RDS-SC Portsmouth and Isle of Wight Region

Sarah Brien

Dr Sarah Brien (PhD) is RDS SC Portsmouth site lead and both Principle Enterprise Fellow, University of Southampton & Principal Research Fellow University of Portsmouth. In addition, Sarah is Principle Research Advisor at both our Southampton and Portsmouth sites where she provides advice in qualitative and mixed methods methodology as well as generic research advice.  She is also the Southampton lead for NIHR fellowship applications

Sarah has a broad range of expertise in research methodologies, which are informed by her own research over the previous 14 years. Primarily, she has expertise in qualitative methodology, but is additionally experienced in quantitative and mixed methods methodologies.

Sarah conducted her own research whilst based in the Department of Primary Care, University of Southampton. Her research interests have mainly focused on self-management in long term medical conditionsShe has a particular interest and expertise in the role of complementary medicine in the management of long-term conditions. Sarah was awarded two fellowships within this area, including an NIHR postdoctoral fellowship (2004-2008). She has been CI on 16 studies  obtaining funding, as the lead researcher of just under £1million (including NIHR funding) to run her research, as well as and experienced PhD and MSc supervisor. Her studies have utilised different methodologies: ten qualitative studies, three clinical trials and one mixed method study, and two surveys. She has 41 publications, most as lead or final author.

Her current research is exploring psychological and behavioural determinants of quality of life impairment in people with the lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, with a view to developing interventions to improve poor quality of life in this patient group.

Sarah joined the RDS SC in July 2014. In addition to her current RDS SC posts, Sarah has also worked as a non-clinical researcher in Primary Care, University of Southampton since 1998. Additionally Sarah has undertaken consultancy work in the field of herbal &  nutritional medicine in the self-management of long term conditions,  and as a consultant researcher since 1998 too.

Anna Maguire-Elliott

Anna Maguire Elliott (PhD) is Research Administrator for the RDS South Central in Portsmouth, and she provides PA support to Sarah Brien, the Portsmouth site lead.

Anna has eighteen years of experience in university administration, including ten years for New York University’s London Centre.  She also holds a PhD in Literature and has taught English to undergraduates in the US and UK.

Dia Soilemezi

Dr Dia Soilemezi (PhD) is a Research Adviser at the RDS SC, based at the Portsmouth site

Dia is a qualitative researcher, but has also worked in mixed-methods research projects. Dia’s main research interests focus on dementia care and support, older people’s needs, home care and impact of family caregiving, therapeutic healthcare environments, falls prevention at hospitals, and meaning of home. Dia graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Crete (Greece) and has an MSc in Health Psychology from Sussex University. Dia’s PhD is investigating the impact of the home environment in dementia care and was shortlisted for best research 2016 by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Before joining RDS SC in 2017 Dia worked as a Research Fellow in ageing-related projects, University of Portsmouth. Before embarking on research, Dia was employed in a variety of clinical settings in Brighton and Portsmouth, supporting adults and the elderly with stroke, dementia and mental health problems.  She has also been a project worker implementing European integration projects, focusing on work-training and education for ex-drug addicts in Athens, Greece.

Wendy Wood

Dr Wendy Wood (PhD) is a Senior Research Adviser in NIHR Research Design Service South Central.  Whilst previously working at the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit Wendy was involved in the development of a large number of grant applications to various funding bodies including CR UK, NIHR, LLR, and MRC. This included trial design as well as assessing staff and resources required and costing appropriately.

She has many years experience in clinical trials management and has been responsible for oversight of trials at all stages – development, set up, recruitment, follow up, analysis and closedown, ongoing grant management and troubleshooting delays and problems with trial conduct and patient recruitment. She has experience in phase Ib, II and III trials, blinded, randomised, chemotherapy trials of licensed and unlicensed IMPs, trials involving radiotherapy, surgery, psychological interventions, exercise and devices, tissue collection of various types of samples for translational sub-studies as well as PK and PD aspects of early phase trials. Disease areas include various tumour types – lymphoma, myeloma, lung, colorectal, prostate, head & neck, oesophageal, germ cell, as well as non-cancer trials in paediatric orthopaedics, asthma, eczema, alcoholic hepatitis, psychology.

She is qualified in adult and paediatric nursing and has a degree and PhD in biochemistry.