Meet the Team

Professor Eithne Costello, Chief investigator of UKEDI

Image of Professor Eithne Costello, Chief investigator of UKEDI

Eithne Costello is a professor of Molecular Oncology in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at the University of Liverpool. She holds a B.Sc. and PhD in Pharmacology from University College Dublin. She undertook post-doctoral training at the Swiss Institute for Cancer Research (ISREC) and the Institute of Microbiology, University of Lausanne. Since 1999 she has led a research group at the University of Liverpool, focused on pancreatic cancer. Her group is particularly focused on developing biomarkers for early pancreatic cancer detection, and she is chief investigator of the UK-EDI programme. She sat on the Pancreatic Cancer UK Scientific Advisory Board (2012 and 2019), is a member of the Clinical Trial Pathology Advisory Group, chairs the European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC) translational steering committee, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Professor Christopher Halloran

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Chris Halloran is Professor of Pancreatic Surgery at the University of Liverpool & honorary consultant in pancreatic surgery at Liverpool University Foundation NHS Trust. He is internationally recognised and has an extensive clinical practice in all aspects of surgical pancreatology. Chris is the clinical lead for The European Registry of Hereditary Pancreatic Diseases (EUROPAC), which determines risk and provides screening, for patients at risk of pancreatic cancer, who have a family history of pancreatic cancer or hereditary pancreatitis. He runs basic and clinical science research, leading to invention of novel surgical techniques. As a chief investigator he has run many clinical trials namely: PANasta, Dispact, ChroPac and EUROPAC-2 across the UK and Europe. Chris is the clinical lead on UK-EDI and Work Package 1 with responsibility for the collection of the UK-New-onset Diabetes cohort.


Professor William Greenhalf

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William (Bill) Greenhalf is a Professor of Molecular Oncology in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at the University of Liverpool. He is the lead scientist of the European Registry of Hereditary Pancreatitis and Familial Pancreatic Cancer (EUROPAC), the Director of the Liverpool Good Clinical Practice Laboratory (GCPLab) facility and is the non-clinical lead for the Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicines Centre (ECMC). Bill was awarded his PhD from the University of Manchester in 1990 and has since worked for the State University of São Paulo (UNESP) in Brazil, Ciba-Geigy and then Novartis in Basle Switzerland, before coming to Liverpool in 1997. Bill sits on the steering committees of a number of Phase II and Phase III clinical trials.


Professor Laurence Alison

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Professor Alison has an international track record of publishing on the subject of high stakes decision making, investigative profiling and investigative interviewing. His core area of interest is social cognition and the processes by which individuals make sense of uncertain, high risk, ambiguous, complex or contradictory information, with special reference to decision inertia, anticipatory thinking and the use of simulated environments and debriefing tools to train practitioners to overcome decision inertia and to increase the efficacy of multi-agency communication.

He graduated from Liverpool University with a PhD in 1998, was a lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Liverpool until 2000 when he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at University of Birmingham and returned to Liverpool and appointed as Chair of Forensic and Investigative Psychology in 2004. He works within the Psychology, Society and Health Institute, where he also serves as one of 5 Security and Conflict Champions and as one of the members of the recently formed Risk Institute.

Laurence specialises in decision making in high risk low incidence events. In particular working with end users to develop evidence based tools to prioritise risk, resource and deployment of methods to locate and deal with high risk problems that emerge infrequently but can be catastrophic.


Dr Lucy Oldfield

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Lucy is a senior postdoctoral researcher in the department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at the University of Liverpool. She holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of West Virginia, an MSc in Forensic and Analytical Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde and an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Manchester. Her work for the past several years has focused on biomarker development for early detection of pancreatic cancer, especially using proteomics techniques. Lucy is interested in the relationship between pancreatic cancer and diabetes, including the mechanisms underpinning the development of diabetes in individuals with pancreatic cancer. Lucy leads a Cancer Research UK Primer award using aptamer technology to explore the proteome in pancreatic cancer and diabetes. Her other projects involve the creation of risk stratification tools for pancreatic cancer using health records and the use of multifunctional targeted nanoparticles for MR imaging enhancement of pre-malignant pancreatic lesions. Lucy is a member of the UK-EDI management group and leads work package 5.


Professor Robert van Der Meer

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Robert van der Meer is Professor of Management Science at the University of Strathclyde. Robert has a PhD in Management Science from the University of Strathclyde, an MSc in Economics (with specialisation in Mathematical Economics) from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Cand. Econ. degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Amsterdam.

Over the last decade, Robert's research has focused on health economics and healthcare operations management & improvement, funded by the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland, NHS England, Cancer Research UK, Pancreatic Cancer UK and others. Robert has been engaged since 2016 in a range of research projects on the early diagnosis and effective treatment of pancreatic cancer. Robert has been working with Dr Alison Bradley in 2016-19 on a project sponsored by the West of Scotland Pancreatic Unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary under the leadership of Professor Colin McKay. This has led to the development of a range of statistical and simulation models to investigate the cost effectiveness of neo-adjuvant versus surgery-first treatment of pancreatic cancer. In another project, started in 2018 and funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK, Robert is working with leading cancer researchers from University College London, Imperial College London, University of Oxford and others to develop a novel diagnostic tool for detecting pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours at an early disease stage.


Mr Martyn Stott

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Martyn is a General Surgery trainee with a subspecialty interest in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery. He is currently taking time out of programme to undertake a PhD at the University of Liverpool as a Clinical Research Fellow at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He studied medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne graduating in 2012. He undertook an intercalated Masters in research studying medical and molecular biosciences whilst an undergraduate. He is involved in patient recruitment in work package 1 as well as forming part of the research team for work packages 3 and 5. His PhD is focussing on the clinical and biological characteristics of diabetogenic pancreatic cancer to inform earlier detection strategies.


Hannah Murphy

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Hannah is a research nurse at Liverpool University Hospital. She obtained a BSc. degree in Pharmacology in 2012 from the University of Liverpool and subsequently obtained a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine, also from the University of Liverpool. During her master's degree she conducted pancreatic cancer research, focusing on nanoparticle delivery to pancreatic cancer cells. In 2015 she began her nurse training, working in Neonatal Intensive Care at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. She is the research nurse on the UK-EDI trial, and is involved in patient recruitment work package 1.


Chandni Patel

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Chandni is a PhD student funded by the University of Liverpool. She completed a Masters in Research in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool in 2019. Prior to that, Chandni worked as a Community Pharmacist after obtaining her undergraduate degree, Master of Pharmacy at King’s College London. Chandni is part of the UK-EDI research team working on biomarker validation in work package 3 and biomarker discovery work package 5. Her PhD focusses on biomarker development using proteomic techniques to facilitate earlier detection of pancreatic cancer in individuals with new-onset diabetes mellitus.


Dr Paul Christiansen

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Dr Paul Christiansen is a Senior lecturer in statistics in the Department of Psychology of the University of Liverpool. He has over ten years of experience teaching statistics and is the statistics lead of the department. He also teaches good statistical practice at conferences and workshops on behalf of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO). Although his background is in addiction he has also published extensively in appetite, health, and forensic psychology and has received funding from research councils, EU, industry, charity, as well as US (FBI) and UK (Home office) government agencies. His research has included creating prediction models for high risk, infrequent occurrences, such as the arrest prioritisation of online sex offenders. Paul will be working alongside Professor Alison in developing the risk stratification model for work package 4


UKEDI Study Team

Dr Richard Jackson

Image of Dr Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson is the Head of Cancer Statistics for the Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre and is responsible for the design and delivery of clinical trials in Cancer. Richard completed his PhD at Liverpool University investigating the application of Bayesian methodology in clinical trials. He works on the delivery of novel and adaptive designs and the identification of prognostic/predictive biomarkers in cancer clinical trials.


Mr Robert Hanson

Image of Mr Robert Hanson

Rob is the study manager for UK-EDI. He obtained a BSc. In Microbiology and Biotechnology and an MA in Biotechnological Law and Ethics from the University of Sheffield before initially starting a career in pharmaceutical manufacturing and development. Since moving into clinical research Rob has worked for over 13 years in oncology clinical trials at the Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre. He is experienced in pancreatic cancer trials, having previously worked across the ESPAC trials and managed the PET-PANC study. In addition he has also managed Follicular Lymphoma and Head and Neck cancer trials.


Mrs Georgia Lynch

Georgia is an experienced data manager with the Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre. She has particular expertise in pancreatic cancer trials having worked across a broad portfolio including the ESPAC 4, ESPAC-5F and VIP pancreatic trials.