Our team of experts is waiting to welcome you at PRC: Newcastle. On this page you can find out who they are and and learn a little about their expertise and experience.


Professor Yan Yiannakou

Clinical Director

Professor Yan Yiannakou is a consultant Neurogastroenterologist and Director of Research and Development for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. He is passionate about research and promoting research within the region. Yan has been actively involved within the local Clinical Research Network where he has been enthusiastic about expanding research opportunities and developing innovative and novel therapies.


Angela Birt

Business Manager

Angela joins the team from the Clinical Research Network as Business Manager. She has worked in clinical research for 25 years and brings a wealth of experience. Angela has a Masters in Clinical Research from Newcastle University and is excited to join the team and see more research opportunities being available to our communities.


Dr Rebecca Coles

Research Physician

Rebecca is a new member to our team, Rebecca has been a GP for nine years after moving to the north east to attend medical school. She has a special interest in Diabetes and hopes to be involved in research in this area. Rebecca is looking forward to contributing to making things better for patients everywhere through new discoveries and new evidence.


Dr Sara Colclough

Research Physician

Sara joined the PRC: Newcastle team in November 2021.  She has worked as a GP for the past 15 years and has a specialist interest in palliative medicine, providing medical support to local hospices. Sara is enthusiastic about research and is excited to be a member of the team.


Mr Cho Ee Ng

Clinical Research Fellow

Cho Ee is a surgical registrar undertaking his PhD research supervised by Professor Yiannakou at Newcastle University. He is working on enhancing patient recruitment to interventional trials by using remote healthcare technology. He is works along side the team to support clinical research studies at the PRC.


Hazel Forsyth

Senior Research Sister

Hazel is the Senior Research Sister for the unit and working alongside Prof Yiannakou has been instrumental in its concept and set up. She has a wealth of research, clinical and management experience having been involved in clinical research since 1998. She is keen to create a research team who are passionate about providing a welcoming and friendly environment for patients. Hazel is committed to making them feel valued, safe and empowered by their experience of taking part in clinical research studies.


Gez Richell

Senior Research Nurse

Gez is the Senior Research Nurse within the team. She has worked on research studies in both primary and secondary care for over 20 years across various specialities including neurosciences, diabetes and rheumatology. Gez also worked as a Respiratory Nurse Specialist for several years. She is keen to encourage collaborative working and completed a Research Masters (MSc) in encouraging patient participation into clinical research studies across both primary and secondary care.


Louise Quinn

Senior Research Nurse

Louise is one of the Senior Research Nurses within the team.  Louise joined the PRC team in 2021 and brings with her a wealth of research experience and knowledge, having previously worked in Cardiology Research within the Trust for a number of years.


Jodi Fitzsimmons-McCoy

Clinical Trials Associate

Jodi is the Clinical Trials Associate for the unit. She has been in post prior to the unit opening and, alongside Hazel, has been responsible for much of the organisation and set-up of the unit itself. Jodi has a background in Biomedical Science and research development. She has worked with patients within the NHS for many years and is passionate about patient empowerment. Working with the unit enables Jodi to both continue to work with and advocate for patients, while having direct involvement in clinical research delivery.


Donna Robson

Clinical Trials Coordinator

Donna joined the team in July 2019, she has previous experience of trial coordination having worked within Neurology and Non-Malignant Haematology Research. She has also previously worked as a Clinical Trials Associate and prior to that, an Assistant Technical Officer in the Lung Function Department. Before seeking her vocation with the NHS, Donna had an extensive career history in the sport and leisure industry within local authorities.


Georgia Williams

Study Support Assistant

Georgia joined the Team in November 2020 and has a Biomedical Sciences background combined with Vascular Dementia research as part of a Newcastle University Masters research project. Georgia works with the Clinical Trials Team by supporting day-to-day administration, and set up/running of studies.


Sarah Scott

Data Manager

Sarah is the Data Manager within the team. Sarah joined the team in 2021 having previously worked within the research administration and secretarial team. Sarah originally comes from a clinical background with previous experience as a Midwife and Health Visitor.



Sandra Mawdesley

Business Analyst

Sandra is the business analyst of the unit. She has worked within the NHS for many years, 14 of these being within the Trust. She has extensive business and management experience, working as an analyst and performance manager, and is proficient with capacity and demand and other models. She works closely with the research finance team.


Alen Hodgson

Ward Domestic

Alen works for hotel services and is a valued member of the team. He works across the campus but is on the unit on a daily basis. Alen takes pride in his work and is always friendly and ready with a smile.

Related pages


Find out what studies are happening at PRC: Newcastle