The Scientific Advisory Board



Dame Jessica Corner

Professor Dame Jessica Corner is Professor of Cancer & Supportive Care.  She joined the University of Nottingham on 1st January 2016 as PVC (Research & Knowledge Exchange).  Jessica has over 30 years experience in Higher Education.  One of the first students to graduate with a degree in Nursing from London University, she went on to specialise in Cancer Nursing at the Royal Marsden Hospital.  She gained her PhD in 1990 from Kings College London.  She was Director of the Centre of Cancer and Palliative care Studies and Deputy Dean (Nursing) at the Institute of Cancer Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital for 12 years and was the first nurse to be appointed to a Chair at the Institute.  She joined the University of Southampton in 2002.  In 2005 she was seconded to Macmillan Cancer Support to work as Director of Improving Cancer Services returning to Southampton University in 2008 to become Head of the School of Health Sciences.  She was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Southampton University from 2010 until December 2015.

Jessica continues to hold a number of key national roles.  She is Chair of the Council of Deans for Health and Chair of HEFCE UK Health Education Advisory Committee (UKHEAC).  She was awarded a DBE in 2014 for services to Health Care Research and Education and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015.


Board members

Belinda Lennox

Belinda Lennox is Associate Professor and Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Oxford, and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director NIHR CRN Thames Valley and South Midlands. Belinda’s research is on the causes and treatment of psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There is an urgent need to discover the basis of these illnesses, and to develop new treatments. Belinda is exploring the neuro-immunological basis of psychotic disorders and runs a joint psychiatry- neuroimmunology clinic with Dr Camilla Buckley at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust for treating people with psychosis and antibodies, run alongside Professor Angela Vincent’s neuroimmunology laboratory. Belinda is an academic lead for the Early Intervention in psychosis service for Oxford Health NHS FT and leads the evaluation and implementation of early intervention in psychosis services across the Thames Valley through the NIHR CLAHRC for Oxford and Oxford AHSN Early Intervention in Mental Health Network.


Catherine Sackley

Cath Sackley is Head of Physiotherapy, Professor of Rehabilitation and Deputy Head of Division in Health and Social Care Research at Kings College London. She is an NIHR Senior Investigator and trialist who specialises in the evaluation of complex and behavioural interventions. Her research focuses on the problems experienced by older people and people with stroke and neurological disease living in the community. Her team works closely with older people and her work has informed clinical practice, particularly for the residents of care homes. It covers common daily problems, such as incontinence, diffculties with mobility and other activities of daily living. The group has supported research capacity development within the NHS and Cath has supervised over twenty-five training awards for Allied Health Professionals.



Geoff Stone

Geoff’s background is in Education having obtained a first degree from the University of London and a Masters Degree from Nottingham University. He has been a carer for many years and involved with mental health research/PPI for over ten years. During this time he has been involved with Research Governance, research carried out by UCL and the Institute of Psychiatry as well as participating in various working groups and staff training/selection. Geoff joined CLAHRC as PPI Adviser in 2014


Jenny van der Steen

Jenny van der Steen is an epidemiologist working in the field of care for nursing home residents with dementia, and in the field of palliative care. She is an Editor of Palliative Medicine. As of April 1, 2016, she continued most of her research at Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Public Health and Primary Care. She continues to be involved in projects at the Department of Public and Occupational Health of the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam. She is the lead author of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) white paper on palliative care in dementia. Her research includes nationwide observational and intervention studies in patients with dementia and pneumonia. These studies have resulted in a number of publications on methods to develop and evaluate guidelines, the practice of withholding curative treatment, prognostic models for mortality from nursing home-acquired pneumonia, distressing symptoms related to pneumonia, and reliability and validity of instruments, along with products for clinical practice: guidelines and mortality risk scores. A  5-year prospective study on end of life with dementia (Dutch end of life with dementia study, DEOLD, “Zorg bij Dementie”) assessed factors associated with decision making, treatments, patient suffering, and family satisfaction. Collaboration with similar projects in Israel, Italy, and Belgium have resulted in recommendations in areas where care needs improvement. Other studies on end of life in nursing homes include studies on spirituality, an evaluation of a booklet for families on comfort care, and a study testing of specific instruments to assess end of life with dementia. Jenny has also started research on selective reporting in science more generally.