Meet the Experts

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Professor Gregory A. Aarons

Gregory Aarons, PhD is Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego, Co-Director of the UCSD Dissemination and Implementation Science Center (UCSD-DISC), and Director of the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC).  Dr Aarons is a clinical and organisational psychologist who focuses on improving behavioral health care in service systems in the US and internationally. He is co-developer of the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) framework (https://episframework.com).  His research, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control, and the W.T. Grant Foundation focuses on identifying and improving system, organisational, and individual factors that support implementation and sustainment of evidence-based practices and quality of care in health and allied health care settings. Much of Dr Aarons’ work focuses on aligning and testing leadership and organisation support strategies and training managers to become effective leaders to support evidence-based practice implementation and sustainment in behavioral health (https://implementationleadership.com). His implementation and scale-up strategies are being used and tested in behavioral health, schools, child welfare, HIV prevention, and trauma treatment in the US, Norway, and West Africa. His most recent work is in developing and fostering community-academic partnerships to increase the use of research evidence in policy and practice. Dr. Aarons has been a featured speaker on implementation science in the US, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and Africa. He also provides training and mentoring in implementation science and practice for the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NIH Fogarty International Center and Kings College London.  

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Boel Andersson Gäre

Boel Andersson Gäre, MD, PhD is professor of Quality improvement and leadership at the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare (JA), School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University in Sweden (JU). She is also a research leader at Futurum, the department of clinical research and education in Region Jönköping County, Sweden. She has a clinical background in paediatrics where her initial research interests were epidemiology and outcomes including patient reported outcome measures. Based on her professional experience in different leadership positions and a broad international network in leadership for improvement and research studying improvement her interests deviated towards improvement science including co-production. She was part of the international Improvement Science Development Group hosted by the Health Foundation in the UK and is a member of the International Academy of Quality and Safety (IAQS). She now also leads the development of a local and international partnership, the Center for Co-production at Jönköping Academy, JU which is one for the coordinators of the International Health Coproduction Network (ICoHN.org).

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Professor Ricardo Araya

Ricardo Araya is Professor of Global Mental Health at King’s College London. His research interests include the aetiology of common mental disorders, inequalities and their link to the mental health of populations with special emphasis on international comparisons, and effective treatments for common mental disorders, such as simple and brief interventions using non-medical workers and strong community participation. 

Several of his current projects use technological platforms to support the delivery of mental health interventions. He is involved in projects in a large number of countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He has a special interest in projects that integrate mental health problems in the care of other diseases i.e. hypertension, diabetes, HIV and so on.

Dr Sarah Birken

Sarah Birken, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Implementation Science in the School of Medicine and a Member of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University. Dr Birken’s research focuses on translating evidence into practice. Specifically, Dr Birken studies middle managers’ role in implementing evidence-based practices, the implementation of innovations in cancer care, and the selection and application of implementation theories. Dr Birken’s research has been funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Cancer Research Network, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Cancer Institute.

Dr Birken serves as a National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review Early Career Reviewer and Core Faculty in the Dissemination and Implementation Science Methods Unit of the North Carolina Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute. Dr Birken has served as an expert speaker for organisations such as the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center, the Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program Directors, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Survivorship Committee.

She teaches PhD seminars in health services research methods (HPM 885) and organizational theory (HPM 930). Dr Birken is also committed to the advancement of women scholars. She has published on the topic in the Chronicle of Higher Education, serves on the Committee on the Status of Women as well as Women in Science Deserve Opportunities and Mentoring at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and co-hosts AcaDames, a podcast about women in academia.

Dr Birken received her MSPH and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Health Policy and Management with Delta Omega honors and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley in Women’s Studies with Phi Beta Kappa honors. She received postdoctoral training at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and was a research fellow in the National Institutes of Health-funded Mentored Training for Dissemination and Implementation in Research in Cancer and Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation in Health programs. Dr Birken has won awards for distinguished scholarly achievement, such as the Doctoral Competitive Merit Scholarship and the Academy of Management’s Health Care Management Division’s Emerging Scholars Program and Best Paper Based on a Dissertation.

Professor Annette Boaz

Annette Boaz is professor of Health Care Research at St George’s University of London and Kingston University and leads the Implementation and Improvement Research Group. 

She has more than 25 years of experience in supporting the use of evidence across a range of policy domains.  She was part of one of the largest UK investments in the evidence use landscape, the ESRC Centre for Evidence Based Policy and Practice and has undertaken an international leadership role in promoting the use of evidence. She is a Founding Editor of the first international journal in the field and has recently published a new book on evidence use ‘What Works Now’.  She has a particular interest in quality improvement, patient involvement and implementation science. Annette is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the WHO European Advisory Committee on Health Research. She is currently working in the UK Government Office for Science supporting academic engagement with government research priorities. 

Dr Cheryl Boyce

Cheryl Anne Boyce, Ph.D, is the Chief of the Implementation Science Branch at the Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS). National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Before joining NHLBI, she held scientific leadership positions in the programme areas of neurodevelopment, translational research, drug exposures, traumatic stress, health disparities, child maltreatment, and research training at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her commitment to public health service and science has been recognised through awards from the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, NIH Office of the Director, American Psychological Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition to numerous scientific publications, she co-edited, “How to write a successful research grant application: A guide for social and behavioral scientists” (2nd edition) (Pequegnat, Stover, & Boyce, 2011).

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Dr David Chambers

David Chambers is Deputy Director for Implementation Science in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr Chambers manages a team focusing on efforts to build and advance the field of Implementation Science (IS) through funding opportunity announcements, training programs, research activities, dissemination platforms, and enhancement of partnerships and networks to integrate research, practice and policy.

From 2008 through the fall of 2014, he served as Chief of the Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Branch (SRCEB) of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He arrived at NIMH in 2001, brought to the Institute to run the Dissemination and Implementation Research Program within SRCEB, developing a portfolio of grants to study the integration of scientific findings and effective clinical practices in mental health within real-world service settings. From 2006 to the fall of 2014, he also served as Associate Director for Dissemination and Implementation Research, leading NIH initiatives around the coordination of dissemination and implementation research in health, including a set of research announcements across 15 of the NIH Institutes and Centers, annual scientific conferences, and a summer training institute.

Prior to his arrival at NIH, David Chambers worked as a member of a research team at Oxford University, where he studied national efforts to implement evidence-based practice within healthcare systems. He publishes on strategic research directions in implementation science and serves as a plenary speaker at numerous scientific conferences. He received his A.B. degree (with Honors) in Economics from Brown University in 1997, and an M.Sc. and D.Phil degree in Management Studies (Organisational Behaviour) in 1998 and 2001, respectively, from Oxford University (UK).

Sarada Chunduri-Shoesmith

Sarada Chunduri-Shoesmith  has been Associate Director of System Support for Implementation at the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence since September 2018. She leads a small team that focuses on engaging national external partners and internal teams in delivering targeted support for national priorities in health and social care.

Dr Geoffrey M. Curran

Geoff Curran  is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). His broad research area has been health services research, with focus areas in 1) diffusion of innovation in a variety of health care settings (e.g., pharmacy, specialty care, primary care, and community settings); and 2) predictors of treatment engagement and outcomes for mental health and substance use disorders.  Dr. Curran is a medical sociologist.  For the past 20 years he has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health (US), the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and other funders to develop and test a range of implementation strategies designed to support the uptake and sustainment of evidence-based practices.  Dr. Curran also has written widely on research design and methodology in implementation science.  He is the Director of the Center for Implementation Research, which is supported by the Translational Research Institute (TRI, UL1 TR003107), through the US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the US National Institutes of Health (US NIH).  The Center is devoted to developing and testing implementation strategies across a wide range of service contexts, assisting with the implementation of practices within community practices, and training the next generation of implementation scientists.

Kimberley Goldsmith

Dr Kimberly Goldsmith

Kimberley Goldsmith is a Reader in Medical Statistics in the Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics at King’s College London. She has extensive experience in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials, particularly in complex interventions in mental health. She is interested in longitudinal modelling, mediation/mechanism of treatment analysis and the use of structural equation models to address questions in these areas.  She has collaborated on important trials of complex interventions for chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and irritable bowel syndrome to name a few.  Her work on these trials has led to key mediation/mechanism publications that are impacting on refinement of cognitive behavioural therapies, and on important papers on methods, such as this tutorial on longitudinal structural equation models for mediation.

Dr Madina Kara

Madina Kara is Senior Research Collaboration Manager at the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI). NOCRI works to maximise the Department of Health and Social Care’s £0.5 billion investment in clinical research infrastructure through stimulating collaborative working. Madina’s role is to support the identification, set up and monitoring of Collaborations across the NIHR infrastructure including engagement with the life sciences industry and medical research charities. 

Prior to joining NOCRI, Madina was a Senior Programme Manager in the Infrastructure team at the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility for three years. She was responsible for managing the commissioning and monitoring of several schemes, including the NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) and their successor Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs), as well as infrastructure focused on patient safety, medtech and in vitro diagnostics research and the NIHR Senior Investigators programme.  Madina was previously the Research Awards Manager at the Stroke Association and was responsible for managing the adjudication and monitoring of funded awards, supporting the implementation of the research strategy, research engagement and communication activities. Madina has worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate, at Barts and the London School of Medicine and has a PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences and Regenerative Medicine from the University of Edinburgh.

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Dr Zarnie Khadjesari

Zarnie Khadjesari is a Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion at the School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia (UK).  Over the past 15 years, her research has focused on the development, evaluation and implementation of digital interventions for supporting people with reducing their drinking.  She has led systematic reviews on the effectiveness of digital alcohol interventions, Randomised Controlled Trials on the effectiveness of digital alcohol interventions in workplace settings, psychometric studies on the validity and reliability of an online measure of past week drinking, observational research using data from electronic health records on the impact of financial incentives on alcohol screening in primary care, and qualitative research exploring people’s experiences of seeking help online, and broader views on drinking.  More recently, her research has focused on using electronic health records to identify at-risk patients and send proactive electronic messages to promote uptake of digital interventions for cancer prevention.

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Dr Alexis Kirk

Alexis Kirk is an implementation specialist at the Impact Center at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Alexis Kirk received her PhD in Health Policy and Management from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her coursework and research focused on implementation science and organizational studies. Dr Kirk’s research and coursework has focused on exploring all levels of implementation, including individual behaviour change, behavior change in groups and teams, and organisational-level change. Her dissertation research focused on the adaptation of interventions to tailor them to new settings, health populations, and local contexts. In her current work, she provides implementation support to organisations and communities to build capacity for creating meaningful change. She works primarily with North Carolina health departments and psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) to scale evidence-based programs. She also brings close to 10 years of experience in the federal healthcare sector, working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to design and implement federal quality reporting programs for post-acute care settings, mainly hospice.

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Dr Cara C Lewis

Cara C Lewis is a clinical psychologist, associate investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and affiliate faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. She is Past President of the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration and co-founding Editor-in-Chief of the proposed SIRC journal. Her research focuses on advancing pragmatic and rigorous measures and methods for implementation science and practice, and informing tailored implementation of evidence based practices.

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Professor Peter Littlejohns

Peter Littlejohns is Emeritus Professor of Public Health in the Centre for Implementation Science at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London and Deputy Director and Public Health Lead of the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration, South London. From 1919-2012 he was the founding Clinical and Public Health Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). After leaving NICE he established an international research programme addressing how health services can be effective, efficient and fair. In 2016 he delivered the Royal College of Physicians Milroy Lecture on State Medicine and Public Health. In 2018 he was a Rockefeller Foundation Academic Resident at their Bellagio Centre in Italy. 

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Dr Brian S. Mittman

Brian S. Mittman, PhD is a Senior Scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation with additional affiliations at the University of Southern California (USC) and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he co-leads the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Implementation and Improvement Science Initiative.  He previously served as a Visiting Professor in the UCLA School of Public Health and Anderson Graduate School of Management.

Dr Mittman convened the planning committee that launched the journal Implementation Science and served as co-editor in chief from 2005-2012.  He was a founding member of the US Institute of Medicine Forum on the Science of Quality Improvement and Implementation and chaired the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review panel on Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health in 2007 and 2010.  He directed VA’s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) from 2002-2004.  He currently serves on the Methodology Committee for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), where he leads the Methodology Committee initiative to develop and disseminate methods standards for studying complex health interventions.  He is a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH) Board of External Experts, the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Advisory Panel on Research, and advisory boards for several additional U.S. and international research programs in implementation science.  He is a past member of the AcademyHealth Methods Council and Education Council.  He has led or supported numerous implementation and improvement science studies and has taught implementation science throughout the US and abroad. 

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Dr Julia E. Moore

Julia E. Moore is the Senior Director for the Center for Implementation. She has a PhD from Penn State in Human Development, where she was trained as an implementation scientist, researching the best ways to implement evidence-based programs. She has worked on over 100 implementation projects. She is known internationally for her ability to communicate complex implementation science concepts in a clear and practical ways. Julia developed the online mini-course, Inspiring Change: creating impact with evidence-based implementation, which has been completed by over 4000 professionals from around the world. She is an invited keynote speaker at implementation and healthcare conferences and events. She is most passionate about supporting professionals how to use implementation science; she has delivered dozens workshops to thousands of participants.

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Dr John Øvretveit

John Øvretveit, works as R&D officer for Stockholm healthcare system and as Professor of improvement, implementation and evaluation at the Karolinska Institute medical university Stockholm. Previously he learned the value of thermal underwear at Nordic School of Public Health where he worked for 15 years when establishing and running the quality improvement program at Bergen Medical school, where you can buy the best rain wear at the North atlantic fisherman stores. He served a frightening 12 years as a board director of the USA Joint commission international where he saw the best and worst of healthcare, and serves as a board director of the global implementation society leading their Covid-19 implementation response group. Over his career he has published over 400 scientific peer reviewed articles and 12 books. 

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Eric Power

Eric Power is Programme Director for the Medicines and Quality Programme at NICE. The Medicines and Quality programme at NICE is responsible for developing NICE Quality Standards, indicators for the GP Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) and supporting the implementation of NICE guidance on medicines.
Over the last four months Eric has led NICE’s COVID-19 rapid guidelines programme which has developed 20 rapid clinical guidelines and six medicines evidence summaries to support the NHS in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eric qualified as a pharmacist and has worked in frontline, commissioning and national quality improvement roles before joining NICE. Eric has an MSc in health economics and is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Jonathan Purtle

Jonathan Purtle

Jonathan Purtle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management & Policy at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia. He is a policy dissemination and implementation researcher who focuses on issues related to mental health and health equity. His research uses theories and methods from the social sciences to understand how scientific evidence can be most effectively communicated to policymakers and translated into practice.

 Jonathan is Principal Investigator of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded study that is testing the effects of strategic frames about toxic stress on public and policymaker support for child development policies and stigma towards children and families. He is also Co-Director of a NIMH-funded P50 project (PIs Hoagwood and McKay) that is using agent-based modeling to understand factors that influence research use in children’s state mental health policymaking. He was PI of a NIMH-funded R21 that surveyed state legislators to understand their opinions about mental health and substance use issues and how they use evidence in decision making. He is Co-Investigator of a NIMHD-funded R01 that is assessing the mental health impacts of Hurricane Maria on Island Puerto Ricans (PIs Ortega and Canino) and a NIMH-funded R01 that is assessing the effects of public housing policies on HIV/STI risk (PI Blankenship).

Jonathan received his DrPH in Health Management & Policy from the Dornsife School of Public Health and holds a master’s degree in sociology from the De Universiteit van Amsterdam and an MPH from Drexel.

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Professor Anne Sales

Anne Sales is a nurse and Professor in the Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School. She is also a Research Scientist at the Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Her training is in sociology, health economics, econometrics, and general health services research.  Her work involves theory-based design of implementation interventions, including: understanding how feedback reports affect provider behavior and through behavior change have an impact on patient outcomes; the role of social networks in implementation interventions; and effective implementation methods using electronic health records and digital interventions. She has completed over 40 funded research projects, and currently leads a VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative Program focused on implementing goals of care conversations in VA long term care settings. She is a founding co-Editor-in-Chief of Implementation Science Communications. 

Professor Jane Sandall CBE

Jane Sandall is professor of social science and women’s health at King’s College London. She is a an NIHR Senior Investigator, with a clinical background in nursing, health visiting and midwifery and an academic background in social science. Jane leads the maternal health policy, systems and implementation research group in the Department of Women and Children’s Health, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London.  She also leads the maternity and perinatal women’s health theme in NIHR ARC South London and contributes as academic faculty in the Centre for Implementation Science. Her research draws on the clinical and social sciences and focuses on issues of quality and safety. Key themes are: i) the impact of maternal health policy at a health system and service-delivery level, and on health outcomes and users’ experiences, and ii) the social and organisational implications of the translation of innovative health technologies into health care to improve safety. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, MRC, Wellcome, NIHR, Gates, and a range of charitable sources. For example: the organisation and outcome of birth in different settings, efficient use of the maternity workforce and the implications for safety & quality in maternity care, implementation of rapid response systems in the management of escalation of care in acute medical and maternity settings.

Her contribution to implementation research involves trials of complex interventions. For example, conducting implementation evaluations in behavioural interventions in pregnant women who are obese, CRADLE, a stepped wedge trial of an automated device used by frontline health workers to detect shock and hypertension in low income countries, step wedge trial of implementation of a programme to detect fetal growth restriction. Leading a pilot effectiveness-implementation trial looking at feasibility and mechanisms of midwife continuity of care pathway for women at higher risk of pre-term birth, and the implementation of telemedicine in Intensive Care. Jane and her team’s research findings have informed the UK government commission on Nursing and Midwifery, House of Commons Health Committee on Inequalities, English, Scottish, US, Brazilian, Irish and Australian reviews of maternity services and WHO. She currently sits on the UK NICE implementation strategy group.

Professor Nick Sevdalis

Nick Sevdalis is a psychologist, professor of Implementation Science and Patient Safety and director of the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London. Nick also serves as an associate editor of Implementation Science.  Prior to this appointment, Nick was a reader in patient safety and deputy chair of the Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre of Imperial College London. He also served as a board member of the Association for Surgical Education (USA). 

Nick’s research focuses on developing, evaluating and implementing team-based interventions for the improvement of the safety and quality of in-hospital care. Interventions developed by Nick and his research team include team- and safety-skills training; team-enhancement interventions (e.g., ‘huddles’); and safety checklists. Nick is interested in understanding the barriers, drivers and context of uptake of innovative patient safety and quality improvement interventions and programmes. Nick’s research has been disseminated in over 340 publications and over 100 invited lectures to date.

Dr Nadine Seward

Nadine Seward is a Lecturer in Global Implementation, based within the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London.  Nadine holds a BSc (Hons Life Science) from Queen’s University in Canada, an MSc (Epidemiology) from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD (Epidemiology) from University College London (UCL). Prior to starting at King’s College London in August 2018, Nadine worked at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) on community trials aimed at improving maternal and newborn health outcomes as well as trials trying to better educational outcomes.  Her interests were focused on using causal mediation analyses and other techniques to evaluate the “how and why” behind the effectiveness of different complex interventions. Before LSHTM, Nadine worked at UCL, Institute of Global Health on community trials that involved women’s groups using participatory learning and action, to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes.

Nadine is currently working with the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa (ASSET) to improve the quality of integrated primary health care, surgical and maternal and newborn care.  As a Lecturer in Global Implementation Science, Nadine is interested in brining interventions that are known to be effective, to scale through the application of appropriate models, frameworks and theories. Nadine will be working with the different ASSET partners and across the different care platforms to use implementation science methodology to evaluate practical ways to improve the quality and coverage of care.

Dr Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor is currently Head of Impact for the Central Commissioning Facility of the National Institute for Health Research. His work at the moment includes looking at ways to incorporate the patient experience into the evaluation of clinical and health research impact. Previously he has worked, amongst other places, for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and Oxford University Innovation (the University’s knowledge transfer arm). He has been a trustee for two other medical charities including the MS Society and was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in 2003. 

Dr Julie Williams

Julie Williams is a post-doctoral researcher in the Centre for Implementation Science, King’s College London and an Occupational Therapist. Her research interests are implementation in mental health services, physical health of people with serious mental illness and how we involve service users and clinical staff in research. She currently works on the Integrating our Mental and Physical Health Care Systems Project which is working on improving the physical health of people using mental health services.

Dr Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Primary Care and Health Services Research, University of Manchester and Implementation Science research theme lead for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester. Paul has a background in evidence synthesis with research interests that are focused around evidence informed decision making in health policy and practice. His interests include rapid review methodologies, the development and evaluation of methods to increase the uptake of research based knowledge to inform decisions relating to service delivery, redesign, disinvestment, and the evaluation of service innovation in health systems.