Meet the team
We are a group of people passionate about randomised trials. We believe randomised trials play a very important role in improving people’s health and wellbeing. We’re excited to share the journey all the way through the different stages of a randomised trial. We know we have much to learn from each other and we really want The People’s Trial to help us achieve that. Above all, we want you to enjoy The People’s Trial.
Linda Biesty is a midwife, lecturer and researcher. Her research interest lies in talking to people, hearing about their lives and learning from their experiences. With the HRB-TMRN she is involved in projects that seek to help children, and ultimately the public, to undertake and understand trials.
Sarah Chapman’s work as the Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK focuses on sharing evidence from Cochrane systematic reviews through social media in ways that are quick and easy to find and understand, so that it can be used by people making decisions about health. A former nurse and health services researcher. Sarah writes for, and edits, Cochrane UK’s blog http://www.evidentlycochrane.net where evidence is shared in context and often along with reflections from patients or health professionals.
Declan Devane trained as a nurse and a midwife. He works on how to make trials better and on how to combine research information so that people can make better informed decisions about their health. He has appeared in the Guinness World Record book….for something entirely different. Declan is also Professor in Midwifery and Deputy Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Scientific Director of the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, Director of Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Director of Cochrane Ireland.
Elaine Finucane is a midwife who loves humans and coffee. She tries to do research that improves how we care for people. Elaine is extremely curious and likes finding out which questions people really want answered Elaine is also a Cochrane fellow, a PhD fellow and a research associate in the Centre for Health Evaluation, Methodology Research and Evidence Synthesis (CHEMRES), located in the National University of Ireland Galway. Elaine’s research is based mainly within the maternity care setting.
Mary Frances O’Reilly
Mary Frances O’Reilly is Director of Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development (NMPD) in the HSE West Mid-West and leads a team who provide leadership, support excellence and build capacity for nurses, midwives and healthcare support staff to enhance healthcare delivery and improve patient care and service delivery.
Sandra Galvin works in a national network called the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) which seeks to improve the ways we do trials in Ireland. She was involved in setting up the network and continues to promote the importance of making trials better, so that we can make healthcare better in Ireland. Sandra’s main job is to help “join the dots” and connect those involved in trials including those that take part in trials, those that design trials and those that fund trials. Sandra loves to communicate information related to trial methodology to anyone that is interested and she does this through social media and email, as well as being a chatterbox.
Heidi Gardner is passionate about public engagement and patient involvement with health research, and she recently completed a Fellowship funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust that saw her travel to North America and Asia to explore how creative science communication techniques can be used to make science more accessible to, and enjoyable for, the public. Heidi joined The People’s Trial team towards the end of her PhD in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen’s Health Services Research Unit. Her project focused on improving efficiency in clinical trial recruitment, and she’s now working as a Research Fellow on a project that aims to explore how effort is invested in the collection of primary and secondary outcomes in trials.
Katie Gillies is passionate about making clinical trials better for those who participate in them – patients. She works with lots of different groups of people including potential trial participants, doctors, nurses, researchers who design and deliver trials, and people who regulate trials to determine how they can be improved to ensure that those taking part have the best possible experience both before during and after a trial. Some of the projects Katie currently leads involve exploring how people are approached to take part in trials, how best to collect outcome data from people once they are enrolled in trials, and how we can ensure the results of trials are communicated back to those who took part.
Patricia Healy is a researcher and a registered nurse and midwife who trained and worked in Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin and the Coombe women’s and infants Hospital in Dublin. Patricia’s interest in trial methodology comes from a belief that all babies and children deserve care based on the best available evidence. Patricia is a senior research fellow in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) and is currently working as the Programme Manager for Evidence Synthesis Ireland (ESI).
John Newell is a statistician usually a conversation stopper. As a Professor of Biostatistics in NUIG he applies his skills in medical research by designing and analysing clinical trials as a part of a research team. His task is to quantify the evidence as to whether the intervention works and to translate the results in a meaningful way. His other area of research is in sports analytics analysing athlete monitoring data to help them perform optimally recover quickly while protecting them from injury. He collaborates with clinicians and sport scientists in other universities and in the Premier League NBA PGA and Formula One usually a conversation starter.
Anna Noel-Storr is an information specialist (aka a librarian) who likes data, information and tea. She looks after the Cochrane Crowd platform – a website that offers tasks aimed at finding reliable healthcare information. Her work has instilled in her the power of collaboration. As the saying goes “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.
Ann O’Brien is a social science researcher and Irish mammy, who wants to learn more about how the internet can help people do good stuff on the internet for the good of all. Her approach is influenced by her past as a road safety and disability access campaigner. Ann is research associate on The People’s Trial.
Aoife O’Shaughnessy is an undergraduate student in NUI Galway. She is in her 3rd year of her Biomedical science degree and is very keen on research and trials. In 2018, she was granted a summer research scholarship with the Translational Medical Device Lab in Galway. Aoife is looking to continue to work in research after her degree. Aoife is working on The People’s Trial as a summer research student.
Shaun Treweek helps people to design trials. He helps them think through what they have to do to avoid their finished trial being chucked in the bin because it doesn’t answer the questions that patients, their families and healthcare professionals actually had. He’s been doing this for nearly 20 years, Shaun is also Prof of Health Services Research at University of Aberdeen and leads an initiative called Trial Forge that aims to be more systematic about how we identify, generate and use research evidence in making trial design, conduct, analysis and reporting decisions.
Paul Wicks is a psychologist specialising in using the Internet to speed up the pace of research, connect patients with one another, and to ensure that patients and caregivers are given power and responsibility within the healthcare system. He lives in the UK with his wife, two young daughters, and a beagle. In 2011, Paul was awarded MIT Technology Review’s TR35 “Humanitarian of the Year” award and was recognized as a TED Fellow in 2012.