Who we are

Dr Ben Marlow (MBiochem ABPI MBBS MRCPCH PGCME)

Dr Ben Marlow (MBiochem ABPI MBBS MRCPCH PGCME)

Paediatric Consultant (Neurodisability), Colchester General Hospital, ESNEFT Clinical Director of the Synapse Centre, ESNEFT

Background

Ben Marlow is a Paediatric Consultant with an interest in neurodevelopment having completed his special interest (SPIN) training in neurodisability at Cambridge and Luton. He joined the team at Colchester General Hospital, Essex, in 2019. He is Research lead and neurodisability lead for the department and head of the East of England Research Group for Community Paediatrics.

Ben has worked in the NHS for nearly 10 years having completed his medical training at University College London (UCL). Prior to his role as a doctor, he completed a Masters in Biochemistry and worked for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and UCB Pharma in Research and Development. He also completed a research fellowship at the University of Florida.

Research Interests

He has a keen interest in the neurobiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, especially the fields of neuroimmunology and metabolism. He is very keen to help advocate and advance the translation of science into treatments for children with neurodisabling conditions, particularly within the field of Autism. At the beginning of 2020 he was awarded the Gupta Foundation Young Researcher Award and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) local research network principal investigator support funding.

Ben also has a keen interest in teaching and has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education (PGCME).

Memberships and Editorial Boards

Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, British Association of Childhood Disability (BACD) and British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA).

Ben is a regular writer for the publication ‘Autism Eye’.

Mrs Frances Farnworth

Mrs Frances Farnworth

Head of Research for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT)


Frances Farnworth is an established research management leader with a range of strategic and operational skills.  With well-developed skills in process and project management and extensive experience in the management and governance of research.  Since the creation of ESNEFT in July 2018, Frances has successfully led the integration of Ipswich and Colchester hospital research teams, with ESNEFT now the second highest NIHR recruiting Trust in the East of England.

Beginning her career in industry Frances joined the NHS in 2001.  In early 2009 Frances took on the role of Clinical Research Network (CRN) Research Manager for Suffolk and Norfolk, implementing the approval system for faster set up times for NHS research approval. Since 2011 Frances has led the research office at the Trust, her focus is to bring opportunities and a balanced portfolio of research, to improve patient care for the population that ESNEFT serves.  She is committed to the ESNEFT philosophy that TIME MATTERS, by improving processes through the reduction of waste and unnecessary systems.

Research and Development Team, ESNEFT

The Research and Development team at ESNEFT are highly skilled with a combined experience of over 50 years. In July 2018 ESNEFT successfully integrated the research teams at Colchester and Ipswich hospitals, creating a single leadership and administration structure for research across our Trust. Our team are well practiced in set up and management of research within an NHS setting, supporting researchers from study concept, through development, grant and Ethics application, to delivery and finally closure. Our experience enables rapid study set-up and ensures we are adaptable to current research climates.

We can draw across a range of expertise from 47 whole time equivalent staff including specialist research nurses, practitioners and administrative staff who oversee the day-to-day running of research studies and ensure that the patients enrolled receive the best possible attention, as well as continuity of care from initiation of the study to follow-up. To meet our team please click here.

Dr Jo-Anne Johnson (MBChB PhD MRCPCH)

Dr Jo-Anne Johnson (MBChB PhD MRCPCH)

Senior Lecturer in Child and Family Health, course lead for years 2&3 and Undergraduate Paediatric lead for the MBChB course at the School of Medicine, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU)

Paediatrician at Colchester Hospital, Sub-specialty interests in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, lead for Paediatric sleep medicine, ESNEFT 

Background

Jo-Anne completed her MBChB at the University of Leeds, UK (1996-2001), UK  and was awarded her MRCPCH in June 2006. She completed a Wellcome Trust-funded PhD in respiratory developmental biology at the University of Cambridge in 2018. Following this she secured a Senior Lecturer position at the School of Medicine, Anglia Ruskin University where she leads on Child and Family Health, as well as Embryology and Clinical Genetics. Clinically, she practices as a Paediatrician at Colchester Hospital where she is the lead for Paediatric Sleep Medicine.

Research Interests

Ciliogenesis

Stem cell fate decision-making

Transcriptional reprogramming

Ambulatory sleep studies in children

Cystic-fibrosis

In 2009 Jo-Anne was awarded a Research Fellowship in Translational Medicine from the Biomedical Research Centre, University of Cambridge. She worked with Professor Sir John Gurdon (winner of Nobel Prize in Medicine 2012) at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge on developing a technique for monitoring pluripotency gene transcription in real time during nuclear reprogramming.

Following this she secured a very highly competitive Clinical Research Training Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust and under the co-supervision of Professor Sir John Gurdon and Dr Emma Rawlins, focused on factors governing stem cell fate in airway epithelium.

Jo-Anne’s current research focuses on ways of optimising and standardising the way obstructive sleep apnoea is diagnosed in children in the ambulatory setting.

Memberships and Editorial Boards

Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Selected Recent Publications

  • Johnson JA, Watson JK, Nikolić MZ, Rawlins EL. Fank1 and Jazf1 promote multiciliated celldifferentiation in the mouse airway epithelium. Biol Open. 2018 Apr 16;7(4). pii: bio033944. doi: 10.1242/bio.033944.
  • Marko Z. Nikolić, Oriol Caritg, Quitz Jeng, Jo-Anne Johnson, Dawei Sun, Kate J. Howell, Jane L. Brady, Usua Laresgoiti, George Allen, Matthias Zilbauer, Adam Giangreco, Emma L. Rawlins, Human embryonic lung epithelial tips are multipotent progenitors that can be expanded in vitro as long-term self-renewing organoids. ELife. 2017 Jun 30;6. pii: e26575. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26575.
  • Correia LL, Johnson JA, McErlean P, Bauer J, Farah H, Rassl DM, Rintoul RC, Sethi T, Lavender P, Rawlins EL, Littlewood TD, Evan GI, McCaughan FM. SOX2 Drives Bronchial Dysplasia in a Novel Organotypic Model of Early Human Squamous Lung Cancer. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Feb 15.
  • Balasooriya GI, Johnson JA, Basson MA, Rawlins EL. An FGFR1-SPRY2Signalling Axis Limits Basal Cell Proliferation in the Steady-State Airway Epithelium. Dev Cell. 2016 Apr 4;37(1):85-97
  • Johnson JA, Bush A, Buchdahl R. Does presenting with meconium ileus affect the prognosis of children with cystic fibrosis? Pediatr Pulmonol. 2010 Oct;45(10):951-8.

 

Ms Hayley Foster

Ms Hayley Foster

Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist ESNEFT

 

Hayley is a Speech and Language Therapist. She graduated from Birmingham City University in 2008 and since then has spent her career working in a variety of settings. She has worked with children, young people and adults with a range of communication needs. This has included working in the areas of Autism, Learning Disability and Mental Health. She has a particular clinical interest in the areas of Mental Health, Selective Mutism and Autism. 

Her current role is working as part of the Autism diagnostic team in ESNEFT’s Community Paediatrics Department. She is one of the professionals introducing the PACT intervention (Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy) to four local families. 

Ms Emma Lindsley

Ms Emma Lindsley

Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist ESNEFT

 

Emma Lindsley is a Speech and Language Therapist currently working within the Community Paediatrics Team in ESNEFT supporting assessment and diagnosis of autism. She graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2010 and spent the last 10 years working for the NHS in various roles, specialising in supporting individuals with complex needs. Emma has worked with parents, carers, mainstream and special educational settings to support babies, children and young people with a range of communication difficulties to achieve their full communication potential. She has also worked with babies, children and young people with feeding and swallowing difficulties. She is particularly interested in the benefits of early intervention and strategies to support individuals with autism, at home and in school.

She is keen to be part of research projects looking into therapeutic interventions and medical management to improve the lives of those with autism and their families.

Her current role is working as part of the Autism diagnostic team in ESNEFT’s Community Paediatrics Department. She is one of the professionals introducing the PACT intervention (Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy) to four local families.

Ms Alix Willmore

Ms Alix Willmore

Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist ESNEFT

 

Alix Willmore is a highly specialist speech and language therapist in the area of neurodevelopmental disability. She trained at the University of East Anglia and graduated in 2014. Since then she has been working with a wide range of children both in the NHS and independent practice, working in both special needs and mainstream schools. Now her work focuses on Autism assessments at ESNEFT for children 2-17 years of age.

Her main interests are focused on early intervention in autism and parent child interaction / parent education. Her aims are to help parents feel empowered when working with their own children; they are the experts and should be made to feel this way. Through the research she is involved in she hopes to continue utilising evidence based ways of practicing directly with children and their parents and begin looking into medical management of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

She is keen to be part of research projects looking into therapeutic interventions and medical management to improve the lives of those with autism and their families.

Her current role is working as part of the Autism diagnostic team in ESNEFT’s Community Paediatrics Department. She is one of the professionals introducing the PACT intervention (Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy) to four local families.

Mrs Aine Turner

Mrs Aine Turner

Paediatric and Well Women Research Nurse ESNEFT

Bumetanide Trial

Aine is a Paediatric Nurse who trained at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Children and was seconded to England to do a 13 month conversion course in General Nursing to become a senior sister. She completed her specialist training in Paediatric Intensive Care at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and later completed training in Neonatal Intensive Care and Clinical Teaching. She was senior staff on the Neonatal Surgical Intensive care unit before taking a couple of years out to work as a volunteer for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) on Zanzibar Island in an outreach hospital.

After a career break Aine returned to nursing as a specialist burns paediatric intensive care nurse and later, after being offered a position with a private research team in 2009, came to Colchester in 2012 as the first Paediatric and Well-woman research nurse. In that time she has worked on observational, interventional and commercial trials in paediatrics and maternity.

Ms Fiona Logan

Ms Fiona Logan

Clinical Research Assistant ESNEFT

Bumetanide Trial

Fiona gained a high-level of experience in working with children who have a variety of neurological and behavioural conditions that affect them greatly mentally and sometimes also physically. For seven years she has supported this clinical population across a variety of settings including schools, respite services and within the community in London, Essex and Kent.

Her passion for this work led her to complete two degrees at outstanding institutions where she gained a love for research, and assisted with the conduction of studies that have since been published. She proceeded to gain experience with adults and the elderly, including those with dementia.

She progressed to then gain further experience through working in her local hospital, which subsequently opened her up to another dimension of research that is incredibly impactful on both professional practice and patient care. Her aim is to continue to contribute to clinical research and to complete a PhD in the future.

 

Dr Katharine Fowler

Research and Grant Co-ordinator ESNEFT

Katharine joined ESNEFT in 2019 as a Research and Grant Co-ordinator for ESNEFT. Katharine has a PhD in Clinical Exercise Physiology, which focusing on preoperative exercise training in cancer and vascular surgical patients. Her research experience has been diverse, from military research projects to clinical projects covering; nutrition, immunology, heat illness, sleep deprivation and prehabilitation. Her research interests include; perioperative optimisation and behaviour change.

Current Grants:

Co-Investigator for a NIHR HTA Grant; Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of INSPIRatory musclE training (IMT) for reducing postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC): a sham-controlled randomised controlled trial (RCT) (INSPIRE)

Dr Steph Marlow (BVetMed PhD MRCVS)

Dr Steph Marlow (BVetMed PhD MRCVS)

Research Facilitator ESNEFT

 

Steph Marlow is a Research Grants Facilitator for ESNEFT. She joined the Research and Development team at ESNEFT at the end of 2019. Before this Steph worked as a veterinarian and completed a PhD in veterinary cancer epidemiology. She also taught on a veterinary nursing degree program at the University of Hertfordshire for the module on Research Methods.

Her research areas of interest include epidemiology of neurodevelopmental conditions and data recording for children with complex neurodisabilities. She also wishes to promote patient public involvement within this field and establish support and discussion groups for parents and carers of those with a severe disability.

Ms Joy Arthur

Ms Joy Arthur

 

Joy is a third year medical student at Anglia Ruskin University.  Prior to this she studied neuroscience at university and conducted research investigating the vestibular system in traumatic brain injury.  She has an interest in neurological research and hopes to gain experience within this field whilst studying for her Medicine degree.  Joy is co-president of a student run society; Neuropsych society in which she hopes to promote interest within neurology and psychiatry at her university.

Joy’s role in the Synapse Centre Team will be to disseminate updates and opportunities to support our research within the student body.

Mr Graydon Thorpe

Mr Graydon Thorpe

 

Graydon is a second year medical student at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), Chelmsford and has grown up and lives in Essex.

Graydon was previously at Newcastle University, studying Physiological Science and while studying received an offer to study Medicine at ARU. He therefore left Newcastle prematurely but achieved a Certificate in Higher Education for Physiological Science. During his time at Newcastle, he helped to start a local care home project where groups of students would visit local care homes every week to organise events and activities for the residents.

He is interested in the new research behind potential causes of neurodisability, especially the effects of the prenatal period, postnatal period and prematurity in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how this research could impact and change future screening, diagnosis and treatment.

Another of his aims is to raise awareness and improve the provision of services within the community for those with a neurodisability, especially for those leaving school in that transition period from adolescence to adulthood, giving these amazing individuals the invaluable life skills needed to be able to live a happy and independent adult life. 

Graydon’s role in the Synapse Centre Team will be to disseminate updates and opportunities to support our research within the student body.

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