Trustees:

Dr Mark Harries

BA, MB BChir, MRCP, PhD, FRCP

Consultant in Medical Oncology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust

“I am proud and privileged to be the chairman of Melanoma focus-a charity which aims to makes a real difference to the lives of patients with melanoma and to the healthcare professionals who look after them.’’

Biography

Dr Mark Harries is a Consultant in Medical Oncology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital and an honorary senior lecturer at King’s College London School of Medicine.  He specialises in the treatment of Melanoma and Breast Cancer. He graduated from Cambridge University and underwent clinical training at the Royal London Hospital. He trained in Medical Oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital and completed a PhD and post-doctoral work in the Department of Immunology at University College, London. His research interests include immunotherapy for melanoma and breast cancer as well as clinical trials of new biological agents for these diseases. He is lead investigator on a number of clinical trials and has published over 50 papers.

Professor Samra Turajlic

BA, MBBS, MRCP,PhD

Consultant Medical Oncologist, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, UK

“I am very proud to be associated with Melanoma Focus because of the excellent support it provides for patients and professionals alike.”

Biography

Professor Samra Turajlic completed her undergraduate medical studies at Oxford University and clinical training at UCL. She completed specialist training in medical oncology in 2015 and was appointed a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Royal Marsden sub-specialising in the treatment of melanoma and kidney cancer. She gained a PhD in 2013 from the Institute of Cancer Research in the field of melanoma genetics and targeted therapy resistance.  In 2014, she was awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship to study cancer evolution at the CRUK London Research Institute. She became an independent Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute in 2019 and divides her time between the clinic and her lab. Samra Turajlic is the Chief Investigator of translational studies into melanoma and kidney cancer, and her goal is to develop an evolutionary understanding of cancer through interdisciplinary research for patient benefit, including therapy and methods development. She is Faculty Lead for Basic and Translational Research of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), and Faculty member for Immunotherapy. She is the lead of the 100K Genomes Project Partnership for Melanoma.  She is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute Jules Bourdet (Brussels), Systems Biology Ireland Institute, and Genomics England (UK). She is a member of the WHO pathology working group, NCRI Bladder and Renal Cancer Clinical Studies Group, Uveal Melanoma Guidelines Group, ESMO Faculty member for genitourinary cancers. She is a Trustee of patient advocacy groups, Kidney Cancer Support Network and Melanoma Focus and a Senior Editor at Macmillan Cancer Support. She receives research funding from Melanoma Research Alliance, National Institute for Health, and Department of Defence (all US), and CRUK, Rosetrees Trust, the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, the RMH/ICR Biomedical Research Centre (all UK), as well as industry support from Roche and BMS. In 2022 she was awarded the ESMO Translational Research Award for the work impacting cancer science and translational medicine, including her wok on cancer and COVID-19.

 

Dr Pippa Corrie

PhD, FRCP

Consultant Medical Oncologist, Addenbroke's Hospital, UK

"Having a single national charity supporting both patients and professionals is a fabulous way to work in partnership, to achieve the maximum benefits for people diagnosed and living with melanoma.”

Biography

Dr Pippa Corrie qualified in medicine at Oxford University, having previously undertaken a PhD in anticancer drug development. She has been a Consultant Medical Oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Addenbrooke’s Hospital) since 1997 and is an Associate Lecturer in the University of Cambridge. She has extensive experience leading melanoma clinical trials and is Chief Investigator of the MITRE microbiome study as well as PREMIUM, evaluating neoadjuvant therapy. She is a co-founder and Trustee of Melanoma Focus. Pippa also works for the NIHR Clinical Research Network as National Specialty Lead for Late Phase and International Cancer Trials.

Mr Howard Peach

MB,ChB, BSc, FRCS

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, The Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS trust, UK

Biography

Mr Howard Peach qualified from Bristol in 1989, completing a skin cancer fellowship at the Sydney Melanoma Unit, Australia. In 2003 he was appointed as a consultant Plastic Surgeon in Leeds. He has been actively involved in establishing a comprehensive skin cancer service for the region, including sentinel node biopsy, isolated limb infusion and electrochemotherapy. He continues to develop regional and national guidelines for the management of skin cancer, including a recent national consensus document on sentinel node biopsy. He was instrumental in developing a national skin cancer fellowship and continues to participate in clinical trials and publishing articles.

Professor Catherine Harwood

MA, MBBS. PhD, MRCP

Consultant Dermatologist at Barts Health NHS Trust, UK

Biography

Professor Catherine Harwood is a Consultant Dermatologist in the Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust. She qualified in Medicine from the University of Cambridge and St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, London. Her training in dermatology was at Westminster Hospital, St John’s Institute of Dermatology, St George’s Hospital and Barts and the London NHS Trust. Her main clinical and research interests are related to skin cancer, particularly in immunosuppressed individuals.

Imogen Cheese

Founder of the Melanoma Patient Conference

Biography

Imogen Cheese is a melanoma patient based in Gloucestershire. She was diagnosed with stage 2C melanoma in June 2013. Imogen created a website blog shortly after diagnosis, www.melanomarollercoaster.co.uk, and subsequently become involved in patient awareness & knowledge of melanoma.

She serves as an advocacy representative at numerous conferences and events across Europe, helps provide the PPI representation for many research initiatives and is dedicated to improving patient engagement within clinical trials, specifically relating to patient care and access to quality across the UK.

She is Founder of the Melanoma Patient Conference, an annual conference aimed at patients. The conference provides an opportunity to learn about melanoma and current treatment options and to gain access to support all over the UK. It is attended by more than 200 patients, carers, and medical professionals and has formed a platform that is impartial, empowering, and motivating.

Imogen has been a trustee for Melanoma Focus for about 4 years now, having been encouraged by Founder Simon Rodwell to bring her patient perspective to the trustee board. Professionally Imogen Cheese works as Director of Business Development UK & Europe for Imperial CRS a US based clinical company. Her role is to work with clients providing support on Patient Recruitment & Engagement, Translation & Ancillary Study Supplies for global clinical trials.

Jackie Hodgetts

Nurse Clinician in Melanoma,The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester

I am very proud to be a trustee of melanoma focus. As a member I have found it to be extremely important resource for health care professionals and patients alike. The Melanoma Helpline has provided many patients with vital information and support at what is often a very difficult and stressful time

Biography

Jackie Hodgetts is a Nurse Clinician at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, where she has worked since 1988 when she was employed as a Research Nurse working with lung cancer and melanoma patients. In 2009 she completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Practice, and since then has worked with melanoma patients, assessing and supporting them through treatment, as well as managing their toxicities.
Jackie has been involved in multiple trials of melanoma treatments, including the early studies of BRAF inhibitors and other targeted therapies. She was also involved in early studies with CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies and has since treated many patients with these therapies. Consequently she has developed expertise in melanoma treatments and the management of their side effects. Jackie has published two articles on melanoma in Cancer Nursing Practice and The Nursing Times, and has jointly published a paper on understanding and managing immune-related adverse events.
She also leads the team of expert nurses who work on the Melanoma Focus Helpline.

Patron:

Sir Chris Bryant, MP

Patron of Melanoma Focus

“I’m living proof that spotting things early saves lives. So if in doubt, check it out.”

Biography

Sir Chris Bryant is a British politician, since 2001 he has served as a member of parliament for Rhondda. He graduated from Oxford, where he read English and further went on to obtain an additional degree in Theology from Ripton College Cuddesdon. From 2008-2009 Chris served as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and under-secretary state for Europe and Asia from 2009-2010. From 2015-2016 Chris served as Shadow Culture Secretary and shadow Leader of the House of Commons.

In 2019 after finding an unusual mole on the back of his head, Chris was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. Chris underwent surgery and received adjuvant treatment.

You can watch our interview between Chris and Dr Mark Harries, Chair of Melanoma Focus here.

Alongside his role in parliament, Chris dedicates a lot of his time to raise vital awareness about Melanoma. He uses own experiences to talk openly about early detection and prevention. Chris was awarded a Knighthood in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list, this achievement was in part a recognition for his work with melanoma charities, along with the campaigning he has carried out for his many other passions.

Sun Safety Ambassador:

Jaime Nobbs

Melanoma Clinical Nurse Specialist, The Royal Marsden Hospital, UK

Biography

Jaime is a Melanoma Clinical Nurse Specialist at the The Royal Marsden Hospital. She advises Melanoma Focus on all aspects of Sun Safety and recently worked with us to produce a range of explainer videos to help the public stay safe in the sun.

Staff Team:

Susanna Daniels

CEO

Biography

Susanna is privileged to be CEO of Melanoma Focus.  An oncology pharmacist by background in leading teaching hospitals and then in Pharma, Susanna has worked for over 20 years with clinicians, nurses and patients to improve patient pathways. She brings this experience to continue the core values of Melanoma Focus by providing key resources, education, and support to the skin cancer multidisciplinary team, patients, carers and the general public.

Fiona Prakasam

Fundraising Manager

Biography

Fiona is the Fundraising Manager at Melanoma Focus and comes from a background in healthcare charities. She supports individuals, groups and companies that want to get involved with Melanoma Focus through fundraising events, donations and partnerships.

Jenn McConnell

Office and Events Manager

Biography

Jenn holds the role of Office and Events Manager, leveraging her extensive decade-long background in charitable organisations, predominantly within Australia’s health sector. Within her capacity, Jenn oversees the orchestration of the patient conference and the biannual professional educational meetings. Additionally, she assumes the responsibility of spearheading operations pertaining to the Melanoma Helpline and various facets of the charity’s day-to-day operations.

Olivia Denton

Digital Marketing Manager

Biography

Olivia manages the digital marketing at Melanoma Focus, including our social media channels. She has marketing experience working with various healthcare charities and is currently completing her Chartered Institute of Marketing Level 6 Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing.

Lucy Cowie

Grants Manager

Biography

Lucy is the Trust and Grant manager and brings with her 22 years’ fundraising experience from a wide reach of charitable concerns including breast and pancreatic cancer.  Her work focuses on funding for future projects and development.

Nikita Ponda

Biography

Nikita works on the Melanoma TrialFinder at Melanoma Focus. She is a pharmacist by background, with over 10 years’ experience and a speciality in cancer. She trained in the hospital setting, going on to support patients with their cancer treatments, as well as helping to co-ordinate the set-up of clinical trial protocols within the cancer centre.