Click on the names below for UKMF officers’ biographies.
Dr Jenny BirdPast Chair Read Biography
Dr Jenny Bird, MD, FRCP. FRCPath
I was appointed as a Consultant Haematologist in Bristol in 2001 having previously spent time as a consultant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. I trained at Westminster Medical School and carried out most of my training and a research degree in London. My major clinical interests are in myeloma and other plasma cell disorders and in high dose therapy and stem cell transplantation for haematological malignancies. Locally, I have been lead doctor for haematology and oncology since July 2005 and am also Chair of the Network Haematology Site Specific Group (SSG). I have been a member of the UK Myeloma Forum since it began and a member of the Executive Committee for several years and Chair of the Guidelines Committee for the last 2 years. I was involved in writing the 2005 UK-Nordic myeloma guidelines and am currently leading a major revision to this document and other guidelines.
Professor Gordon CookSecretary & Chair Elect Read Biography
Professor Gordon Cook
Professor of Haematology & Myeloma Studies, Consultant Haematologist
St James Institute of Oncology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds, UK
I am a graduate of the University of Glasgow School of Medicine. I received my higher professional training in haematology in the West of Scotland. After completion of my PhD, I was appointed as a consultant Haematologist in the West of Scotland before moving to take up my present post based at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, in 2002.
I run a small peer-review grant-funded basic research group with areas of interests in transplantation and tumour immunology.
I am currently the President of the British Society of Blood & Marrow Transplantation. I represent the transplant society at the Government strategic and national commissioning level. I am a member of the NCRI Haematology-Oncology Clinical Studies Group. I am the secretary of the United Kingdom Myeloma Forum (UKMF) and have represented the interests of myeloma clinicians and patients in NICE reviews. I am a member of the NCRI Haem-Onc Myeloma sub-group and Principal Investigator for NCRI Myeloma X. In addition, I am a Board member of Myeloma UK and Medical Editor of Myeloma Today.
Dr Stella BowcockRead Biography
Stella Bowcock was educated at Oxford University and St Thomas’ Hospital. She completed her training in Haematology at the Hammersmith and University College hospitals. She then chose to work in a district general hospital environment, working initially at Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup and more recently at Kings College Hospital NHS foundation trust, Princess Royal Hospital. She has continued to publish widely in Haematology, mostly clinical observational studies which have included some of the 1st observations of Thromboembolism with Thalidomide in myeloma and the High incidence of Myelodysplasia following Fludarabine therapy. She has always been interested in myeloma and in particular has a special interest in the challenges of managing elderly frail patients with myeloma and lymphoma. She initiated and is involved in a national myeloma trial on ‘Tackling Early Mortality and morbidity in Myeloma’ (TEAMM) looking at the benefits and risks of antibiotic prophylaxis in newly diagnosed myeloma.
Dr Ceri BygraveRead Biography
Dr Ceri Bygrave is a graduate of UWCM Cardiff and did her junior doctor training in South Wales and Australia. She then progressed as a haematology SpR in the Wales deanery which included 2 years research looking at the microenvironment in AML, supervised by Professor Alan Burnett and culminating in an MPhil. Myeloma has been her interest since undergraduate days and she was appointed as Myeloma Lead in UHW Cardiff in October 2014 and has helped set up the service and develop the clinical and research aspects of the department. She is also a member of the UKMRA and the MUK CTN.
Dr John AshcroftRead Biography
John trained at Cambridge University qualifying in 1992. Following Junior Doctor training in East Anglia he moved to Leeds as a Specialist Registrar in Haematology where he completed both training and his PhD studying bone disease and how the underlying systems can be targeted to both prevent and reverse bone destruction.
John has been a Consultant Haematologist in Leeds and Mid Yorkshire NHS Trusts since 2005 and holds Honorary Senior Lecturer positions in the Universities of Leeds and York alongside his role as Mid Yorkshire Trust Research Director. His main research interests are multiple myeloma and bone disease. He is the UK Chief investigator for the ongoing bone study comparing Denusomab© and Zoledronic Acid, a member Trials management groups of other Uk studies including NCRI Myeloma X and the upcoming Myeloma XII trials and has contributed to the most recent UK Myeloma Guidelines
Prof Kwee YongChair Read Biography
Kwee Yong was educated at Oxford University and University College London (UCL). She completed doctoral studies at UCL, and was awarded a PhD in 1993 for her work on growth factors. She returned to UCL as Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in 1999, since which time she has been clinical lead in myeloma at University College Hospital and the North London Cancer Network. Kwee is a member of the NCRI Myeloma clinical studies group, and is Chief Investigator on several clinical trials in myeloma including early phase investigator-led studies. She has contributed to the recent revision of the UKMF/Nordic myeloma guidelines. Kwee also runs a laboratory programme working on aspects of myeloma biology include cell cycling regulation, the role of the bone marrow environment, and the mechanisms of bone disease. She runs the undergraduate programme in Haematology at UCL Medical School, and is departmental post-graduate tutor.
Dr Guy PrattGuidelines & Secretary Elect Read Biography
Dr Guy Pratt trained at Cambridge University qualifying in 1989. Following junior doctor training in London he specialized as a specialist registrar in Haematology in Liverpool and Leeds. In Leeds he completed an MD thesis looking at the genetic events involved in chromosomal translocations involving chromosome 14q32 in multiple myeloma patients.
Dr Pratt has been a Consultant Haematologist in Birmingham since 2001 as a clinical academic working in the School of Cancer Sciences in the University of Birmingham as a University Senior Lecturer and as an Honorary NHS Consultant at Heart of England NHS Trust. His main research interests are multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. His research interests are T cell immunity, genetic polymorphisms, investigating biomarkers including the serum free light chain and translational research currently leading on a trial of a parp inhibitor in CLL. He has developed a large number of collaborations nationally with a growing publication output and is currently lead for developing and promoting guidelines relating to plasma cell disorders.
Dr Ashu WechalekarBoard member Read Biography
Dr Wechalekar is a Reader in Medicine and Haematology and Honorary Consultant in Haematology and Amyloidosis at University College London /Royal Free Hospital, London, UK. He trained in medicine in India, did haematology training in UK and a fellowship in myeloma at Toronto Canada. He joined UCL as faculty in 2007. His clinical and research focus is on AL amyloidosis and myeloma including the development of new treatment strategies, better risk stratification of the disease and clonal biology in AL amyloidosis. Imaging in amyloidosis and myeloma are also a major interest. He leads a number of clinical trials in AL amyloidosis and myeloma at the Royal free.
Dr Andy ChantryRead Biography
Dr Andy Chantry is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Dept of Oncology, University of Sheffield and leads the Sheffield Myeloma Research Team (SMaRT). He is also an Honorary Consultant Haematologist in the Dept of Haematology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Since appointment in 2012, he has been awarded over £1.5million in research grants notably from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and Yorkshire Cancer Research. His principal research interests are anabolic strategies in the treatment of myeloma bone disease and novel strategies to target myeloma tumour. Andy’s research has focused on the use of bone anabolic agents in myeloma bone disease. The standard treatment of myeloma bone disease is anti-resorptive drugs, typically bisphosphonates, which inhibit the increased osteoclastic bone resorption seen in myeloma. However, osteoblastic bone formation is also substantially inhibited in myeloma and yet osteoblast activity has been relatively neglected as a potential area for therapeutic targeting. The osteoblast inhibitor, Dkk-1, a known inhibitor of Wnt signalling and osteoblast differentiation is secreted by myeloma cells. Using an anti Dkk-1 antibody, Andy has demonstrated substantial protection against osteolytic bone disease in the 5T2MM murine model of myeloma. Other osteoblastogenic pathways studied include the activin-A pathway, a TGF-β superfamily member implicated in the regulation of bone phenotype. Using a soluble decoy receptor to activin-A, substantial osteoblastogenic effects protective against osteolytic bone disease have also been observed in the 5T2MM murine model of myeloma. Andy continues to target various Wnt and TGF-β signalling components and is studying dual anabolic and anti-resorptive strategies and other novel combination strategies. He has been researching myeloma bone disease for over ten years and completed his PhD doctoral thesis in December 2011. He was awarded a New Investigator Award by the Bone Research Society for three years in a row (2007-2009) and in 2010 was awarded the Royal College of Pathology Research Medal Award in Haematology.
Dr Karthik RamasamyRead Biography
Dr Karthik Ramasamy MBBS MRCP FRCPath PhD Consultant Haematologist
Dr Ramasamy completed Internal Medicine training in Nottingham and started his career in Haematology at Glasgow. He subsequently moved to Kings College London and completed a comprehensive haematology registrar training programme. During this time, he spent time in researching both clinical and laboratory aspects of myeloma. He studied the role of marrow microenvironment in supporting the survival and propagation of resistant myeloma. He specifically looked at modulation of c-Src signaling in myeloma cells and marrow microenvironment to sensitise resistant myeloma cells to further therapy. He moved to Oxford and has established a strong myeloma and other plasma cell dyscrasias clinical practice in collaboration with other centres in Thames Valley. He is the Lead Clinician for Myeloma and other plasma dyscrasias in Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network. He is a Chief investigator of national myeloma studies and principal investigator of a number of myeloma trials involving first in man to established anti myeloma drugs. He is an executive member of UK Myeloma Forum and is an active
member of NCRI Myeloma studies Group. Dr Ramasamy has recently been appointed as Divisional Lead of Cancer Research across Thames Valley and South Midlands Research Network.
Myeloma and other plasma cell Dyscrasias, stem cell transplantation, and Cancer clinical trials
Research (Clinical and Laboratory):
Epidemiology, pathophysiology and management of renal manifestations in plasma cell dyscrasias: Collaborators – Prof S Schey (KCL), Prof M Drayson (Univ of Birmingham), Dr C Winearls (Oxford Kidney Unit)
Pathophysiology and clinical management of myeloma induced bone disease: Collaborators – Dr K Javaid (NDORMS, Oxford), Dr C Edwards (NDORMS, Oxford)
Modulation of marrow environment to delay progression of myeloma: Collaborators- Dr Hal Drakesmith ( RDM, Oxford) , Dr Y Calle ( UOR) , Prof S Schey ( KCL) , Dr M Streetly ( KCL/ GSTT)
Double Refractory Myeloma: Analysis Of Clinical Outcomes and Medical- Resource Utilisation In a Single Centre. Gooding S, Lau I-Jun, Sheikh M, Roberts P, Wong J, Dickens E, Elvidge J, Lee D, Ramasamy K. Blood November 15, 2013 vol. 122 no. 21 1727
Lau I-Jun, Smith D, Aitchison R, Peniket A, Yong K, Rabin N, Ramasamy K. Bendamustine Combination Therapy in Patients Relapsed and/ or Refractory to Bortezomib and Lenalidomide. Clinical lymphoma myeloma and Leukaemia. Volume 13, Supplement 1, S189, April 2013
Bhole, M, Sadler R, Ramasamy K. Serum free light chains and its utility in monoclonal gammopathies. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry 2014 Jan 31.
Ramasamy K, Gandhi S, Ceesay M, Deppe S, Tenant- Flowers M, Marcus R, Schey S. Rituximab and Thalidomide combination for Castleman Disease. Br J Haematol 2012. Aug;158(3):421-3
Ramasamy K, Khatun H, Macpherson L, Caley MP, Sturge J, Mufti GJ, et al. Fluorescence based experimental model to evaluate the concomitant effect of drugs on the tumour microenvironment and cancer cells. Br J Haematol 2012. Jun;157(5):564-79
Schey S, Ramasamy K. Pomalidomide therapy for myeloma. Expert Opin
Investig Drugs 2011;20(5):691-700.
Ramasamy K, Mahmood S, Lim Z, Corderoy S, Devereux S, Mufti GJ, et al. Alemtuzumab based reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic transplantation for myeloma and plasma cell leukemia – a single-institution experience. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2011;11(2):242-5.
Ramasamy K, Ladon D, Salisbury J, Ireland R. Mott cells in CD20-positive myeloma. Br J Haematol 2011;152(4):366.
Ramasamy K, Hazel B, Mahmood S, Corderoy S, Schey S. Bendamustine in combination with thalidomide and dexamethasone is an effective therapy for myeloma patients with end stage renal disease. Br J Haematol 2011;155(5):632-4.
SA Schey, GJ Morgan, Ramasamy K et al. The addition of cyclophosphamide to Lenalidomide and dexamethasone is well tolerated and safe and enhances response rate sin multiply relapsed/ refractory myeloma patients; A phase I/II study. Br J Haematol. 2010 Aug; 150(3):326-33.
Level 2, Cancer & Haematology Centre, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington,
Oxford OX3 7LE Oxon, UK
◦ Email: email@example.com ◦ Confidential Email (Patient Details): firstname.lastname@example.org • Clinical Secretary – Mr Chris Capel
Telephone: 01865 235 886 Fax: 01865235260 Email: email@example.com
Dr Rachel HallRead Biography
Dr Rachel Hall MBBS, BSc, MRCP, FRCPath
Consultant Haematologist, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Rachel Hall qualified at University College London in 1993. After working as a junior doctor in Haematology and Oncology at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, she decided to pursue a career in Haematology. Rachel has worked in hospitals around the Wessex region training in Haematology and also worked for 2 years in Perth, Western Australia.
Rachel has been a Consultant Haematologist at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital since 2003 and has an interest in Myeloma, Lymphoma and Stem Cell Transplantation. She has set up specialist, multidisciplinary Myeloma clinics at Bournemouth and has a large clinical trial portfolio for Myeloma. Rachel is also involved with Myeloma UK and runs regular patient information days and is on the clinical trials network steering board.
Professor Graham JacksonScience Read Biography
I have always had a passion for ensuring myeloma patients receive the best possible care and have run our myeloma disease specific clinic since 1991. I was one of the founder members of the UKMF and a former treasurer so am delighted to be involved as scientific secretary. I have witnessed dramatic changes and improvements in the care of our patients but am the first to acknowledge there is still a great deal that we still need to do. The UKMF can and should be at the forefront of improving all aspects of the care for the patient with a plasma cell dyscrasia or myeloma.
Monica MorrisPatient/Charity Representative Read Biography
Monica Morris RGN, MSc
I qualified as a nurse in 1985 and have worked in haematology and myeloma for 25 years. During this time I have worked as: a ward sister on haematology/BMT units; a nurse specialist at Hammersmith Hospital; and most recently as a myeloma CNS at St George’s Hospital, London. Within my career I have also held information and support roles at both Myeloma UK and Cancer Research UK. I gained a Master’s Degree in Advanced Practice in 2013, and undertook my research in the experience of myeloma carers. I am currently working for Myeloma UK and manage the healthcare professional programmes, including Myeloma Academy™, an online educational resource for myeloma professionals. I am currently a member of the NICE Myeloma Guideline Development Group. I have always been committed to helping myeloma patients and families receive the information and support they need, and in 2001 co-founded the London Myeloma Support Group, which I continue to lead.
Dr Simon SternGuidelines Chair- From June 2017 Read Biography
Dr Simon Stern, Consultant Haematologist
Dr Stern graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School, and his training in Haematology was at the Hammersmith, Charing Cross and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals. He has been a Consultant Haematologist since 1999, initially at Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and since 2010 at Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. His main clinical interests centre on the haematological malignancies in general, and multiple myeloma in particular. He runs a weekly myeloma clinic, and has been the Principal Investigator for number of clinical trials in the disease.
He pursues his interest in clinical guidelines through his membership of UK Myeloma Forum Guidelines Group and the British Society for Haematology Haemato-oncology Task Force. He is also a member of the Myeloma UK Early Diagnosis Working Group.