Director: Dr Robert Rintoul, Consultant Physician

Dr Robert Rintoul, Consultant Physician

Dr Rintoul is Reader in Thoracic Oncology in the Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge and Honorary Respiratory Physician, Royal Papworth Hospital.  He qualified in medicine from the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh and trained in respiratory medicine in London and Edinburgh. Dr Rintoul received his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh for research investigating mechanisms underlying resistance to chemotherapy in small cell lung cancer.

He was appointed consultant in respiratory medicine specialising in thoracic oncology at Royal Papworth Hospital in 2005 before taking up his current post in 2017.  Dr Rintoul is lead clinician for cancer at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Director of the Papworth Trials Unit Collaboration.  He is currently co-lead for the Aerodigestive Programme of the Cambridge Cancer Centre and leads thoracic oncology research in Cambridge.

Senior Trial Unit and R&D Manager: Dr Vikki Hughes

Vikki has over 20 years’ experience in research within the NHS setting. She has completed the NHS Scientist Training Programme in Clinical Biochemistry in the North West of England. After completion of the training programme she moved to Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a Research Biochemist role and completed a PhD in non-invasive markers of liver transplant rejection. Vikki joined Papworth in 2001 in a number of different research roles. Vikki has extensive experience of managing multi-centre thoracic oncology, surgical and medicinal studies. She was promoted to Senior R&D Manager / Operational Manager for PTUC in January 2015. Publications

Clinical Trials Unit Operational Manager: Dr Sarah Fielding

Sarah has over 29 years’ experience of working within the NHS and 15 specifically within NHS R&D.  She has a PhD in Respiratory Physiology from Imperial College London which was undertaken during her time working clinically at Royal Brompton Hospital, predominantly with children diagnosed with neuromuscular disorders and chronic respiratory failure, where she also gained ten years of clinical experience in respiratory failure and sleep disorders.  Since then, she has worked as a Research Advisor with the East of England Research Design Service for a year before moving into Clinical Project Management within the R&D department at Royal Papworth.  Here she gained nine years of extensive experience in the full project management of a research portfolio with a specific expertise of CTIMP and non-CE/UKCA marked device trials.  She is now appointed as the Operational Manager of the Papworth Trials Unit Collaboration which is a fully accredited Clinical Trials Unit sitting within the R&D department of Royal Papworth.     

Health Economist: Professor Julia Fox-Rushby

 Over the past 30 years, Julia’s policy-driven research in economic evaluation has sought to provide high quality evidence on the efficiency of and demand for interventions to improve health and wellbeing. Her teaching includes supervision of doctoral students, short-course introductions to economic evaluation and more in-depth introductions to health economics and economic evaluation within MSc courses.  Her reprinted textbook with John Cairns, “Economic Evaluation (Understanding Public Health)”, supports teaching in several countries. She has served on the NHIR Trainees Career Fellowship Panel, the HTA Clinical Trials Board, NICE advisory committees, INCLEN Programme Committee and currently sits on the NIHR Public Health Research funding panel. Prior to joining Kings College London in 2017, Julia was Professor and Director of the Health Economics Research Group at Brunel University London, and Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  At Kings, she leads public health economics, and health economics for the Papworth Trial Unit Collaboration.

Follow this link to find out more about Julia and her team at Kings.

Information Manager: Jo Steele

Jo Steele has over 20 years of clinical and genetic data management experience. She started her career at Johns Hopkins University/Hospital in the USA, before moving on the National Institutes of Health in the USA. She also consulted with the University of Chicago, Wilmer Eye Institute and the Cleveland Clinic, all in the US. After returning to the UK 3 years ago, she worked in a CRO, before joining Papworth Trust R&D in September 2015. During this time, she has had experience in managing and producing high quality data in multi-site, multi-nation studies and trials. Publications

Project Managers

Carol Freeman

With a first degree in Biochemistry and Toxicology, MPhil in Epidemiology and MSc in Health Services Research, Carol Freeman has a wide range of experience as a researcher from bench to bedside, as well as extensive experience of R&D and Clinical Project Management.  She worked for a decade at the University of Cambridge principally studying the physiology of red blood cells and then moved to studying whole people and their healthcare for the Anglian Audit of Hip Fracture.  At Papworth since 2003, Carol has been primarily involved in managing Cardiac surgery and Cardiology studies and was also part time R&D manager at Peterborough City Hospital and then QEH, Kings Lynn.  She was co-applicant on a number of successful grant applications including the PEACOG trial (Moulton Trust), MiniStern trial (RfPB) and ETTAA study (HTA).  Carol recently returned to Papworth after a two year secondment to the eHospital project at Cambridge University Hospitals where she was an Analyst and Instructional Designer for the Cupid (Cardiology) team.  Carol aims to ensure that all research projects she manages are successfully completed and published and maintains an interest in reducing the use of paper records whenever feasible.  Publications

Kimberly Giraud

Kim has a PhD in Neuropsychology from Université de Toulouse, France. Since then, she has worked at RPH R&D as a Clinical Trial Coordinator coordinating the day-to-day running of mainly ICU and surgical trials, and then as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow designing, setting, up, and managing her own trials aiming to improve neurocognitive outcomes in cardiac surgical patients. She is now Clinical Project Manager responsible for the set-up (including costings and contracts) of commercial and non-RPH sponsored research.

Chrissie Mills

Chrissie Mills joined Papworth Hospital Research team in 2008 after completing a BSc in Psychology.  She then went on to complete her MSc in Psychological Research Methods while co-coordinating a number of research projects. Throughout her time at Papworth Chrissie gained experience working across many different disciplines. Her main focus was coordinating The Amaze trial; a 12 centre randomised surgical trial sponsored by the HTA before moving onto Project Management. Working as a Clinical project manager Chrissie is primarily responsible for a number of Papworth Sponsored surgical trials. Chrissie passion still lies within psychological research and she is currently the lead on a feasibility study looking at the at the effect of patient outlook on recovery from elective cardiac surgery.

Victoria Stoneman

Victoria has a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology & Virology and a PhD in Tumour Immunology. Her post-doctorate career began as a Research Fellow at Keele University, identifying novel genes regulating apoptosis in myeloid progenitor cell lines; followed by a Research Associate position in the University of Cambridge’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.  Using a variety of methods including clinical material and primary cell lines she studied various aspects of vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis and macrophage function in atherosclerosis and plaque rupture.  After a short time at the Wellcome Trust as a Science Advisor for the Immunity & Infectious Disease division Victoria joined Papworth as a Clinical Project Manager in 2011. The specialties she covers at Papworth are Pathology, Respiratory Support and Sleep Centre, Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit and the Cambridge Centre for Lung Infection.  She is also the Tissue Bank Manager and the Biological Safety Officer for research at the Trust.  Publications

Melissa Duckworth

Melissa has an MPharm degree from the University of Nottingham. She started her career as a Pharmacist and practiced in both community and hospital settings before moving into clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. She gained 10 years’ experience working for leading pharmaceutical companies and a Contract Research Organisation (CRO), prior to joining Royal Papworth Hospital in 2016. During her time in the corporate sector, Melissa worked across all phases of Clinical Trials of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMPs) and gained experience of running trials internationally in many different therapeutic areas. Melissa is a Clinical Project Manager for the Clinical Trials Unit, specialising in the set-up, conduct and reporting of Papworth-Sponsored CTIMP Cardiology studies.


Sofia Villar

Sofía S. Villar is an MRC investigator statistician collaborating with Papworth Hospital Research and Development. She is a research fellow working in clinical trials methodology. She has been awarded the first Biometrika post-doctoral research fellowship for a two-year research programme entitled: Bandit models for the optimal design of clinical trials. Before that she was a research associate in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of Lancaster University, yet working from the MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge, as part of a joint research project on the design of multi-arm multi-stage clinical trials. She did her Ph.D. thesis on designing tractable and nearly optimal solutions to computationally infeasible constrained sequential estimation problems.

Her current research involves the developing of methodology for clinical trials that incorporates dynamic optimisation ideas. In particular, her current research interests are focused on developing Bayesian adaptive designs that use forward-looking algorithms to fully exploit learning from multiple treatments simultaneously. She is interested particularly in the use of this approach to the design of clinical trials for rare diseases.