Who we are
Meet Our Team
Click on the links below to view each profile:
- PROFESSOR MARK LAYTON, CLINICAL LEAD
- DR KOFI A ANIE MBE, HONORARY CLINICAL SENIOR LECTURER
- CHAIRMAN PATRICK OJEER - PATIENT & PUBLIC VOICE GROUP CHAIRMAN
- DR ASAD LUQMANI, HAEMATOLOGY CONSULTANT
- DR KIRSTIN LUND, PEDIATRIC CONSULTANT
- ALISON THOMAS, PEDIATRIC CONSULTANT
- DR JULIA SIKORSKA, HAEMATOLOGY CONSULTANT
- DR MAMTA SOHAL, TRAINING PROGRAMME DIRECTOR
- DR LOLA ONI, SPECIALIST NURSE CONSULTANT
- DR JEREMY ANDERSON, CLINICAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST
- DR ELIZABETH RHODES, HAEMATOLOGY CONSULTANT
- PROFESSOR JOSU DE LA FUENTE, PEDIATRIC CONSULTANT
- DR FRÉDÉRIC B. PIEL, LECTURER IN EPIDEMIOLOGY
- DR STEVEN OKOLI, HAEMATOLOGY CONSULTANT
- DR SHEANA WIJEMANNE, PEDIATRIC CONSULTANT
- RALPH BROWN, HCC NETWORKING MANAGER
- ENI KUSEJU, HCC COORDINATOR
Professor Layton joined Imperial College in 2000 as Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Reader and is Clinical Lead for Red Cell Haematology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. He is Clinical Director of the North West London Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Network and Specialty Lead for the North West London NIHR Clinical Research Network.
His clinical and research interests span the treatment and pathophysiology of red cell disorders and reflect a longstanding interest in sickle cell disease, thalassaemia and rare inherited anaemias. He is Chief/Principal investigator on several early and pivotal clinical trials of novel disease modifiers that include a first-in-class allosteric activator of red cell pyruvate kinase. He was project lead for haemolytic anaemia on the NIHR Rare Disease Translational Research Collaboration and as co-chair of the red cell multidisciplinary team (MDT) supports the NIHR BioResource Rare Disease programme.
His external activities have included UK NEQAS Special Scientific Advisory Group, Medical Research Council, UK Forum on Haemoglobin Disorders, National Confidential Enquiry into Counselling for Genetic Disorders, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, British Paediatric Survellance Unit and British Society for Haematology steering group or committee membership. He is Medical Advisor to the Sickle Cell Society.
After graduating from University College London and completing postgraduate training in the UK, Dr Mark Layton was appointed as senior lecturer and honorary consultant in the department of haematological medicine at King's College London in 1990. He was subsequently appointed as consultant haematologist and honorary reader at Hammersmith Hospital in 2000.
Sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, haemolytic anaemias, genetic disorders of red blood cells, disorders of iron metabolism
Research & publications
Dr Layton's clinical and research interests span the treatment and pathophysiology of inherited red cell disorders including being chief/principal investigator on early and pivotal clinical trials of novel disease modifiers. He is project lead for the NIHR Rare Diseases Translational Research Collaboration on haemolytic anaemia and chair of the red cell multidiscplinary team (MDT) supporting the 100,000 Genomes Project. He has authored over 100 publications in scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics and Blood.
Dr Anie is the Psychology Service Lead for children and adults with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, and an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London.
Dr Anie trained at the University of Surrey and attained his PhD at University of London. He began his professional career at King’s College Hospital, London where he pioneered psychological interventions for children with sickle cell disease. He was later a Research Fellow at St George’s University of London, and was appointed to his current position in 1998. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society; his other professional affiliations include the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, and American Psychological Association.
Dr Anie has been involved in development of national clinical guidelines and standards of care for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline Development Group – “Sickle Cell Acute Pain Episode,” He is currently a Scientific Advisor to the Sickle Cell Society, an Advisor to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, and a Haemoglobinopathies Editor for the Cochrane Library. He has also served on a Sickle Cell Disease Roundtable Discussion Parallel with the 2018 World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland, and a WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Human Genome Editing, Cape Town, South Africa 2020.
Dr Anie is a collaborator on several international initiatives including the West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC), and presently the Ethics and Community Engagement Core Leader of the Sickle Cell Disease Genomics of Africa Network (SickleGenAfrica). His professional aspiration is owed to a life-long personal and family experience of sickle cell disease. He was awarded with Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for Services to People with Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassaemia in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
After one of his sons was born with Sickle Cell Disorder, Patrick became aware of the lack of knowledge and management within the NHS. He gave up his engineering career to care for his son and after getting involved with a local support group, he has worked on a wide range of improvement projects, particularly around specialised commissioning. Patrick was formerly a board member and interim CEO of the Sickle Cell Society, and chair of PPI, NHS London Specialised Commissioning Group. He is a fellow of the North West London (NWL) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) and holds a Masters’ degree in Improvement Science.
He currently holds the following positions:
· membership of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) for both Sickle Cell Disease and Stem Cell Transplantation
· PPI Representative on the Board of the North West London Clinical Network for Haemoglobinopathy
· PPI Representative on the NHS England Specialised Commissioning Clinical Reference Group for Sickle Cell Disease
· membership of the NIHR Imperial BRC Public Advisory Board since 2015.
His previous experience includes:
· Project Manager and co-author on Patient-reported experience measure in sickle cell disease project in collaboration with the Picker Institute (funded by NWL CLAHRC)
· Co-author on Patients’ views on improving sickle cell disease management in primary care: focus group discussion Views of Patients about Sickle Cell Disease Management in Primary Care. (NWL CLAHRC Brent Sickle Cell Project)
· Reviewing funding proposals for research into sickle cell disease including stem cell research.
After obtaining his undergraduate medical qualification from Imperial College London in 1999, Dr Asad Luqmani went on to complete his haematology training in North West London. He subsequently undertook a one year Research Fellowship in Haemostasis and Thrombosis at Imperial College before being appointed a Consultant at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, in 2010.
His main area of interest and practice is in the field of haemoglobinopathies in addition to general non-malignant haematology. He is involved in several clinical research trials in haemoglobinopathies and other red cell disorders as sub-PI and teaches as part of the undergraduate and postgraduate medical programmes. He is the lead clinician for the local Imperial red cell MDT and the North West London Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Clinical Network haemoglobinopathy MDT.
Dr Luqmani is a co-opted member of the steering group committee of the UK Forum for Haemoglobin Disorders and attends the forum’s regular scientific and educational meetings and conferences. He has contributed to the revision of the recent 2nd Edition of the Standards for the Clinical Care of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease in the UK, 2018. He is also an active member of the British Society of Haematology.
Dr Lund is the Clinical Lead for the Paediatric Haemoglobinopathy service at Imperial, looking after patients from birth through to transition to the adult service and coordination of the paediatric RBC exchange service. She also manages General Paediatric patients RBC exchange service, attends on the bone marrow transplant unit and is the Clinical Lead for Laboratory Paediatric Haematology.
She acts in the role of Paediatric Haemoglobinopathy Lead for the West London Haemoglobinopathy Coordinating Care Centre. She contributes to the Haematology teaching programme and acts as Education Supervisor for junior doctors in training and has a teaching role on the Imperial College London university BSc/MSc courses.
Dr Thomas completed her haematology training in North Central London, prior to be appointed as a consultant at St George’s in 2015. She is the lead for the paediatric haemoglobinopathy service at St George’s which provides specialist care children in the SW Thames Region.
Her main area of interest is in congenital blood disorders including haemoglobinopathies and other anaemias. She completed a MD research degree at University College London in 2014 on the genetics and vascular manifestations of lysosomal storage disorders – rare, multisystem genetic disorders.
She is the clinical lead for the haemoglobinopathy laboratory for South West London Pathology and part of the South London Genomics Hub consortium for non-malignant haematology.
Dr Sikorska graduated from Guy’s, King’s and St. Thomas’ School of Medicine in 2008. She completed her haematology training on the South West London rotation and was appointed as a consultant haematologist at St. George’s in 2019.
Dr Sikorska is the clinical lead for the haemoglobinopathy laboratory and Red Cell and Haemoglobin Disorders Unit at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which provides specialist care to patients with sickle cell disease, thalassaemia and other inherited red cell disorders in the South West Thames region. She also has an interest in general non-malignant haematology including immunohaematology, iron homeostasis and myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Dr Sikorska is a member of the West London HCC MDT and HCC adult guideline group.
Dr Mamta Sohal qualified in 1993 from Nottingham University. She trained in haematology on the North West London rotation before taking up her first substantive consultant post at Hillingdon NHS Foundation Trust in 2010.
She moved to her current post at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in November 2019 to further develop her specialisation in haemoglobinpathies.
In 2018, Dr Sohal was appointed the Training Programme Director for the NWL haematology rotation, managing over 50 haematology trainees. She runs a specialist obstetric haemoglobinopathy clinic at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, which takes referrals from across the sector, as well as a benign paediatric haematology clinic at Hillingdon. She is an examiner for the FRCPath Haematology exams.
She is active in research, involved in clinical trials in haemoglobinopathies and rare red cell disorders and is the PI for the TAPS2 trial.
Within the West London HCC, she is one of the Training and Education leads and the lead for the guidelines subgroup.
Dr Oni has a nursing, midwifery and health visiting background and has been in the specialist field of haemoglobinopathies for over thirty years. She is service director for the Brent sickle & thalassaemia Centre and has responsibility for the NW regional newborn screening and counselling service and clinical lead for integrated specialist acute and community care at London North West University Healthcare (LNWUH) NHS Trust, which provide care in three acute care hospitals and specialist community care in the boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Bedford, Ealing and Hillingdon. She is clinical lead and supervisor for specialist nurses, midwives and health visitors in LNWUH and community nurses in the boroughs represented in the NW London Sickle & Thalassaemia Clinical Network.
Dr Oni is a qualified Lecturer in Community Health Nursing (LHV) and a Nurse Tutor (NT). She was and continues to be instrumental in the development of specialist services locally, nationally and internationally, having contributed extensively to the development of policies, guidelines, protocols and multidisciplinary education. In 1989 she co-developed the first professionally accredited specialist training in the UK, delivered the programme as lead lecturer at King’s College London University where she continues to teach as honorary lecturer.
Dr Oni was a key member of the UK governments Human Genetics Commission; is currently on the steering group of the NHS National Antenatal & Newborn Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia
Screening programme, member of the NHS England Haemoglobinopathy Clinical Reference Group, Chair of the Sickle & Thalassaemia Association of Nurses, Midwives and Allied Professionals (STANMAP), a member of the England Chief Nursing Officer BME strategic Advisory Group and a Senior Fellow of the Inaugural Class of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) International. In 2004 Dr Oni was awarded an OBE for services to the NHS.
Dr Oni has developed several protocols, guidelines and booklets; she is lead author of the ‘Sickle Cell Disease Parents’ Handbook which is distributed nationwide to all parents of newly diagnosed babies and children.
Dr. Jeremy Anderson is a clinical health psychologist with a background in cardiac rehab, vocational rehab and chronic pain management. He trained in Canada and is a registered psychologist in both Canada and the UK. The psychology service for people with sickle cell at Hammersmith Hospital, with Dr. Anderson as the sole provider, was identified by the UK Forum as an example of good practice, and Dr. Anderson has been invited to share expertise at various regional conferences and forum events around the UK. Since developing the psychology service, he has developed a keen interest in the ways in which patients with sickle cell interact with the healthcare system. He works directly with patients and staff alike to improve communication and understanding. He recently developed a comprehensive pain management programme for people with sickle cell, to provide patients and families better long-term options for pain management and reduce harm caused by over-reliance on opioids.
Dr Rhodes completed her haematology training in South West London and was appointed as a consultant at St George’s in 2011 and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at St George’s University. She was previously the clinical lead of the haematology department at St George’s and is now Clinical Director for specialist medicine.
Dr Rhodes is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology, a member of the British Society of Haematology and from 2019 has been a clinical member of the NHS England Clinical Reference Group for Haemoglobionpathies. She was chair of the NHS London Clinical and Commissioning Forum for Haemoglobinopathies for 2 years until 2017.
Dr Rhodes is a consultant in the adult red cell and haemoglobinopathy service at St George’s which provides specialist care to patients suffering from sickle cell disease, thalassaemia and other inherited red cell disorders in the local and surrounding area.
Her particular areas of interest are transfusion therapy in sickle cell disease as well as iron overload disorders, chronic pain and service development. She was a contributing author to the 2018 Standards for the Clinical Care of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease in the UK.
Prof. Josu de la Fuente is the Clinical Lead for Paediatric Specialties at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where he directs the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Programme and leads the Service of Paediatric Haematology. He is a Senior Lecturer in Haematology at Imperial College London.
Prof. Josu de la Fuente completed his general training in paediatrics in different hospitals in London and following membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, he trained in haematology at Imperial College and Great Ormond Street Hospital achieving membership of the Royal College of Pathologists. During this time he developed an interest in red cell disorders, bone marrow failure and transplantation. After a period of research in human developmental haemopoiesis as an MRC Clinical Research Fellow leading to a PhD, he was appointed in 2006 to lead the paediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Programme at St. Mary’s Hospital, which specialises in transplantation for haemoglobinopathies and bone marrow failure, and has been innovative in the use of alternative donors. He has also developed a unique clinical and research programme for Diamond Blackfan anaemia patients and is part of the iBFM Study Group steering committee for chronic myeloid leukaemia. He is a member and haematology lead in the Paediatric Medicine Clinical Reference Group of NHS England developing national standards of care.
Prof. de la Fuente is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Pathologist. He is a member of the British Society for Haematology, the American Society of Haematology, the American Society of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology, the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the European Haematology Association and European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
He has expertise in iron management. He specialises in blood disorders, sickle cell disease, thalassemia immune destruction of blood cells (immune thrombocytopenia, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, autoimmune neutropenia, etc), platelet disorders, clotting abnormalities and thrombosis, and transfusion issues.
Dr. Frédéric B. Piel, Lecturer in Epidemiology
My research uses rigorous spatial quantitative methods to study a range of epidemiological questions related to non-communicable disease, global health and low- and middle-income countries.
I am a leading expert of the epidemiology and health burden of sickle-cell disease and other haemoglobinopathies. I assemble contemporary evidence to inform public health policies in order to better prevent and manage these disorders, and ultimately improving the quality of life of patients.
I am particularly interested in applying small-area methods to study environment-health associations in cystic fibrosis and other diseases within the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU). I am a member of the MRC Centre for Environment & Health (CEH). I am involved in several key projects of the NIHR Health Protection Research Units (HPRU) in Chemical & Radiation Threats and Hazards (CRTH) and in Environmental Exposures & Health (EEH), in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE).
I am also the Director of the Joint Academic Career Development Programme of the MRC CEH and HPRUs EEH/CRTH, in collaboration with PHE, the MRC Toxicology Unit (Cambirdge) and Kings College London. I am a mentor in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.
My work was published in prestigious medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, The Lancet Global Health and PLOS Medicine.
I am a member of the Editorial Board for the Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and for the Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE B (Biomedicine & Biotechnology).
I am Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FGRS) and of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (RSTMH).
MPharmS, MBChB, MRCP, FRCPath
Dr Okoli’s interest in red cell haematology began as a pharmacist at King’s College Hospital, London. In this role, he completed a lab-based project to identify genetic factors that influ-enced the response of sickle cell patients to opioid analgesia.
After obtaining his undergraduate medical qualification from Glasgow University in 2005, he went on to complete his haematology training in South West London, based mainly at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals. He subsequently undertook a one-year Research Fellowship in rare anaemias at the Weatherall Institute, Oxford, before embarking on his PhD investigating treatments for G6PD deficiency. Following this he also undertook locum posts in red cell haematology at large teaching hospitals in South London.
Dr Okoli has recently been appointed a Consultant at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, with a specialist interest in red cell disorders. His main area of practice are in the fields of haemoglobinopathies, rare anaemias and general haematology. He is involved in several clinical research trials in this field and teaches on post-graduate courses, deanery training days and to patient groups in this area.
He is an active member of James Lind Alliance. Funded by the NIHR, this steering group sets priorities for rare inherited anaemias aimed at stimulating research. He also contributes to national guidance from the British Society of Haematology.
London North West University Healthcare NHS trust
Ralph joined the NHS in the summer of 2012 having previously been involved in renewables and the oil industry having achieved a degree in environmental sustainability. He then advanced to the role of the Quality Manager for Clinical and Paediatric Haematology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust where he worked closely with the Bone Marrow Transplant, Haemophilia and Haemoglobinopathy teams in supporting them to exceed regulatory compliance. Ralph supported the work of the Northwest London Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Network and managed the network prior to becoming the HCC Network Manager.
Ralph joined the Haemoglobinopathies peer review teams in 2019 to review quality and management structures of services.
As part of the Covid-19 pandemic Ralph has worked on the national data collection effort for those patients with Haemoglobinopathies alongside Professor Layton, Professor De la Fuente and Doctor Sohal.
Eni Joined the NHS early 2021 and has helped in creating all social content and arranging patient meetings/events.
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