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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.


Meet the Team

69% of the population within the UK have reported some sort of gastrointestinal distress, these issues account for over 10% of primary care consultations and the complications are responsible for 1 in 8 deaths. Gastrointestinal research covers research into the entire GI tract, inclusive of pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of common disorders and problematic symptoms.

Alongside NHS consultants and clinical academics from leading universities, there is also a close working relationship with representatives from charities that support people living with GI complaints. Crohns and Colitis UK, who fund many inflammatory bowel disease studies and the British Society for Gastroenterology have representation in the North East and North Cumbria specialty group meetings. 

Gillian Johnson

Research delivery manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Simon Panter

Gastroenterology specialty group lead

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Ellen Brown

Research and innovation lead, Darlington Memorial Hospital

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

Gillian Johnson's research experience

I have experience in leading and supporting both commercial and non commercial research opportunities across a number of medical specialities, including ageing, dermatology, gastroenterology, infection, liver, neurological and respiratory disorders working collaboratively with our local NHS trusts, universities and stakeholders to increase recruitment to National Institute for Health and Care Research portfolio studies through novel ways of working.

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Simon Panter's research experience

I am a consultant gastroenterologist and director of medical education at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. I have previously been the gastroenterology training programme director and was the deputy head of the school of medicine for Health Education England North East.

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Ellen Brown's research experience

I am the team lead, in the research and innovation department at Darlington Memorial Hospital. I have worked in research since 2007 and currently work in gastrointestinal research as well as line managing a team of 15 in a variety of specialities.

My tips for getting involved in research are: Speak to your gastro consultants and speciality nurses – it’s a very research active area nationally and regionally, so I’m sure they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction to get involved, contact the Research Delivery Network who will be able to put you in touch with other research active people in the region and finally, speak to your research and development department and find out about their GI research team members and the studies they are working on.

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How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Priority setting partnerships

Contact Guts UK for more information on their priority setting partnerships for those with irritable bowel syndrome.

Funding opportunities

Take a look at the funding opportunities available.

Find out about collaborations

Watch this video to find out more about working with clinical nurse specialists on research projects.

Training opportunities

Sign up to the clinical research training programme here