Professor Melanie Davies, CBE
Internationally recognised a leading expert in diabetes medicine, Professor Melanie Davies CBE is the Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, Director of the NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre Leicester and Co-Lead of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre, while remaining a prolific researcher at the University of Leicester and a practising Consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
Professor Davies has made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of diabetes and was awarded a CBE for services to diabetes research in 2016. Through the publication of over 800 original articles, which have been cited around 80,000 times, she has a personal H-Index of 122. She has also secured over £100m of grant funding.
Professor Davies’ research interests include the causes, screening, prevention self-management and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. An NIHR Senior Investigator, Melanie is the Principal Investigator on a large number of global studies in the field of diabetes, obesity, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and cardiovascular disease and co-morbidity, and was co-chair of the ‘Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes consensus report’ by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in 2022.
Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak DBE, MD, FRCP, FAHA, FRSE, FMedSci
Chief Scientist (Health) for the Scottish Government and Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Glasgow.
With major research interests in hypertension, cardiovascular genomics, and precision medicine.
Professor Dominiczak is a world-leading cardiovascular scientist and clinical academic. She has published extensively in top peer-reviewed journals (over 500 publications, an h-index of 118). Between 2010 and 2020 she was Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Anna developed new clinical academic campus at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where she led a triple helix partnership between academia, the NHS and industry to accelerate innovation, maximize patient benefits and economic growth.
Dame Anna is a member of several editorial boards and, from 2012 – 2022, was Editor-in-Chief of Hypertension, journal of the American Heart Association, currently she is Editor-in Chief of Precision Medicine, a new Prism journal of the Cambridge Press.
In March 2020, Anna led the establishment of Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow to provide rapid Covid–19 diagnostics, and then was asked to become Director of Laboratories at the UK Department of Health and Social Care to lead all 10 Lighthouse Laboratories across the UK, the role she fulfilled until 2022.
In July 2022 she was appointed as a Chief Scientist for health for the Scottish Government as a secondment from the University.
Personalised Cancer Prevention & Treatment
Professor Dean Fennell
Professor Fennell is a clinician scientist in the Hope Cancer Trials centre, focusing on clinical and translational research in the field of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, with cases having risen over the last three decades in the UK. He is currently the world’s leading expert in mesothelioma based on research citations.
Dr Radek Debiec
Dr Debiec graduated from Medical University in Lodz Poland in 2006 and obtained my PhD at the University of Leicester 09/07/2013 for the project: Analysis of genetic variation within urotensin-II system in regulation of blood pressure and renal function, and since 2019 has been working as an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Leicester and Specialty Trainee in Adult Congenital Heart Disease at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre.
Dr Samuel Cai
Dr Cai was medically trained in preventive medicine in China, and later obtained his MSc in epidemiology and PhD in environmental epidemiology from Imperial College London. He completed post-doctoral research fellowships at both Imperial College London and University of Oxford, focusing on air pollution epidemiological studies in UK, China and Africa.
He joined the Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability, University of Leicester, as a Lecturer in environmental epidemiology in 2021.
His research focuses on broader environmental determinants (air/noise pollution, urban built environment, climate factors, amongst others) on population and patient health in both high-income and low-and-middle-income countries.
Dr Tom Wilkinson
Dr Wilkinson is a Research Fellow based in the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital.
His research focuses on multiple long-term conditions and multimorbidity with a specific interest in frailty sarcopenia and kidney disease. He has a background in exercise physiology and is interested in the role of lifestyle interventions in those living with chronic disease.
Data Innovation for Multiple Long-term Health Conditions and Ethnic Health
Professor Martin Tobin
Professor Tobin is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Leicester where he leads the Genetic Epidemiology Group. He leads a programme of research on the genomics of common, complex diseases and traits, including lung health, COPD, and multiple long term conditions.
He has established, led and co-led research consortia, including UK BiLEVE, the first genetic study in UK Biobank, and collaborative efforts in Genomics England and Health Data Research UK. He continues to lead a successful cohort study, EXCEED, and the international SpiroMeta consortium focused on the genetics of lung function and COPD.
Key interests including early career research training, mentorship, public engagement and supporting genomics-driven precision medicine in non-European ancestries. He is Director of the 4-year PhD Programme in Genomic Epidemiology and Public Health Genomics funded by the Wellcome Trust. Martin has contributed to key funding panels, including for the Wellcome Trust and MRC, and advisory panels, chairing the Governance Committee of the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research Training in Genomics Data Science.
Respiratory and Infection
Dr Sarah Diver
Dr Diver is a trainee in respiratory medicine and clinical academic here at the NIHR Leicester BRC. Her research interests include clinical trials in asthma, with particular focus on mechanisms of disease beyond T2 inflammation including how interactions between the host, the airway microbiome and external environmental exposures can lead to clinical expression of disease.
She previously led the CASCADE experimental medicine study, providing key evidence for the mechanism of action of anti-TSLP in severe asthma, and was early career member of the 2017 ERS/ATS international guideline group for severe asthma.
Dr Hamish McAuley
Dr Hamish McAuley is a recently appointed NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer and respiratory medicine trainee.
He works closely with Dr Neil Greening and the Centre for Exercise and Rehabilitation Science (CERS) to develop mechanistic understanding and test potential interventions to ameliorate muscle loss and prevent sarcopenia among individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) with a focus on identifying biomarkers to better target future therapies.
To date Hamish has worked closely in helping to deliver the PHOSP-COVID Study, a large cohort study to better understand the sequelae following hospitalisation for COVID-19, and the COPD-HELP study, an interventional trial testing Mepolizumab to prevent severe acute exacerbations of COPD among individuals with evidence of eosinophilic inflammation.
Dr Linzy Houchon-Wolloff
Senior Research Physiotherapist
Dr Houchen-Wolloff has worked in the field of rehabilitation for almost 17 years and is a Senior Research Physiotherapist within the Centre for Exercise and Rehabilitation Science (CERS) at UHL and Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Respiratory Sciences, University of Leicester. Linzy graduated from Coventry University in 2006 with a first-class honour’s degree in Physiotherapy. She was successfully awarded her PhD in 2012 with the thesis entitled ‘the effects of resistance training and protein ingestion on skeletal muscle function in COPD.’
Dr Houchen-Wolloff is a co-investigator on several departmental projects, working alongside the clinical Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Teams and lead investigator on a multisite study funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme. Her areas of interest and expertise include exercise testing in patients with COPD and heart failure, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, long Covid, self-management, patient and public involvement (PPI) and quantitative methodology. She is also an active member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and chairs the web committee of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Assembly.
More recently, Dr Houchen-Wolloff has taken on leadership roles within UHL as Research Lead for Therapies, PPI lead for the PHOSP-COVID study and Assistant Training Lead for AHPs within the Capacity Development Platform of the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
Dr Gillian Doe
Dr Natalie Darko
Director of Inclusion at the NIHR Leicester BRC
Dr Natalie Darko, Associate Professor of Health Inequalities, at the University of Leicester and Director of Inclusion at the Leicester National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre.
Dr Natalie Darko specialises in health research and practice that addresses equality, equity, and inclusion of underrepresented and minority groups. She has extensive experience in leading and delivering research within the field of health inequalities, of which her current research projects focus on maternal health, womb cancer, social prescribing, diabetes, faith-based interventions, and dementia. She supports researchers, organisations and practitioners on how to work collaboratively with and for underserved and minority groups to inform equitable health and research practice.
Professor Sally Singh
Director of Training and Capacity Development at the NIHR Leicester BRC
Professor Sally Singh is the Head of Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, with roles at the University of Leicester’s Department of Respiratory Sciences and Coventry University’s School of Physiotherapy.
Her research specialisms include pulmonary rehabilitation and digital interventions to support rehabilitation and recovery. Alongside the team from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS, Sally has been working with national clinical leaders to build the ground breaking ‘Your Covid Recovery’ online service and is now working with the NHS nationally to roll it out across the country.
Professor Singh is leading the development and delivery of rehabilitation for patients with chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease, including face-to-face and home-based interventions.