Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield, Director, Professor of Psycho-Oncology
Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield DBE, BSc, DPhil, F.Med.Sci.
Tel: (UK) 01273 873015, (International) +44 1273 873015
Lesley Fallowfield trained at Guy's Hospital London as a nurse before completing a degree in Experimental Psychology. Research for her DPhil in Psychophysics was done at the Universities of Sussex and Cambridge. Her primary research interests include:
- Assessment of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) in clinical trials of cancer therapy.
- Development and assessment of supportive interventions for symptoms and side-effects of cancer and its treatment.
- Communication - development and evaluation of innovative training course and materials to assist health care professionals' communicating with patients, their families and with clinical colleagues.
Professor Valerie Jenkins, Deputy Director
Professor Valerie Jenkins DPhil, BSc, SRN
Tel: (UK) 01273 873016, (International) +44 1273 873016
Professor Valerie Jenkins is the Deputy Director in Sussex Health Outcomes, Research & Education in Cancer. She originally trained as a nurse in Wales, working in Oncology at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff and then completed her BSc (1986-1989) and DPhil (1993-1996) in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex. Her doctorate in neuropsychology was entitled 'Novel Word Association Priming in Amnesic Patients.'
She has worked with Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield’s group for the last 20 years, first at University College London and then when it transferred to University of Sussex. Professor Jenkins has worked extensively on research projects aimed at improving our understanding about doctor/patient communication, especially that around randomised clinical trials. The training materials she developed with colleagues are now being used throughout the UK trials community and in other parts of the world. She has also been the principle investigator for several studies examining the impact of chemotherapy and aromatase inhibitors on cognition in national and international trials, and also the effectiveness of acupuncture to ameliorate xerostomia in patients treated for head and neck cancer, and yoga for women recovering from breast cancer surgery.
Dr Helena Harder, Senior Research Fellow
Dr Helena Harder PhD, MSc
Tel: (UK) 01273 873028, (International) +44 1273 873028
After her MSc in Psychology (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) Helena completed a PhD at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2007. She worked for many years within academic research and clinical practice and has been an HCPC-registered Clinical Psychologist since 2011.
Her research interests include understanding the effects of cancer treatment on cognitive functioning and QoL (particularly in bone marrow or haematopoietic stem cell transplant and breast cancer). Other interests focus on the benefits of complementary treatment (i.e. yoga) after cancer treatment, measuring treatment-related side-effects (e.g. chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea, anxiety in older stroke survivors, and the use of mHealth (i.e. smartphone apps) in cancer recovery and rehabilitation.
Dr Sally Wheelwright, Senior Research Fellow
Dr Sally Wheelwright PhD, MA
Tel: (UK) 01273 873024, (International) +44 1273 873024
Following a degree in Natural Sciences (Experimental Psychology) at the University of Cambridge, Sally Wheelwright remained in Cambridge to research reading development for a year followed by 15 years of autism research. In 2010, she moved to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton to develop quality of life questionnaires and complete a PhD, focussing on cancer cachexia (uncontrolled, unintentional weight loss and muscle wasting). In 2017, Sally joined the Macmillan Survivorship Research Group in Health Sciences, University of Southampton to work on prospective longitudinal cohort studies exploring the recovery of health and wellbeing in adults diagnosed with cancer.
Sally joined SHORE-C in October 2021. Her research interests centre round supporting self-management of nutritional care in people with cancer and long term conditions, along with quality of life assessment, health literacy and developing digital interventions.
Dr Valerie Shilling, Senior Research Fellow
Dr Valerie Shilling PhD, BA, CPsychol, AFBPsS
Tel: (UK) 01273 873034, (International) +44 1273 873034
Val completed her undergraduate degree and PhD in psychology at Manchester University. Her PhD looked at cognitive changes with normal ageing. Her research career has included adult psychosocial oncology, child health and childhood disability. She has worked on a number of projects in psychosocial oncology including studies looking at the impact of chemotherapy and hormone therapies on cognitive function, and the development and validation of patient reported outcome measures for cancer patients and their caregivers. Most recently Val has been Programme Manager for the national Cancer Quality of Life Survey at the NHS Cancer Programme. She re-joined SHORE-C in April 2023.
Lucy Matthews, Research Fellow
Lucy Matthews BSc
Tel: (UK) 01273 877919, (International) +44 1273 877919
After completing her BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry with Neurobiology Lucy was a scientist for 12 years. After graduation she worked at the Forensic Science Service in London as an Assistant Forensic Scientist. She then gained a position as a research scientist at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in Sutton specialising in prostate cancer. Lucy became involved in clinical trials at the ICR whilst working with the Drug Development Unit and Prostate Team at the Royal Marsden Hospital. She was responsible for coordinating the laboratory side of many biomarker based phase II clinical trials. Lucy joined the unit in December 2012 to focus on breast cancer studies. She is the QoL coordinator for many of our new breast cancer studies.
Rachel Starkings, Research Fellow
Rachel Starkings MSc, BA
Tel: (UK) 01273 873023, (International) +44 1273 873023
Rachel completed her undergraduate degree at the Harriet L Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University with a double major in Psychology and Political Science. She completed a thesis examining the impact of an event's emotional valence on memory and whether there was a difference in binding errors across age groups. Following on from this, Rachel undertook an MSc at the University of Plymouth with a qualitative dissertation on the categorization of 'home' in relation to the natural environment. Rachel went on to work at The Royal Marsden as a Senior Trial Coordinator for both the Head, Neck and Thyroid group as well as the Renal and Melanoma firm where she was involved in numerous clinical trials, both academic and commercial in nature.
Qi Ying Lean, Research Fellow
Qi Ying Lean, PhD, MPharmSc, MBA, BPharm (Hons)
Tel: (UK) 01273 873246, (International) +44 1273 873246
Qi Ying Lean studied for her BSc in Pharmacy at the University of Malaya, Malaysia and obtained a Master and PhD in pharmacy from the University of Tasmania, Australia. Qi started her career as a hospital pharmacist in Penang General Hospital. She then secured an academic position as a pharmacy lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia, training pharmacy dispensing technicians and professional pharmacists. She was also involved in research covering both the academic and pharmacy fields. She also later acquired an MBA to broaden her perspective in the business world.
Fuelled by her firm belief in the role of self-management which is crucial in improving patients’ health, well-being and quality of life, she is continuously working on research and awareness programs of disease self-management, promoting the role of healthcare providers and the public on self-care and proper use of medication.
Shirley May, Senior Data Manager
Shirley May MSc, BA
Tel: (UK) 01273 873032, (International) +44 1273 873032
Shirley did a BA in Philosophy at the University of Sussex. After completing her degree she worked locally in the voluntary sector and at the University. She then moved to Barcelona to teach English. Returning after six years, she completed an MSc in Information Systems and set up as a freelance database and software programmer working in the business and voluntary sectors. Shirley joined SHORE-C in June 2014 to develop the Unit's data management infrastructure, its online data collection and the website. As well as database development, web programming, and data analysis, she manages the quality and security of SHORE-C's data, and ensures good practice in study data management.
Dr Ruth Habibi, Data Manager
Dr Ruth Habibi, PhD, MRes, BA
Tel: (UK) 01273 876802, (International) +44 1273 876802
Ruth completed her BA in Applied Psychology, MRes in Psychological Research Methods and PhD in Psychology at the University of Sussex. Since then she has worked as a Research Assistant in the department of Health and Social Care at Kingston University and St George’s University of London on a series of research projects investigating support services for family carers; as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Dementia studies at BSMS on a project investigating quality of life in people with dementia and their carers; and more recently as a Research Coordinator at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, coordinating delivery of a portfolio of studies at East Surrey Hospital.
Ruth joined SHORE-C in July 2022. She manages the data and documentation of various SHORE-C studies and helps develop the Unit's data infrastructure.
Holly Cowlan, Senior Research Administrator
Holly Cowlan, MA, BA
Tel: (UK) 01273 873019, (International) +44 1273 873019
Holly completed a joint honours BA at the University of Sussex in English Literature and Theatre Studies. After her BA, Holly took a gap year, working at Primark Brighton as Retail Assistant and later Cash Office Finance Officer. In 2020 she returned to the University of Sussex to complete an MA in Sexual Dissidence. After completing her MA in 2021, Holly joined the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts team and later joined SHORE-C in January 2022.
Anna Neri, Assistant Administrator
Anna Neri, BA
Tel: (UK) 01273 873017, (International) +44 1273 873017
Anna studied Languages and Tourism Sciences at the University of Calabria, Italy. While completing her BA in 2014, she took part in the EU Lifelong Learning Programme “Leonardo da Vinci” – Mobility Europass Project in Prague, where she started her career in hospitality. In 2015 she moved to the UK where she branched out her customer service and administrative skills to retail and the private estates sector. She joined the SHORE-C team in March 2023.