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Core Management Team

David Jayne

Clinical Director

David Jayne David Jayne is Clinical Lead for the Leeds Colorectal Therapies HTC. He is Professor of Surgery at the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. His clinical interests include minimally invasive and robotic colorectal surgery. His research interests include the development, application, and evaluation of new technologies for surgical application. In 2012 he was awarded an NIHR Research Professorship to promote the translation of novel technologies into clinical practice for patient benefit. He is CI on several NIHR portfolio clinical trials:
  • NIHR HTA FIAT (anal fistula plug v surgeon's preference)
  • NIHR EME ROLARR (robotic v laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer)
  • NIHR EME GliSten (next generation fluorescent lymph node mapping in colon cancer)
  • NHIR HTA Fenix (magnetic anal sphincter for faecal incontinence)
He works closely with other members of the HTC management team on research projects to develop novel engineering (Prof Anne Neville), biosensing and nanoparticle (Prof Paul Millner) technologies for surgical application.

Paul Millner

Biosensing Theme Lead

Paul Millner Prof Paul Millner leads the Bionanotechnology group at the University of Leeds. The group’s interests can be divided broadly into two main themes; biosensors and nanotechnology. Biosensors are being developed against a wide range of analytes, from small molecules and ions up to whole cells. Nanotechnology encompasses research into nanoparticles for medicine and nanofibres for environmental applications. Prof Millner is keen to collaborate and has led several large EU projects which have resulted in spin-off companies. Prof Millner initially trained as a Biochemist and obtained his PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Leeds. After around 12 years working on plant cell signalling, his research shifted direction and he is now a leader in biosensors and bionanotechnology. Prof Millner is also Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences and delivers lectures on a range of topics.

Peter Culmer

Engineering Theme Lead

Peter Culmer Dr Peter Culmer is  Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds, and Engineering Lead for the University’s Surgical Technologies Research Group. He is also Principal Investigator with IMPRESS, a project looking at developing technologies for incontinence management and prevention. Dr Culmer’s research looks at the development and application of new enabling technologies in medical applications, with a focus on robotics, sensing and control systems. Current projects include a robotic system for colonoscopy, the development of soft tactile sensors and characterisation and prevention of trauma in laparoscopic graspers. His PhD – from the University of Leeds – developed the computer controller for iPAM, an award-winning robotic system to improve arm function and quality of life for people with stroke. He continued this work as a post-doctoral researcher, adapting the technology to develop an instrumented walking-aid (iWA) to improve gait.

Stephen Evans

Scientific Director and Nanotechnology Theme Lead

Stephen Evans Stephen Evans is Professor of Molecular and Nanoscale Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy. He obtained his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of London (QMC) in 1984 and his PhD in Molecular Physics from the University of Lancaster in 1988. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Imperial College, University of London, he became a visiting scientist in the Molecular and Optical Electronic Research Laboratory, Eastman Kodak, Rochester, New York. He joined the academic staff of the University of Leeds in 1991, became a Reader in 2001, and was appointed as Professor in Molecular Physics and Nanoscale Physics in 2002. He was Chairman of the School of Physics & Astronomy between 2004-2007 and currently heads the Molecular and Nanoscale Physics group.

Stephen Smye

Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Stephen Smye Professor Stephen Smye is Director of Research and Innovation at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Comprehensive Clinical Research Network. Professor Smye is a physicist by profession, with degrees from Cambridge University, Imperial College, and Leeds University. He is a member of the NIHR Advisory and Strategy Boards and the Royal College of Physicians’ Standing Committee on Academic Medicine, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2005. He is also Director of the NIHR Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care for Leeds, York and Bradford. He aims to encourage high quality translational research and innovation, including supporting good working relationships between physical scientists and clinicians at both a local and national level. He is engaged in a number of research programmes jointly with Leeds University, notably in mathematical modelling of physiological processes and is Professor of Medical Physics and Health Research in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at Leeds University. He was a co-applicant on a successful application to the Wellcome Trust and EPSRC for £11m to create a Medical Engineering Centre of Excellence in Leeds with a focus on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and a co-investigator on the EPSRC/TSB/BBSRC-funded Innovaton and Knowledge Centre in Medical Technologies He is involved in a second NIHR Health Technology Co-operative (Devices for Dignity) and is the Leeds Teaching Hospitals lead for the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative in liver, renal and musculo-skeletal diseases. He is also a member of the Welcome Trust/DH Health Innovation Challenge Fund joint funding panel.

Pietro Valdastri

Engineering Theme

Pietro Valdastri Pietro Valdastri is Professor of Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Leeds, working across the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the School of Mechanical Engineering. He also directs the Science and Technologies Of Robotics in Medicine (STORM) Lab, a research lab focusing on medical capsule robots for gastrointestinal endoscopy and abdominal surgery which he founded at Vanderbilt University. His research is focused on ‘medical capsule robots’, devices that leverage extreme miniaturization to enter the human body through natural orifices or small incisions, and can be designed to perform endoscopy and surgery while minimizing the invasiveness of the procedure. Professor Valdastri joined the University of Leeds in 2016 and is Director of the Institute of Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Sensing.

Virginia Pensabene

Engineering Theme

Virginia Pensabene Dr Virginia Pensabene is an academic fellow working across the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on integrated microfluidic devices to develop organ-on-a-chip models of reproductive organs, with a particular interest in the pathophysiology of infertility and pregnancy failure. She is working to develop micro and nanotools to evaluate the effects of toxicant exposure (e.g. environmental toxicant, bacteria, chemotherapeutic drugs) that may lead to preterm birth and impair fertility. Dr Pensabene  has a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pisa and a PhD in Humanoid Technologies from the University of Genova. She has worked in both Japan and the USA, carrying out research into ultrathin films for biomedical applications.

Vee Mapunde

Programme Manager

Vee Mapunde Vee Mapunde is the Programme Manager for NIHR Healthcare Technologies Cooperative (HTC), with responsibility for providing overall project management for the HTC programme, management of day-to-day operations and providing support for the Director of the HTC and the Theme leads. She has ten years’ experience working in clinical research at the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Research Network, where she was Industry Manager and worked with 14 NHS organisations across West Yorkshire, to develop and implement systems to support commercially sponsored clinical research.  This included managing the commercial research portfolio, leading on costings and contracts, and performance management. Previously, she worked for the Clinical Research Facility at Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Trust, as Clinical Trials Coordinator, Compliance Monitor and as a Systematic Reviewer, supporting researchers in writing and publishing Cochrane systematic reviews.

Randolph Haggerty

Project Manager

Randolph Haggerty Dr Randolph Haggerty’s role is to support collaborations between academia, industry and the NHS to address colorectal disease, identifying suitable funding sources and facilitating clinical research. He was awarded a PhD in isotope geochemistry from the University of Leeds in 1992 and after a number of years in research, moved to the NHS as a R&D manager, working in both public health services and in commissioning. Prior to joining the HTC, he was a Faculty Research Manager at the University of Leeds, dealing with the financial aspects of grant applications and awards.

Sheila Boyes

Project Manager/ Admin Support

Sheila Boyes Sheila has worked for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust since 1990, initially as a radiology assistant in the MRI department before moving into research in 2000. She holds a postgraduate certificate in health research. She worked on research studies within radiology for eight years, before taking on a research management role in 2008. Sheila joins the HTC as a project manager and to handle the administration side.