Meet the Team

Jennifer Crooks

Head of Research and Innovation

“I have been passionate about facilitating research since I have left university in 2009 and started work as a Research Assistant in Huntington’s Disease. Seeing how research provided patients, carers and family members with an opportunity to turn a negative prognosis into something positive and to provide hope when all was otherwise lost, has stuck with me throughout my research career. As Head of Research and Innovation at Kingston Hospital, I am dedicated to increasing the portfolio of research we have open here, so that more and more patients can access research relevant to their health. I want to ensure that Kingston Hospital patients are accessing treatments, interventions and supporting improvements to the healthcare of tomorrow by being a part of research today. I believe research should not be exclusive to the larger trusts, and I feel that if we can avoid the need for patients to travel and be able to provide them excellent evidence based care locally, then research is the way forward. Since I joined the Trust in 2015, the research department has been awarded the most improved trust for research activity in acute trust for 2 consecutive years. This is thanks to the incredible team of research midwives, coordinators, nurses and administration staff we have working across a variety of research studies within Kingston Hospital.

You can find out a little more about some of the team below.”

Dr Helen Matthews

Consultant Gastroenterologist/Director of Research & Innovation

Helen Matthews was appointed as a Gastroenterology & Hepatology Consultant to Kingston Hospital in April 2014. She studied medicine at Cambridge University and Oxford University. She completed her training in gastroenterology and hepatology working at several trusts in North and South London including Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, St George’s and Imperial NHS Trust. She has been awarded a number of academic prizes, including a Foundation Scholarship from Cambridge University and a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship for her research work in non alcoholic fatty liver disease at Imperial. She is an accredited Bowelscope endoscopist and participates in bowel cancer screening at St George’s Hospital. She regularly teaches on the National Endoscopy Training Courses. She is also the Director of Research & Innovation. 

Tracey O’Brien

Research and Innovation Facilitator

“Since working in Kingston Hospital I have had the pleasure of learning what it means to provide quality service, develop from Team administrator to research assistant then to Research and Innovation Facilitator. I am amazed at the growth of research in Kingston, with more and more patients offered the opportunity to be more involved in their care, learn more about their prognosis and contribute to developing the treatments in the future. As part of my role, I discuss new studies with Principal investigators and departments, support teams to assess feasibility and capacity for each study. Students are supported and guided to set up their own studies to make it as simple as possible.”

Charlotte Quamina

Research Coordinator

“I trained as a Pharmacy Technician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, working in the Clinical trials department there once qualified. I went on to work as Senior Clinical Trial Technician (Oncology) at the Royal Marsden Hospital and as a Clinical Trials Officer at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (UCLH). I also have experience as a Research Portfolio Officer, facilitating the confirmation of capacity and capability of studies for Central and North West London hospitals and prison services. 

I am to utilise my experiences to support all of the teams and patients here at Kingston who are interested in taking part in research, and to develop the research portfolio even further.”

Andrew Swain

Research Coordinator 

“I first started in research at Salisbury Hospital in 2013 before moving to Kingston a year later to work in Audit. I had always been looking for another position in research to work on developing my understanding of environmental influences on health and holistic treatments on chronic conditions. I started in the research team at Kingston 2014 as a research associate and have developed to coordinate studies and liaise with teams to provide patients with opportunities that they would not usually be offered within routine care. I currently am working a great deal with anaesthetics and theatres supporting patients on their pathway through surgery. 

I feel very privileged to be a part of and working alongside teams here who genuinely care very deeply about those who we support throughout their treatment. It is only through patients volunteering their time that we are able to work to develop new ways to treat conditions may affect us all at some time in our lives.”

Kathryn Yule Sollesta

Research Nurse

“I started my Research Nurse role just recently.  Before I decided to join Research, I was one of the Staff Nurses in Accident and Emergency.  I would take care of both Adult and Paediatric Patients.   I have been part of the Emergency world since graduating Nursing in the Philippines back in 2011.  On my off days I would also volunteer for The British Red Cross Emergency Response.  

I’ve always thought of it as a privilege to be able to do a job where you can save people’s lives, and in A&E we do that in a daily basis, and now with Research I get the chance to save people’s lives in a Global Scale.  It’s fascinating to be able to find answers to life’s greatest questions.  In Research we get to do that for the Medical World and the future of our Health Service.” 

India McKenley

Research Administrator 

“I joined the research team in September 2017 as a research administration apprentice. One of the requirements of this role was to attend college and study for a Level 3 qualification in Business and Administration. For 18 months, I worked alongside the members of the R&I team learning on the job in various departments across the hospital. I am now a qualified administrator and I am keen to see where my research journey will take me.”

Maggie Grout

Research Nurse

“I joined research at the end of 2019 as a research nurse. Previously I worked in theatres as an anaesthetic nurse and before that in A&E department. My nursing background and experience helps me to perform and understand duties in this exciting role.

Research serves a meaningful purpose to find the answers for many health related aspects which i always have been interested in”

Rita Fernandes

Research Apprentice

“I started my apprenticeship in Research and Innovation department at Kingston Hospital in December 2019. I had never worked in an office environment before as I came from a retail job, after 7 months of working with this lovely team I have learned so much and every day is a learning curve for me.

I use some of my previous experience to help me in my new position; I am interested in learning more and becoming a proper Research Administrator so that I can contribute for the growth and success of the Research and Innovation here in Kingston Hospital.​”

Cancer Team

You can find out a little more about some of the team below.


Research Nurse, Oncology Sir William Rous Unit

“I worked as a staff nurse at Endoscopy and A&E before going to Clinical Research trials.  I got interested in this field of specialty and wanted to learn further on how research studies are being conducted, new treatment methods, and new drugs.  How they measure efficacy of treatment and ensuring that they are safe for use by the people.

My first exposure in research was doing phase 1 clinical trials with healthy volunteers for a CRO company.

I eventually moved to oncology research trials and was involved in phase 1-3 studies for drug development, providing chemotherapy treatment to both private and NHS patients

Joined the research team at Marsden and Kingston in 2017, and presently working as Oncology Research Nurse.

It is good to be part of the team and help build research portfolio for both trust as well as being able to help improve patient service.”

Katrin Sainudeen

Clinical Trial Practitioner, Oncology Sir William Rous Unit

“I first started working in Oncology in the Molecular Diagnostics Labs.  It was upon completion of my Masters in Cancer Biology that I got into Research and Clinical Trials. I worked as a Senior Specimen Coordinator and Molecular characterisation study Coordinator for the Drug Development Unit at Royal Marsden Sutton. This interested me into applying for post of clinical trial Practitioner.

As a Clinical Trial Practitioner I recruit patients onto clinical trials in oncology.  Our new team in oncology joined in 2017. Since then we have increased the research portfolio for oncology at Kingston and have been some of the top recruiters for some studies which we are very proud to have achieved.

I believe that research is the way forward to study the unknown and lead to improved knowledge so that we can provide a better service to our community.”

Helen Morgan

Clinical Trials Administrator, Oncology Sir William Rous Unit

“I am part of the cancer research team at Kingston Hospital. Our research portfolio includes studies from both RMH and KH. My role in the team is to look after the paperwork and the data. On a weekly basis I manage Investigator Site Files and web portal databases for our studies. I get to meet participants and hospital staff in my pursuit of complete data that is a part of my job that I really like! Previously I worked as a Data Manager at ICR in Sutton, which really primed me well for my current position. Going back further in time I have a mixed bag of experience including; various office roles, crew on a square rigger that circumnavigated Britain and health care assistant roles in both London and Australia. I feel so lucky that I can be a part of an industry which has so much relevance to our health today and longevity tomorrow.”

R & I Good News!


Congratulations to our Research Nurse Kathryn and Dr. Simon Pearse who recruited their first patient to the PERSOPLIS study, Dr Pearse is our first Chief Investigator at KH!

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