NIHR Imperial BRC Team

Professor Mark Thursz

Director, NIHR Imperial BRC
R&D Director, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Interim Head, Department of Surgery and Cancer
Professor of Hepatology

Mark Thursz is professor of hepatology in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Thursz is a clinical hepatologist at St Mary’s Hospital. In addition to his leadership role as the Director of the NIHR Imperial BRC, he is also the R&D Director for ICHT and Head of the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction at Imperial College London.

Prof Thursz was educated at King’s College London and trained in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at St Mary’s being appointed as senior Lecturer and honorary consultant in 1997. His early research work with Howard Thomas and Adrian Hill focussed on genetic susceptibility in viral hepatitis, which expanded to encompass the natural history of viral hepatitis and factors which determine disease progression. In 2011, Prof Thursz launched the Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa (PROLIFCA) programme to address barriers to control and elimination of viral hepatitis in resource limited countries. In addition to viral hepatitis, he runs a translational research programme in alcohol-related liver disease (including STOPAH trial), and was recently granted an MRC Stratified Medicine award exploring novel biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and risk of infection in this condition.

Dr Paul Craven

Head of Research Operations
NIHR Imperial BRC Manager

Paul joined Imperial College London in April 2012 as Clinical Research Operations Manager in the Faculty of Medicine. Prior to this appointment he worked as Head of the Joint Research Office at St George’s, University of London, and as Deputy Scientific Secretary at the Institute of Cancer Research in South Kensington. Paul read Physics at the University of Leeds, and completed his PhD in Aerospace Science in 1995 at Cranfield University.

As the NIHR Imperial BRC Manager, Paul coordinates all research and financial management and reporting activities for the BRC Themes, and also for funding received via the London (North West) Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN). In 2017, Paul was appointed as the Head of Research Operations at Imperial College London and the Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust.

Mr Tom Almond

Research Programmes Manager

Tom has worked in various roles supporting clinical research at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHSFT. As part of a research finance team in Sheffield, Tom has experience costing and managing commercial and non-commercial awards within the NHS and wider research infrastructure. As a Directorate based Research Co-ordinator, Tom has vast experience supporting researchers through the entire process of clinical research including; funding proposal development, study design and development, public and patient involvement in research, regulatory approval, study feasibility, study delivery, study reporting and dissemination. Tom joined Imperial College London in August 2022.

As one of three NIHR Imperial BRC Research Programme Managers Tom supports the financial management and reporting activities for the following Themes:- Digital Health, Molecular Phenomics, Multiple Long-term Conditions, Pregnancy & Prematurity, Social, Genetic & Environmental Determinants of Health.

Dr Antonia Gould

Research Programmes Manager

Antonia joined Imperial College London in 2017 as a Grants Coordinator in LMS before moving in 2018 to be the Section Manager for Neuroscience in the Department of Brain Sciences. Prior to joining the College finance administration Antonia completed a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology in the NHLI at Imperial in 2012 followed by a Post-doctoral position in Cellular Biophysics at The Randall Centre, King’s College London.

As one of three NIHR Imperial BRC Research Programme Managers Antonia supports the financial management and reporting activities for the following Themes:- Cardiovascular, Digestive Diseases, Immunology, Metabolic & Endocrine and Surgery & Cancer

Dr Mekala Gunaratnam

Research Programmes Manager

Mekala joined Imperial College London in October 2021.

As one of three NIHR Imperial BRC Research Programme Managers Mekala supports the financial management and reporting activities for the following Themes:- Biomedical Engineering, Brain Sciences, Infection & AMR and Respiratory.

Dr Quasirat Hasnat

Research Programmes Officer

Quasirat joined NIHR Imperial BRC office in June 2022.