The Team


Vinidh Paleri MS FRCS(ORL-HNS) Consultant Head, Neck and Thyroid Surgeon, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University I was appointed to this post in 2005. I am one of the few surgeons in the United Kingdom with expertise in Transoral Robotic Surgery and Transoral Laser Microsurgery for head and neck cancers.

My research interests are primarily on the processes of care, decision making and functional outcomes in head and neck oncology. I have published over 130 papers, reviews and book chapters on head and neck oncology. I am chief investigator for the NIHR funded TUBE trial. Currently, I serve as Secretary for ENT.Head & Neck.UK and as Member of the Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Studies Group, NCRI. I have co-edited the fourth edition of the National Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Management Guidelines, and also co-edit the section on "Head and Neck Disease" for the forthcoming 8th edition of Scott-Brown's Otolaryngology, the leading multi-volume multi-author textbook in the specialty in the world, planned for publication in Dec 2015.

‌More information can be found about Mr Paleri at the links below:

The Qualitative team

Please click on the name below to find out more about the staff member:

Nikki Rousseau - Senior Research Associate

Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit

Please click on the name of the staff member below to find out more about them:

Claire Macdonald - Senior Trial Manager

Ann Marie Hynes - Trial Manager

Deborah Stocken - Deputy Director NCTU

Julie Doughty - Research Associate

Mike Cole - Statistician

Expert Dietician

Rachael Donnelly

Expert Oncologist

Teresa Guerrero Urbano PhD FRCR MRCPI LMS

Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer

Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital NHS Trust and King's College London

I was appointed to this current post in 2009 and specialise in radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments to Head and Neck cancers. My research interest is primarily on the use of novel radiation techniques to minimize long term side effects and the integration of functional imaging into radiation therapy as well as the use of chemotherapy and targeted therapy to improve outcomes for head and neck cancer patients.

Expert in Nutrition and PEG support

Tracey Cowper

Health Economics Expert

Luke Vale & Dawn Craig

Dawn Craig - I am an experienced researcher in health economics/evidence synthesis methodologies and will be leading the development of the economic modelling for the TUBE feasibility trial. We want to know whether it is better for patients to have a gastronomy tube put in before treatment, or whether it is better to use a NGT if patients are struggling to eat normally during treatment. However, we also need to understand the cost and cost-effectiveness of these two alternatives, so that we can ensure treatments delivered by our NHS are both effective and of value. Undertaking economic modelling alongside this feasibility trial will allow us to begin to understand the economic implications/value of these two interventions.

Expert Speech and Language Therapist

 Jo Patterson

I’m Jo Patterson, a speech and language therapist who specialises in swallowing problems after head and neck cancer treatment. I have spent many years researching this field alongside my clinical practice. We know that living with changes to eating and drinking is very difficult for patients and their families. Problems can vary and include difficulty in finding foods to eat, food sticking in the throat, meals taking a long time, decreased appetite, limited taste and reduced ability to go out and socialise. Understandably, low mood, embarrassment and frustration are common feelings when faced with these side effects. Finding ways of preventing or reducing swallowing problems is a top priority. How different feeding tubes affect swallowing outcomes is hotly debated amongst clinicians and there is no clear evidence as to what might be the best advice for patients. TUBE is a crucial study that will help us to answer many questions around feeding and swallowing.

Oral Health Expert

Stewart Barclay

Expert in Swallowing Research

Janet Wilson

Oncologist and Study Advisor

June Corry

Expert Patient

Jeremy Franks

All NHS research contracts place great emphasis on involving patients in the design and management of research projects.  Each management board will be expected to include a so-called “expert patient”, and I am that person for this research project.  My particular expertise in this case was to be diagnosed with and treated for a cancer of the mouth and neck.  These treatments are increasingly successful, but chemo-radiation treatments make it increasingly difficult for patients to swallow food normally.  Achieving adequate nutrition during and immediately after treatment is a key concern of patient and carers alike.  How the choices of supplementary feeding, a nasal tube or gastrostomy affect post-recover standard of life issues is also important.

To help the research establish its protocol and advise on how and when to approach patients we arranged a meeting involving 20 or so head and neck cancer patients, their carers and medical staff.  We fed our thoughts and views into the project design at an early stage so we have had a considerable influence on the research-patient interface.