Our people

Meet the team who run the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital BRC.

Professor Thomas Voit

Thomas Voit – Director

Professor Thomas Voit is Director of the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) BRC, Professor and Honorary Consultant of Paediatrics at GOSH, and Vice-Dean for Enterprise at UCL’s Faculty of Population Health Sciences. Thomas is a leader in translational medicine with a focus on genetics, gene therapy and neuromuscular diseases. Read more.

Professor Wedderburn

Lucy Wedderburn – Deputy Director and Rare Disease Cohorts Theme Lead

Lucy Wedderburn is Professor in Paediatric Rheumatology at ICH, Director of Arthritis Research UK Centre for Adolescent Rheumatology at UCL GOSH and UCL Hospitals, and GOSH/UCL Hospitals consultant. Her research interests are T cell immunology, immune regulation and muscle biology, with a major focus upon human T cell responses and immune regulation.

Lyn Chitty

Lyn Chitty - Deputy Director and Translational Research & Enterprise Accelerator Deputy Theme Lead

Professor Lyn Chitty is Deputy Director of the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital BRC. Professor Lyn Chitty is Professor of Genetics and Fetal Medicine at Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation Trust, NIHR Senior Investigator and Clinical Director of the North Thames Genomic Medicine Centre. Lyn’s research interest include non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, screening for fetal abnormalities and implementation of sequencing for prenatal diagnosis. 

Laura Turner

Laura Turner – Deputy Director of Operations, NIHR GOSH Biomedical Research Centre

Dr Laura Turner is Deputy Director of Operations at the NIHR GOSH Biomedical Research Centre. Laura has a wide range of experience of basic and translational research and operational management across multiple sectors including academia, charity, industry and the NHS. Prior to joining GOSH, Laura was the Research Manager for the Precision Medicine division of the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ BRC.

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Photo of Rosalind Smyth, Director of the UCL Institute of Child Health

Rosalind Smyth - Director UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Professor Rosalind Smyth is Director of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH), Honorary Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician at GOSH and Non-Executive Director of GOSH NHS Foundation Trust. Her research interests include clinical studies of viral/host interactions in RSV bronchiolitis, clinical trials and systematic reviews of treatments for childhood respiratory disease.

Adrian Thrasher – Gene, Stem and Cellular Therapies Theme Lead

Professor Adrian Thrasher is Lead for the Gene, Stem and Cellular Therapies theme. Adrian is Head of the Infection, Immunity, Inflammation and Physiological Medicine Programme at ICH, and Honorary Consultant Immunologist at GOSH. Adrian has also been awarded a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship. His research interests concentrate on the restoration of function in immunodeficiency diseases.

Waseem Qasim - Gene, Stem and Cellular Therapies Deputy Theme Lead

Professor Qasim is Professor of Cell and Gene Therapy at ICH and Consultant in Paediatric Immunology/BMT at GOSH and an NIHR Research Professor. His research is centred on diagnosing and treating immune disorders, improving immune recovery after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and gene based therapies. 
Jane Sowden

Jane Sowden - Advanced Treatments for Structural Malformations and Tissue Damage

Professor Sowden is Professor of Developmental Biology & Genetics at ICH, NIHR Senior Investigator and theme lead for the Advanced Treatments for Structural Malformations and Tissue Damage theme - a new theme for the 2017-2022 GOSH BRC. Her research aims to define the molecular genetic pathways that regulate eye development, to understand how these pathways are disrupted in congenital eye disease, and to devise new strategies to repair and regenerate the diseased retina.
Paolo de Coppi

Paolo De Coppi- Advanced Treatments for Structural Malformation and Tissue Damage Deputy Theme Lead

Mr Paolo De Coppi is a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at GOSH and Professor and Head of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at ICH. Mr De Coppi has a special interest in congenital malformations and their treatment using minimally invasive techniques. He has focused his research interests on stem cells and tissue engineering by trying to find new modalities for the treatment of complex congenital anomalies.

Phil Beales – Genomics and Systems Medicine Theme Lead

Professor Beales is Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics at ICH, NIHR Senior Investigator and a Consultant Clinical Geneticist at GOSH. He is the Theme Lead for the Genomics and Systems Medicine theme and also Director of GOSgene, working closely with clinicians and scientists to identify genetic mutations that cause rare childhood diseases. His own research is focussed on the study and treatment of diseases of cilia dysfunction, so-called ciliopathies.

Francesco Muntoni - Neuromuscular Service

Francesco Muntoni – Novel Therapies for Translation in Childhood Diseases Theme Lead

Professor Francesco Muntoni is the lead for the Novel Therapies for Translation in Childhood Diseases Theme. Francesco is a Clinical Paediatric Neurologist with an interest in molecular aspects of neuromuscular disorders. He is the head of the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre at GOSH, a leading clinical and research centre specialising in paediatric neuromuscular disorders. Francesco is also chair of the ICH Developmental Neurosciences Programme. Read more.

Paul Gissen

Paul Gissen - Novel Therapies for Translation in Childhood Diseases Deputy Theme Lead

Professor Paul Gissen is an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Metabolic Medicine at GOSH and ICH and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Sciences. His research interest is in inborn errors of metabolism including analysis of the pathophysiology of Arthrogryposis, Renal Dysfunction and Cholestasis syndrome. 

Ruth Gilbert - Rare Diesease Cohorts Deputy Theme Lead

Professor Ruth Gilbert is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health 

Dr Darren Hargrave

Darren Hargrave - Rare Disease Cohorts Deputy Theme Lead

Dr Darren Hargrave is a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at GOSH and Reader in Paediatric Neurooncology at ICH. His research interests include the biology of childhood brain tumours, the use of innovative imaging techniques in childhood cancer and drug development of targeted therapies in childhood and adolescent oncology. 
Chris O'Callaghan

Christopher O'Callaghan - Translational Research & Enterprise Accelerator Theme Lead

Professor Christopher O’Callaghan is Professor of Respiratory and Paediatric Medicine and Head of Respiratory, Critical Care & Anaesthesia at GOSH and ICH. His research focusses on novel diagnostic methods for children with rare respiratory conditions.

Kate Oulton – Clinical Academic Programme Lead: Nursing and Allied Health Research

Dr Kate Oulton is the NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital BRC Clinical Academic Programme Lead for Nursing and Allied Health Professional research, and is leading the strategy to support and encourage nurses and allied health professionals to increase their research activity. Kate is a trained children’s nurse and is now a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Outcomes and Experience Research in Children’s Health, Illness and Disability (ORCHID). Kate’s research interests include improving healthcare delivery to children and young people with learning disabilities and their families.

Professor Neil Sebire

Neil Sebire – Experimental Medicine Academy Theme Lead

Professor Neil Sebire leads the BRC Experimental Medicine Academy - a programme of training and education for both non-clinical and clinical professionals including medics and allied health professionals. Neil is a Professor of Paediatric and Developmental Pathology at ICH/UCL and Consultant Paediatric Pathologist at GOSH, with a special interest in placental pathology, paediatric tumour diagnosis and investigation of infant deaths. Read more.

Karin Straathof – BRC Junior Faculty Clinical Lead

Karin Straathof – Junior Faculty clinical lead

Dr Karin Straathof is a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Scientist at ICH and GOSH, and NIHR Clinical Academic Lecturer in Paediatric Oncology. Her research aims to develop T-cell based immunotherapy approaches for childhood cancer. 
Haiyan Zhou

Haiyan Zhou - Junior Faculty non-clinical lead

Dr Haiyan Zhou is a principal investigator and lecturer in genetics and genomic medicine and non-clinical lead for the NIHR GOSH BRC Junior Faculty. Her research focuses on RNA-targeted therapy in genetic conditions and translational biomedical research in muscular dystrophies.

William Van’t Hoff – Director of NIHR GOSH Clinical Research Facility and CRF High-end Inpatient trials Theme Lead

Dr William Van’t Hoff is Director of the NIHR GOSH Clinical Research Facility (CRF), which is part supported through the NIHR GOSH BRC. The CRF provides specialist day care accommodation for children and young people taking part in clinical research studies. William is a Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at GOSH and Clinical Director for NHS Engagement. His research interests include children’s renal tubular, metabolic and kidney stone disorders.

Helen Cross

Helen Cross - CRF High-end Inpatient trials Deputy Theme Lead

Professor Helen Cross is The Prince of Wales’s Chair of Childhood Epilepsy and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at ICH, GOSH, and Young Epilepsy, Lingfield, and NIHR Senior Investigator. Her research focusses on improving outcomes for children with early onset epilepsy.  

Dr Jenny Rivers

Jenny is the Deputy Director of Research and Innovation at GOSH, overseeing the wide range of research taking place across the Trust. Jenny joined GOSH in November 2018 from the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust where she was Associate Director of Research, having previous experience of research management within higher education.

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Deirdre Leyden, GOSH Patient Public Involvement and Engagement in Research Lead

Deirdre Leyden - Lead for Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in Research

Deirdre (Dee) organises Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) training days for BRC researchers, and provides one-on-one PPI advice for researchers at GOSH and ICH. She also helps raise awareness of the research conducted by the BRC through the delivery and organisation of public engagement events. Dee facilitates the Parent and Carer Research Advisory Group and Young Persons Advisory group for our BRC.

Emily Robinson

Emily Robinson - Training Facilitator

Emily is a training facilitator in translational research across all three UCL BRCs (GOSH, UCLH and Moorfields), she also supports the partnership between UCL and the EUREKA institute as well as Apollo London, a society for translational research. She facilitates a range of educational events within UCL and internationally for students, early career and established researchers across the BRCs.

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Richard Downes - Innovation and Business Development Manager

Richard works to help accelerate our translational research and ensure we realise the commercial potential of work generated within the BRC. He facilitates the identification and evaluation of IP and works closely with our external business partners to manage our IP portfolio. Richard is also tasked with raising awareness of issues surrounding IP and commercialisation across GOSH and ICH through training and education events.

Contact Richard