Meet the team


Duncan Gilbert - Chief Investigator
Duncan Gilbert is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Senior Lecturer in Cancer and Clinical Trials at MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL. He received his medical degree from the University of Cambridge and trained in internal medicine in Brighton. He undertook specialist training in clinical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospitals, during which he completed a PhD in the molecular biology of testicular cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, UK and spent 6 months volunteering at the Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, Nepal. He is now a consultant treating patients with lower GI cancers at University Hospitals Sussex, based in Brighton, and project lead for a number of late phase clinical trials at MRC CTU.


Sophie Merrick - Senior Medical Oncology Registrar
Sophie Merrick graduated from Manchester Medical School in 2011. She then completed her foundation and core medical training in London. She is a senior Medical Oncology Registrar at UCL and is currently taking time out of training to complete a fellowship in clinical trials at the MRC CTU (UCL). Dr Merrick has an interest in immuno-oncology and is completing a PhD on the optimisation of immune checkpoint inhibition in cancer. Dr Merrick is also passionate about education and has extensive experience in this field. 


Matthew Nankivell - Senior Statistician
Matt is the senior statistician on REFINE. He joined the MRC CTU in 2006, and in the last 15 years has worked on a number of large oncology trials. He has a particular interest in non-inferiority trials and patient reported outcomes, focusing on how treatments and diseases affect a patient’s quality of life. Matt is also heavily involved in education at the CTU, teaching on trial design and statistics topics on the Clinical Trials MSc, and is passionate about improving the understanding of these subjects across all disciplines involved in clinical trials.


Elli Bourmpaki - Statistician
Elli is a clinical trial statistician on REFINE. Prior to MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, Elli has worked on Phase II cancer trials at The Royal Marsden NHS Trust (including a Multi-Arm Multi-Stage trial design), two surgery trials at Imperial Clinical Trials Unit and two NIHR funded large observational studies at King's College London. She supported researchers' applications as general advisor and statistics specialist within Research and Design Services London Imperial College team. And has contributed to teaching as part of her work experience within UK Colleges. Elli is passionate on applying efficient adaptive designs in early phase clinical trials and communicating statistics as simple as possible allowing research to be accessible by everyone.


Matteo Quartagno - Statistician and Methodologist
Matteo Quartagno is a statistician and methodologist at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL. He earned a Ph.D. in Medical statistics from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, working on methods to handle missing data in meta-analyses. After two years as a post-doctoral research fellow at LSHTM, he joined the Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, where he works on developing novel, efficient and resilient trial designs. His main interest is in non-inferiority trials and trials to optimise treatment duration, with applications to several disease areas, including infections, cancer and TB.


Data Management Systems (DMS) team
The REFINE DMS team is made up of Data Scientist, Chiara Borg, two Programmers, Keith Fairbrother and Yinka Sowunmi, and Clinical Data Management Specialist Jemima Shickle. The DMS team supports the development and use of clinical trial database systems for the studies undertaken at MRC CTU at UCL and also provides data management support and training. Each individual in the team works on a mix of trials within the unit that vary in disease area, database system and data collection method.


Caroline Clarke - Senior Health Economist
Caroline is a senior health economist at University College London (UCL) and works on trials in a number of disease and therapy areas (various cancers, mental health conditions, complex interventions offered through primary care, and others), with the four clinical trials units in the UCL Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology, and with other groups in UCL and elsewhere. She is delighted to be leading the cost-effectiveness evaluation in the REFINE study, which will use information from our clinical trial participants on their quality of life and on the treatment pathways that they follow, to see how the different treatment frequencies compare in terms of their benefits to patients and value for money to the NHS.UCL IRIS profile:


Cindy Goldstein - Clinical Project Manager
Cindy Goldstein is the Clinical Project Manager (CPM) on REFINE. Cindy is qualified as a geneticist by training and gained her MSc(Med) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Cindy has been employed by the MRC CTU at UCL since 2003 and has been involved in many different Phase II and large-scale multi-national Phase III clinical trials across several disease areas. As a CPM, Cindy is responsible for coordinating clinical research projects, working collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team to ensure the safe, compliant, and successful delivery of the trial from start to finish. 


Cara Sheath - Trial Manager
Cara is a Trial Manager working on REFINE. She completed her MRes in Regenerative Medicine at the University of Bath and has over 5 years of experience working in Clinical Trials. The main responsibility as a Trial Manager is to ensure that REFINE is conducted to protocol and the data collected is accurate and of high quality. This involves providing training to sites and answering any queries which may arise. Cara helps to support sites through the process of opening and recruiting patients, in addition to chairing Trial Management Meetings to plan the next steps for REFINE.


Simona Salomone - Trial Manager
Simona is a Trial Manager working part-time on REFINE. She completed her PhD in Human Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin and worked as post-doctoral researcher for 4 years focusing on clinical trials in mental health, first at King’s College London and then at Birkbeck University of London. Following this, she moved on to work as clinical trials co-ordinator for 4 years at Queen Mary University in medical and dentistry research before joining the MRC CTU in 2021. Simona works collaboratively with the other members of the REFINE research team to ensure that REFINE is conducted to protocol and at high standards, supporting sites with their queries and joining regular trial management meetings. Simona also works as trial manager on the PrEPVacc trial, an African-led HIV vaccine trial.


Will Hudson - Data Manager
Will is a data manager at the MRC CTU at UCL, working on REFINE. Prior to starting on REFINE, he has worked on other cancer trials within the CTU, including PATCH and STAMPEDE. As a data manager, he works alongside trial managers and data scientists to generate, and resolve queries regarding patient data, as well as maintaining trial websites, testing and developing databases, and updating and maintaining site information.



Photography provided by Finn Hopson:

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