Research Advisory Board (RAB)

Purpose of RAB

The purpose of the RAB of the Essex Cancer Research Charity (ECR) is to support the organization, and its intended beneficiaries.

Role of RAB

The RAB serves as a representative link between ECR and the medical and scientific community. Its role is primarily advisory, however, it may, on behalf of ECR, actively engage in promoting education, awareness, and other activities that benefit the charity and its community. The Research Advisory Board is accountable to the Board of Trustees which requests support in identifying and shaping ECR’s offering for the benefit of the local community. The RAB does not make decisions for ECR unless specifically asked to do so; however, its expertise, experience and input is highly valued.

Dr Krishnaswamy Madhavan

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Dr Krishnaswamy Madhavan - MBBS, MD, DMRT, FRCR Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Krishnaswamy Madhavan is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist based at the Southend Cancer Centre. He has around 25 years experience in Oncology with special interest in Head and Neck and Gynaecological Cancer.

He is Principal Investigator for national and European clinical studies. He was Clinical Lead for the Essex Cancer Research Network from its establishment in 2009 to 2013 and has been on the Essex Research Ethics Committee as an expert member.

He has been an advocate for patient and public involvement in every aspect of service and research. A research focused charity for the Essex provides this opportunity for designing a research around the people of the region.

Dr Sid Liyanage

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Consultant Radiologist MBBS(Hons), BSc(Hons), MRCS(Eng), DOHNS, FRCR

Dr Liyanage has been a Consultant radiologist since 2010. He undertook his undergraduate training at Barts and The London Medical School. He obtained a 1st class BSc in Anatomy & Physiology in 1997 and went on to complete his medical degree in 2000 with distinctions in Surgery and Pathology. Following this he undertook four years of basic surgical training in London during which he completed the MRCS and DOHNS examinations.

He subsequently completed five years of radiology training in London based at Barts and The London Hospitals. Dr Liyanage undertook an Abdominal & Pelvic MRI Fellowship at Barts Hospital during his final year of training, developing subspecialist skills in gynaeoncology and urological oncology and endocrinology.

He has an interest in medical education and has completed a PgC Med Ed from Cardiff University and is currently an Anatomy examiner for the Royal College of Radiologists. Dr Liyanage has over 20 publications in peer reviewed journals and has lectured and presented at a number of national and international conferences and courses.

Dr Liyanage research interests include multi-parametric MRI in prostate cancer diagnosis and has published a number of peer reviewed articles on the subject.

I am passionate about imaging research and the crucial role it plays in cancer diagnostics and the impact it has on patient management and treatment strategies. The ECR will provide a platform to encourage and promote cancer research in all its guises and a forum to enhance the many talents that already exist in the region.

Mr Peter Acher

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MA PGCAP FRCS(Urol) Phd - Consultant Urological Surgeon at Southend University Hospital

Pete Acher is a Consultant Urological Surgeon at Southend University Hospital, a substantive post held since completing training on the South Thames registrar rotation in April 2012. As well as general and endourology, he has developed particular expertise in prostate disease. Locally he has developed an advanced prostate diagnostics service that incorporates MRI and targeted transperineal prostate biopsy: work on this has been published and presented internationally winning best poster prize at the British Association of Urological Surgeons annual meeting amongst others. He has also introduced short stay holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) leading to a reduced average hospital stay of one night (previously three) and forty per cent same day discharge. He carries out over 100 HoLEP procedures a year.

Having begun his training at Cambridge University, Mr Acher has maintained a strong academic profile having completed a PhD on the subject of prostate brachytherapy, and published 33 PubMed-linked papers as well as several book chapters and other peer-reviewed articles. At present he is the Principal Investigator for several multicentre trials: CADMUS concerning ultrasound-based prostate diagnostics; TRUeNTH on the subject of patient reported outcomes after prostate surgery; and the DIAMOND study evaluating new biomarkers for the detection of prostate cancer.

He has shown his commitment to teaching by attaining a formal qualification – the postgraduate certificate of academic practice (PGCAP). He established the yearly Transition for Trainees course held in Southend and is faculty on several other national courses as well Clinical and Educational supervisor for trainees. He is tutor and supervisor for Medical Students as well as students on the Physician Associate training program at Southend. He has recently developed the Surgical Care Practitioner role within the unit with two trainees.

Mr Acher is currently co-lead for the Department of Urology and co-lead for Urology in transforming Essex-wide Urology services as part of the STP.

When time allows he enjoys playing golf, cycling and getting muddy. He lives in Brentwood with his wife, two daughters, four chickens and a cat named Bob.

I am really excited to be part of Essex Cancer Research. We have a great resource in Essex with a willing and diverse population, University support, and clinicians who are at the coal face whilst maintaining strong academic rigor. The opportunities of collaboration across the region are endless. The ECR is a great step forward for this.

Dr Khalil Razvi

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Consultant Gynaecologist and Gynaecological Oncologist, Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Khalil qualified as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in 1995 and subsequently obtained certification in Gynaecological Oncology completing his training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. He has held leadership positions in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Women’s & Children, Gynaecological oncology and Colposcopy in Essex since his appointment in Southend Hospital in 2005. He has been active in research since the 1990s with over 30 publications and holds 2 international patents (one in gynaecological oncology). He is a founder of the Essex gynaecological cancer charity, COPES, founded in 2006 and based in Southend Hospital.

Dr George Sioftanos

Maz Kamarudin

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General Practitioner

Maz Kamarudin is a General Practitioner with an academic interest in cancer, specifically early diagnosis of cancer and pathways to diagnosis. His oncology experience involves working as a Specialist Registrar in Clinical Oncology for several years prior to general practice.

Maz is the Primary Care Physician for the Vague Cancer Symptoms Pathway with Southend University Hospital. Prior to this, he was with MDC (Multi-diagnostic Centre) in Southend University Hospital under the ACE-2 programme CRUK, working in a similar role.

Within his general practice, he is the Palliative Care Lead.

Dr Andrea Mohr

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School of Life Sciences at the University of Essex

Andrea Mohr graduated from the University of Ulm in 1997. She then moved to Hanover, undertaking a PhD in the Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology at the Children`s University Hospital. Her PhD was funded by a scholarship from the German Science Foundation. From 2000 to 2005 Andrea carried out post-doctoral research at the Children`s Hospital of the University of Ulm. During that time, she started working with blood stem cells. To broaden her expertise to other types of stem cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), she moved to Ireland.

During her time at the National University of Ireland in Galway, she was awarded a prestigious Health Research Board Ireland fellowship, and was also part of the team who were the first to develop anMSC-based cell therapeutic approach to deliver the cancer-cell-death causing protein TRAIL to tumours. Since 2013 Andrea has been continuing her work on MSC-based therapies at the University of Essex.

In 2019 Andrea was appointed as lecturer. In collaboration with other researchers at the University of Essex and colleagues from other academic institutions, she is focusing on cellular signaling in the tumour microenvironment and cell therapies. Aside from her research, Andrea is acting as reviewer for multiple journals in the cancer field. As director of the MSc Cancer Biology, she is training the next generation of cancer researchers.

Professor Greg Brooke

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Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Essex

Greg Brooke undertook his undergraduate degree at Queen Mary and Westfield College (University of London), graduating with a 1st Class Hons in Biological Sciences. Following his degree, he joined Dr Vigushin’s Laboratory (Imperial College London) as a research associate, investigating inhibitors of RAS signalling as treatment options for breast cancer. He undertook a prestigious MRC DTP-funded PhD in Professor Bevan’s laboratory (Imperial College London), which investigated the role of androgen receptor mutations in prostate cancer development and progression.

This project generated multiple papers and additional funding from charities and industry. Following his PhD, Greg remained at Imperial College, where he started to develop his independent research career, which was supported by charity and industrial funding and a research fellowship (Martin Harris Fellowship).

In 2013, Greg took a lectureship at the University of Essex, where he has setup his own research team to develop therapeutics to improve the survival and quality of life of cancer patients. This work is highly collaborative and the research involves colleagues from other academic institutions, industrial partners and clinicians.