Our multidisciplinary team has the capabilities to work with you to generate the evidence required to demonstrate the benefits of your product.

Meet the Newcastle MIC Team

Dr Joy Allen
Senior Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist
With 10 years of training in applied mathematics and theoretical physics, Joy took on a new challenge in 2014 when she joined the DEC and applied her analytical and problem solving skills to diagnostic test evaluation research.  A strong grounding in mathematical modelling and an inquisitive mind made the transition (albeit scary!) a successful one.  She has worked on the design and analysis of many of the MIC's projects to date including the clinical and economic evaluation of rapid tests for viral infections, infections which confer antibiotic resistance and inherited conditions such as familial hypercholesterolemia.  Joy has also spearheaded the academic development of the MIC by securing collaborations with leading expertise in research into the interdisciplinary methodologies involved in evaluations of diagnostic tests and medical devices and continues to advocate methodological development throughout all the MIC's projects.  While Joy is fascinated by many areas of test evaluation research, a key personal interest of Joy's is the development of novel methodologies to aid the evaluation of new diagnostic tests and devices when the current reference standard is non-existent or imperfect.

Dr. Jana Suklan
Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist 
Jana has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Statistics and a BSc in social research along with 13 years of industry experience coupled with 6 years of teaching and research in Academia.  Since 2008, she has worked on a freelance basis, assisting companies and research teams with their research as well as advanced analytics, gaining key experience with both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, as well as contributing to project management activities and coordinating multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines. Over the past six years, she worked in higher education organisations as a researcher and assistant professor, being responsible for all research activities within the Faculty, including the preparation and submission of project applications, project management of successful submissions from inception to completion. In addition she regularly lectured on modules, supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students, covering topics such as Methods of Quantitative Research, Descriptive and Interferential Statistics as well as Multivariate Analysis.  Jana joined the Newcastle MIC in the autumn of 2018 as a clinical test evaluation methodologist focused on mixed methods analysis and reporting. 

Amanda Winter
Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist
Amanda joined the MIC in 2019 after enjoying a successful 10 year career as a Biomedical Scientist working in NHS clinical pathology laboratories. Although originally trained in microbiology at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, her later laboratory career has focused on haematology, blood transfusion and stem cell transplantation. She has experience of working within a highly regulated environment, having worked in UKAS (ISO15189), HTA and MHRA assessed facilities. She has worked on a wide variety of projects within this time including validation of new laboratory methods, audit of clinical and laboratory processes and the implementation of new IT infrastructure. Amanda has an MSc in Biomedical Science, gained from Nottingham Trent University in 2019 with a heavy focus in her studies on genetic and molecular technologies. She has a strong background in all things laboratory and wants to apply this knowledge to the future development of diagnostics.

Dr. Clare Lendrem
Statistical Methodologist
Clare is a chartered statistician who joined the MIC in April 2018, where she focusses on the quantitative statistical aspects of diagnostics development: in particular, diagnostic accuracy studies. Her recent methodological work includes developing data monitoring algorithms for early-to-clinic diagnostics, and she has a longstanding methodological interest in developing biomarkers to ensure they are fit for purpose within healthcare settings.  Clare has served on a national scientific review panel for a charity investigating diagnostics, has a broad background in handling and analysing data, and over 30 years of experience of programming in languages such as SAS, visual basic, and R.  As pre-clinical statistical manager at Sanofi, Clare worked with lab scientists (in analytical sciences, in-vitro toxicology, toxicokinetics) on assay development and transfer to production sites, acquiring an understanding of in-vitro work, and particularly statistical analysis of lab data.  She was also a member of several project teams which were responsible for managing the development of drugs through preclinical stages to regulatory submission, working with a diverse range of specialists in multidisciplinary teams. She oversaw the development of a data analysis system at Sanofi, which focussed on improving workflow, quality of data and graphical visualization of results; and is constantly aiming to improve the quality and reproducibility of data handling and statistical skills of both herself and the teams she works with.  More recently, working as a data manager and statistician at the university, Clare has provided statistical support for undergraduates, PhD students and researchers; become familiar with NHS data, including setting up an MS-Access based database for the bone-marrow transplant team; and contributed to various ethics submissions and grant applications for research projects.  

Dr. Sara Graziadio 
Senior Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist
Sara joined the NIHR Newcastle DEC in August 2015 after being a Research Associate at Institute of Neuroscience in Newcastle University since 2009. She is a scientist with ten years’ training in statistics and has a strong academic background in the analysis and interpretation of large and complex datasets. In addition to her PhD in Neuroscience obtained in 2009, she has been awarded an MPhil in Statistics in 2017 for her innovative work in expert opinion elicitation and care pathway analysis within a Bayesian framework. She developed statistical and economic models in a number of clinical areas including diagnosis and monitoring of COPD, sepsis and stroke. Her interest has been focused in care pathway analysis and how it can inform subsequent clinical and economical study designs. She loves to design studies and plan new projects having extensive experience of project planning, management and coordination.

Dr. Sam Urwin
Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist  
Following a PhD in Clinical Biomechanics, Sam's interest of working with data led him to research and develop algorithms to extract and infer the safety and efficacy of interventional procedures from national routine health administrative data in the Medical Physics department of The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH). He then undertook the national Scientific Training Programme in Clinical Bioinformatics (Physical Sciences) as an in-service Trainee Clinical Scientist, qualifying in 2017. During this time, he also worked a Research Scientist for the Newcastle and York External Assessment Centre of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). In November 2019, Sam joined the Newcastle MIC as a Clinical Scientist.

Dr. Kile Green
Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist  
Kile joined the Newcastle MIC in February 2020 as a Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist.  He developed an interest in biomarker discovery and development though his BSc in Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry, before undertaking an MSc in Medical Sciences with a focus on drug discovery, experimental medicine and transplantation. This background was subsequently employed throughout a range of projects including analysis of incidence rates of graft-versus-host-disease following haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, metastatic risk stratification in squamous cell carcinoma and molecular stratification of primary biliary cholangitis.  He completed a PhD in bioinformatics in 2018 on data driven analysis of human dendritic cell subsets before joining the Human Cell Atlas project as a member of the Haniffa Lab, working on machine learning and single cell data analysis in the area of human fetal development.  He now aims to bring together the experience gained through his research career in bioinformatics and experimental medicine to develop novel methodology in the field of in-vitro diagnostics and test evaluation.

Tim Hicks
Pre-registrant Clinical Scientist

After originally studying Biomedical Sciences, Tim switched his focus to Biomedical Engineering and completed an MSc in Biomedical Engineering at Newcastle in 2016.
In 2017, Tim was accepted onto the Scientist Training Programme in Clinical Engineering, where he worked in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales as part of the Posture and Mobility Service, providing patients with assistive technology and custom seating. Tim’s interest in process pathways and computationally modelling led him to undertake a project in modelling Custom Seating Provision in the Posture and Mobility Service in order to improve wheelchair delivery times, and the patient experience.
Tim joined the MIC in April 2020 as a Pre-Registrant Clinical Scientist, with the aim of becoming registered in October 2020. Tim hopes to use his biomedical engineering and modelling background to provide care pathway analysis for implementation of new diagnostic tests.

Anna Halstead
Project Manager

As a Research Project Manager in Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences,  Anna is currently the Project Manager in the Newcastle MIC. This is a very varied role, which involves managing the team's resources, finances, planning and reporting as well as liaison with industry and stakeholders.  After completing her BA in languages (Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies) she began a role providing IT support to Spanish customers. This eventually led her to project management, predominantly in IT. Since then she has worked for several years in the private and public sectors, gaining experience in a wide range of projects and settings.  She joined Newcastle University in 2018.  She is a Prince2 Practitioner and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). 

Dr. Rachel Dickinson
Research and Development Study 
Over her 15 year academic career Rachel applied her genetics knowledge to advance different fields of medical research including haematology, breast and ovarian cancer and female infertility. As well as research she gained experience in a variety of activities including project management, administration, public engagement and teaching.  In March 2018 she joined the Newcastle MIC as a Research Project Administrator.  In November 2018 she was appointed as a Research and Development Study Manager, supporting governance of Newcastle MIC projects.  She is also the communications lead for the Newcastle MIC and provides administrative support.

Kasia Kurowska
PPIE Manager
Kasia Kurowska is the patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) Manager providing strategic support to build capacity and expertise in PPIE across three NIHR funded bodies in Newcastle: Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative; Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre and the Newcastle Clinical Research Facility. Kasia started her career as a political lobbyist working for business and local government. She has spent the past 10 years working in the charity sector campaigning and creating support services on a range of issues including dementia and vulnerable children and families. Kasia’s work focuses on empowering people to get involved in health research they care about.