Investigators and research team

List of investigators and research team



Professor Gregory Lip, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Birmingham, based in a busy city centre teaching hospital.   Professor Lip is also Adjunct Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, Aalborg University, Denmark; and Adjunct Professor, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.

From February 2019, he takes up the Price-Evans Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, at the University of Liverpool, UK – and Director of the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital. He will remain linked to University of Birmingham with an honorary Chair.

Half of his time is spent as a clinical cardiologist, and he practises the full range of cardiovascular medicine, including outpatient clinics (leading large atrial fibrillation and hypertension specialist services) and acute cardiology. 

Professor Lip's major interest is the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation (AF), as well as the pathophysiology of thromboembolism in this arrhythmia.  Furthermore, he has been researching stroke and bleeding risk factors, and improvements in clinical risk stratification.  The CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED scores - for assessing stroke and bleeding risk, respectively – were first proposed and independently validated following his research, and are now incorporated into international guidelines.  

He was selected to the Thomson Reuters Science Watch list of ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014’, a ranking of today’s top 17 scholars who have published the greatest number of hot papers, ranked in the top 0.1% by citations, [issued June 2014; see website:].  In 2014, Professor Lip was ranked by Expertscape as one of the world's leading experts in the understanding and treatment of AF [].

Professor Lip was on the writing committee for various international guidelines, including the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) Antithrombotic Therapy Guidelines for Atrial Fibrillation, as well as various guidelines and/or position statements from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) or EHRA. Specifically, he was also on the writing committees of the 2010 ESC Guidelines on Atrial Fibrillation, the 2012 ESC Focused Update Guidelines on Atrial Fibrillation, the 2012 ESC Guidelines on Heart Failure, and the 2014 NICE guidelines on AF.  He was Deputy Editor (“content expert”) for the 9thACCP guidelines on antithrombotic therapy for AF (2012), and Chair of the new 2018 ACCP Guidelines on antithrombotic therapy for AF. 

Professor Lip has acted as senior/section editor for major international textbooks and at senior editorial level for major international journals, including Thrombosis & Haemostasis (Editor-in-Chief, Clinical Studies); Europace(Associate Editor); and Circulation(Guest Editor).


Professor Neil Thomas, Professor of Epidemiology and Research Methods, and Director, Research and Knowledge Transfer at the Institute of Applied Health, University of Birmingham. Professor Thomas is also the Regional Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service for the West Midlands.  He has a multimillion pound global research portfolio focussing particularly on populations in Asia (e.g. Hong Kong, China, Iran) and Africa (e.g. Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda) investigating the aetiology (particularly air pollution), prognosis, prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic disease, including Atrial Fibrillation. 

Co-applicants UK


Professor Peter Brocklehurst, Professor of Women's Health and Director of Research and Development at the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit, University of Birmingham and Professor of Perinatal Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Policy Research Unit in Maternal Health and Care, at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit,  University of Oxford. Professor Brocklehurst's expertise is in RCTs and observational epidemiology. 


Professor KK Cheng, Professor of Public Health and Primary Care and Director of the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham. Professor Cheng is also Director of the General Practice Development and Research Center, Peking University Health Science Center.  He has been a Professor at the University of Birmingham since 1995. His main interests are in the epidemiology, prevention and control of important non-communicable diseases and the development of primary care in China.


Professor Sheila Greenfield, Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Birmingham is a medical sociologist and qualitative methodologist. She is experienced in the design and implementation of qualitative research as a component of mixed methods research and the application of sociological theory. Previous and ongoing work has included the management and delivery of qualitative work across cross-cultural environments e.g. clinical handover (India); Prevention programme for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (Pakistan); Yoga programme for type-2 diabetes prevention (India). Her major research interest is in the methods people use to self manage their health either for health promotion and prevention or for the management of diagnosed medical conditions.


Professor Kate Jolly, Professor of Public Health & Primary Care at the University of Birmingham. Professor Jolly's particular research interests are self-management and rehabilitation in patients with long-term conditions, including heart disease and the cultural adaptation of interventions.  She has experience of global research as co-investigator on the Birmingham COPD NIHR Global Health Group.


Dr Sue Jowett, Reader in Health Economics at the University of Birmingham. Dr Jowett's main research interests are applied economic evaluations, including evaluation alongside randomised controlled trials and the use of decision modelling, related to chronic disease prevention and treatment in a primary care setting. Her clinical areas of interest are cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions and she has published health economic analyses of AF screening and treatment and anticoagulation management.


Professor Paulus Kirchhof, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Birmingham and Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. Professor Kirchof researches translational mechanisms and management of cardiovascular diseases with a special interest in atrial fibrillation and cardiomyopathies from mechanisms to clinical research. He runs a large atrial fibrillation service at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS trust and the interdisciplinary Inherited Cardiac Conditions Clinic at University Hospital Birmingham NHS trust.


Dr Deirdre Lane, Reader in Cardiovascular Health at the University of Birmingham and Adjunct Professor of Cardiovascular Health at Aalborg University, Denmark.  Atrial fibrillation is Dr Kane's main research interest focused on bleeding and stroke risk stratification and patient-centred research.  She is a co-author of both the CHA2DS2-VASc stroke risk stratification score and the HAS-BLED bleeding risk score.  Her other main research interest is how AF affects quality of life and psychological well-being, patient education and patients’ perceptions of AF and medication adherence.  Dr Lane was the Chair for a recent European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) position document on ‘Cardiac tachyarrhythmias and patient values and preferences for their management’ and is a member of American College of Chest Physicians guidelines on antithrombotic therapy in AF patients.  


Professor Dan Lasserson, Professor of Ambulatory Care at the University of Birmingham. Professor Lasserson works in acute ambulatory medical care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and has previously worked in General Practice as well as hospital medicine. His research group tackles the challenge of meeting the growing need for delivery of acute medical care within increasingly constrained resources. His research programme includes mixed methods studies of point of care diagnostics, risk prediction, clinical decision making and patient and carer experience. He also leads the ‘Ageing, Frailty and Resilience’ development theme in the University’s Institute for Global Innovation with initial projects planned in Botswana and Brazil.


Ms Trudie Lobban, founder and CEO of the Arrhythmia Alliance, a coalition of charities, patient groups, healthcare professionals, policymakers and industry representatives. Under her lead, the Alliance successfully lobbied for a new chapter on arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death to be included in the UK’s National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease on Arrhythmia’s. In 2007, Ms Lobban established the Atrial Fibrillation Association, which provides information, support, education and awareness to AF patients and healthcare professionals. 


Dr Semira Manesiki Holland, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Birmingham with an interest in health systems, maternal-child health and low- and middle-income countries. Dr Holland is a UK based public health physician with a paediatric background and has worked in clinical medicine, health systems delivery and policy, public health and research in the UK and developing countries for over 20 years. Her low and middle-income country experience includes research (such as large community trials in challenging academic environments), work for WHO and UNICEF on country based programmes and at WHO HQ, with Ministries of Health to advise on strategy and policy development and at the CEO level in International Health Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) coordinating delivery of integrated health services (in Afghanistan and Tajikistan from village to provincial hospitals) and operations of training colleges.


Dr David Moore, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, specialises in directing multidisciplinary teams of researchers undertaking systematic reviews, health technology assessments and associated research. He is co-Director of the MSc in Health Research Methods and a curriculum advisor and previous deputy director of the MSc in Public Health at the University of Birmingham. He leads a post-graduate taught module in Systematic Reviews and Evidence Syntheses and teaches systematic reviews and evidence synthesis at postgraduate and undergraduate level. 


Dr Krishnan Nirantharakumar (Krish), Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Dr Nirantharakumar has substantial experience in health informatics research (data science and implementation science) as the co-theme lead for health informatics at the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham. His particular interests are in developing novel digital tools that enable efficient healthcare systems and expedite health care research. He is the founder of the West Midlands Health Informatics Network and innovator of the Automated Clinical Epidemiology Studies (ACES) tool. The latter innovation has led to a UKRI Innovation Fellowship with HDR UK. His long term mission is to lead a global health informatics team to improve the health and wellbeing of the disadvantaged communities in low and middle income countries.

Isabelle_Szmigin_profileProfessor Isabelle Szmigin, Professor of Marketing and Deputy Dean of Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham. Professor Szmigin's research interests lie in the area of conceptualising consumer behaviour and understanding the social and policy issues concerned with consumption. She has held a number of grants and most recently was Co-Investigator on an Alcohol Research UK Grant looking at alcohol marketing to young people via social media and its implication for advertising codes of practice.

Co-applicant Brazil


Professor Gustavo Gusso, Professor of General Practice, University of São Paulo, Brazil and a practicing family doctor. At the University of São Paulo he wrote and is the current coordinator of the residency program of family and community medicine as well as the rotation in family medicine for undergraduates. He has Master of Clinical Science in Family Medicine at University of Western Ontario, Canada and PhD in Medicine at University of São Paulo. He was coordinator of the National Strategy for Medical Education at Ministry of Health and president of Brazilian Society of Family and Community Medicine. He is the main editor of Brazilian Textbook of Family Medicine that won the most important scientific award at Brazil in 2013. Gustavo Gusso is currently editor of Brazilian Journal of Family and Community Medicine.

Co-applicant China


Associate Professor Yutao Guo, Associate Professor of Cardiology at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, China. She is also a chief Physician, Division of Cardiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital. Her medical expertise is in arrhythmia, antithrombotic management, and cardiovascular disease  prevention.

Co-applicant Sri Lanka


Dr Mahesan Guruparan, Consultant Cardiologist - Teaching Hospital Jaffna. Dr Guruparan is a general cardiologist involved in outpatient care as well as interventional cardiology including coronary angiograms and PCI.

Project Managers


Lindsey Cooke (previously Humphreys)has been a senior manager in both the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and the NHS for many years. In the University she has managed both research and teaching activities and been responsible for one of the largest Institute budgets in the Medical School. She has led on the annual business planning process, budget management and forecasts, staff and project management. In the NHS she has managed most medical specialties including Cardiology and a Stroke Unit.


Dr Emma Lancashire, Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham. Dr Lancashire joined the University in 1995 and has worked in both a research and project management capacity. She has been responsible for the management of a wide variety of research studies including several randomised controlled trials of complex interventions.


Dr Helen (Alena)Shantsila, Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Dr Shantsila is a National Co-ordinator of the Atrial Fibrillation General Long Term (AF-GEN) Registry and AF-GEN UK extension study. She has managed the preparation of several EHRA consensus documents, which involved coordination of contributions from several international societies. Her main research focus is to understand mechanisms of blood pressure control and pathogenesis of hypertension, including malignant hypertension.