the opportunity to be part of the research.

Diabetes research team

Jo Rosier

Jo Rosier: Lead Diabetes Research Nurse/Team leader

Jo is an experienced clinical nurse with a background in orthopaedics, renal medicine, vascular surgery and endocrinology. Prior to this appointment, she was a nurse lead for a Clinical Investigation Unit. Jo is involved in all aspects of participant care in commercial and academic research.  Jo is the first point of contact for any queries from study participants and study sponsors. She leads on planning the logistics and smooth running of studies – from the demands of planning recruitment strategies to organising clinics. She has a proven record of accomplishment in delivering studies to time and target. She has experience of multiple types of studies within diabetes, including interventional and observational studies. The majority of studies are CTIMPs and device studies.


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