Management Team

Joanne Edwards, INCISE Director, University of Glasgow

Professor Joanne Edwards is Professor of Translational Cancer Pathology, in Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, working closely with Academic Unit of Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Glasgow Research Tissue Facility, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. 

Joanne has a BSc in Pharmacology from University of Glasgow and a PhD in Molecular Biology from University of St Andrews.  Notably, despite being a non-clinical researcher, her contribution to the field of cancer biomarkers resulted in her being elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.  She has a successfully funded portfolio of multi-disciplinary peer-reviewed research, over 170 publications, over 10,000 citations and an H index of 53.

Her research focuses on how biomarkers can be employed as prognostic and predictive markers in cancer management.  The over arching aim of her team is to better understand the determinants of short and long-term outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer. In particular, the relationship between the local and systemic inflammatory responses, tumour microenvironment and cell signalling with a view to taking such knowledge into the routine clinical management of colorectal cancer. Central to this work is the team’s large colorectal tissue banks with matching clinical information allowing identification of clinically relevant prognostic and predictive biomarkers.  Expertise in this area, lead to her interest in developing a risk stratification score to predict risk of developing future polyps and hence the INCISE collaborative.  As director of INCISE Joanne overseas, the program as a whole and has specific interest in work packages 2-7.

Gerard Lynch, INCISE Project Manager, University of Glasgow

Dr Gerard Lynch is the INCISE Project Manager. As the Project Manager for the INCISE project, he supports the wider INCISE Management team, coordinates the various work packages and is responsible for delivering operational management. Gerard has over 14 years’ experience in Biomedical research and project management. He completed his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Leeds. After working as a research scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC for six years, he returned to the UK and has been working at the University of Glasgow since 2018.

Stephen McSorley, Clinical Lead, NHS GG&C

Stephen is currently a Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Specialty Training Registrar in General Surgery based at the University of Glasgow.  He qualified from the University of Glasgow medical school in 2009, and undertook his foundation and core surgical training in the West of Scotland.  He was made Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (Glasgow) in 2012, before completing his PhD in colorectal cancer surgery at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Royal Infirmary in 2019.  His research interests include the influence of the postoperative systemic inflammatory response on morbidity and long term survival after surgery for colorectal cancer, the relationship between host immune responses to gastrointestinal cancers and anaemia, and the early detection of colorectal cancer in symptomatic and screened populations.

Jennifer Hay, Tissue Retrieval and Processing, Glasgow Tissue Research Facility

Dr. Jennifer Hay is the Manager of the Glasgow Tissue Research Facility.  The GTRF offers support in the next phase of research, post tissue acquisition. Tissue-based research underpins precision medicine development and the GTRF enables the researcher to develop translational and preclinical aspects of their work through technical services and support. Our protocols have been developed in conjunction with the NHS therefore our histology services are at diagnostic level. Jennifer has worked in the NHS for the last 12 years, previously as a senior Biomedical Scientist graduating with an MSC in Cellular Pathology and PhD in Neuropathology along the way.  Previously she has worked in a commercial setting in LifeScan Scotland Ltd. and Stirling Medical Ltd

James Park, Clinical Lead, NHS GG&C

James is a Clinical Lecturer and Consultant in colorectal and general surgery. He completed his undergraduate degree in medicine in 2007 at University of Glasgow, and subsequently a undertook a clinical research fellow post in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, completing a PhD focusing on the systemic environment and tumour microenvironment of colorectal cancer. As a clinical lecturer, his main interests are in how systemic and local inflammatory processes influence outcome of patients with colorectal cancer. He is a member of the Cancer Research UK Early Detection Early Career Researcher Scotland steering committee.

John Waller, Digital Pathology, OracleBio

John is the Chief Operations Officer at OracleBio, which he co-founded in 2011. Before OracleBio, John spent 15 years working as a biology project leader for various pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca and Merck & Co. He has expertise in lead optimisation through to early clinical development, including the integration of translational biomarkers into drug discovery programs across numerous therapeutic areas.

Alistair Ritchie, Genomics, Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory

Alistair Ritchie has been the Laboratory Manager at GPOL since December 2018.  He received a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biomedical Science from the University of Bradford in 1998 before completing a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Nottingham in 2004.  After postdoctoral positions in the United Kingdom and Spain, Alistair moved into industry working on the development of genetic testing services at 2B BlackBio S.L. in Madrid.  Returning to the UK to work in biosafety testing for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, before managing a team that performed food safety and security testing, Alistair then joined the University of Glasgow.

Alistair will be responsible for meeting the targets of Work Programme 6 of INCISE coordinating receipt of samples in the GPOL sequencing laboratory and the timely release of sequence data for analysis.

Ditte Andersen, Transcriptomics, BioClavis

Ditte Andersen, PhD, is Sr. Scientist at BioClavis and a key technical member leading the team covering all molecular biology aspects of BioClavis’ operation, including processing and analysing customer/collaborators samples, and internal R&D projects. Ditte will coordinate activities with the Project Team and members of the scientific staff to accomplish the technical goals. In addition to being expert at the TempO-Seq assay, she has extensive knowledge in microRNA biology and quantitative PCR and doctoral training focused on the role of microRNAs in skeletal muscle insulin resistance at Royal Veterinary College, University of London

Alexander Weir, Data Integration and Clinical Cockpit, Canon Medical Research Europe

Alexander Weir received the B.Eng. degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering (first class honours) from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, in 1997, and completed an Engineering Doctorate with the Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics, School of Engineering and Physical Science at Heriot-Watt University in 2016. He has over twenty years of software development experience covering the full development life-cycle and has led several high-profile projects. He has worked for a range of companies, including British Aerospace, Cadence Design Systems and Thales Electronic Solutions, and has a diverse range of commercial experiences from defence and telecommunications, to short-range wireless protocol design for Bluetooth, DECT and UWB. In 2010 he branched into the field of healthcare technology. From 2010 to 2017 he developed and led medical technology innovation activities at the Medical Device Unit, Dept. Clinical Physics and Bioengineering, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, where he was Technical Operations Manager. Within this role he was also a member of the European Commission working group on mHealth assessment guidelines from 2015 to 2016. In June 2017 he joined Toshiba Medical Visualisation Systems Europe, now Canon Medical Research Europe, where he is a Senior Technical Manager with responsibility for the AI Research group at their design centre in Edinburgh. As part of this role, he is also the Programme Manager for Canon led work packages and deliverables in the iCAIRD research programme. His interests include health informatics, the application of AI and machine learning in a broad range of applications in healthcare, signal and image processing, mHealth/eHealth, cloud-based services, and the Internet of Things.

Robert Insall, Machine Learning, University of Glasgow

Robert is the Professor of Mathematical & Computational Cell Biology in the Institute of Cancer Sciences, Glasgow University.  He completed a Ph.D. in the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge, before a postdoctoral stint funded by a NATO fellowship in the Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, where he worked on the mechanisms that allow cells to read chemical gradients, known as chemotaxis.  He returned to the UK, funded by a Wellcome Trust Career Development fellowship, as one of the first faculty in UCL’s Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology.  After stints there and at Birmingham University, he came to Glasgow’s Beatson Institute, where he set up a number of fruitful collaborations with mathematicians and computer scientists; computational and mathematical modelling and machine learning now dominate his work. He has been deputy chair of MRC’s Nonclinical Careers panel and a member of the Molecular and Cellular Medicine board, as well as a panellist for organisations including NC3Rs, EPSRC, UKRI, and Human Frontiers, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2014.

Neil Hawkins, Health Economics, University of Glasgow

Neil holds a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Bristol, Masters Degrees in Health Economics (York) and Applied Statistics (Sheffield), and also an MBA from the University of Oxford.  He has over 17 years experience in the field of HTA and has participated in over thirty health technology assessments covering a wide variety of clinical areas.  Previously he was a Reader in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Vice President leading the global Health Economics practice at ICON plc.

Neil's research focuses on evidence synthesis and decision analytic modelling, precision medicine, and early stage health technology assessment.  He also acts as a consultant in HTA to the pharmaceutical and device industries providing both strategic and analytic advice, and has acted as an external consultant on the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Scientific Advice programme.