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Management Team

Illingworth's Management Team

A Brief Introduction to Key Members of Our Team

Having gained over 30 years of experience, initially at ICI (now AstraZeneca) and then at Serono, John became a freelance Clinical Research Manager in 1996. He founded Clinical Development and Support Services Ltd (CDSS) in 1998. John spent 10 years teaching on the MSc in Clinical Research, Diploma and Certificate courses at Liverpool John Moores University and is still an honorary lecturer there. He was on the executive committee of the Association of Clinical Research in the pharmaceutical industry (now the Institute for Clinical Research) for 6 years.

Whilst gaining his Institute of Directors Diploma in company direction, John continued to oversee the steady expansion of CDSS, promoting the company both within the UK and overseas to the biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device industries and is a familiar and respected face at conferences, exhibitions and seminars all over the world.

Following the expansion of CDSS and the growth of its contract research nursing operation to become the leading independent supplier of research nurses in the UK, John oversaw the strategic realignment of the company in 2011 to become Illingworth Research Ltd and ResearchNurses.co allowing both companies to focus on their core business of clinical trial management and contract supply of Research Nurses respectively.

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A high achieving Medic and Surgeon and latterly senior pharmaceutical executive whose broad experience and understanding of the clinical research environment provides an invaluable resource for the Illingworth Research team.

His significant history in both medicine and surgery facilitated his transition into pharmaceutical medicine, where he developed over ten patents for work in the discovery of wound healing, dermatology and cardiovascular compounds. Mike has provided scientific and medical expertise and leadership to a global product strategy from concept through to registration and throughout the life-cycle of important and valuable medical compounds.

Having completed clinical research in all four phases of drug development and gained extensive experience in areas of drug development and marketing, Mike now provides consultancy advice on pharmaceutical and clinical affairs.

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Melanie joined the company in 2000 following completion of her PhD in Cell Biology at Manchester University.  She started work as a trainee Clinical Research Associate (CRA) and after working extensively in Phase I studies, moved into later phase work and then project management mainly in the field of oncology.

Melanie also progressed within the company, being promoted to CRA Team Manager in 2004 and then to Director of Clinical Operations in 2007.  As a result of her experience working in a variety of clinical research settings and facilities over the years, Melanie has the ability to apply her knowledge of the clinical research industry to advise clients on their specific requirements.   With her keen attention to detail and focus on customer service, Melanie ensures that Illingworth Research provides each client with the complete and careful attention that they require.

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Helen was appointed Vice President, Strategic Development at Illingworth Research in August 2016 and comes to us with over 25 years’ experience in the Clinical Trials arena. Helen Springford graduated with an honours degree in Nursing Sciences in 1990 and started her clinical trials career as a research nurse in London. Since then, she has managed an SMO and held various positions in both CROs and big pharma within several functional areas including Clinical Operations, Project Management, Business Development and Proposals.

Within this new role Helen is responsible for Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, and Executive Oversight.

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Bryn Ashworth

Bryn is an accountant with 40 years’ experience in a number of Senior Finance and Managerial roles across a variety of business sectors and brings with him a strong background in financial systems development and project management.

Bryn enjoys working in the Research and Development sector as he believes that this is a key building block in any successful economy and is delighted to be working at Illingworth as the business continues to expand.

Ian has worked for the company since its formation. Ian has a scientific background, obtaining an Applied Biology degree at Coventry University before working at ICI (now AstraZeneca) and the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research.

Ian then undertook 8 years of post graduate research at Manchester University during which time he also trained in Information Technology and many areas of computer & network systems support.

Following this, he trained as a CRA whilst also taking responsibility for the computer systems within the company.

Ian's unique background in both clinical/pharmaceutical research, as well as his experience in the IT field, ideally positions him to be able to work with computer & network systems whilst fully understanding the needs of our team. He now has sole responsibility for IT & systems, including strategic planning and support. He also has an IT training role with the company which also allows him the opportunity to further explore the day to day issues faced by the company.

His active role within the management team also allows Ian to contribute to the strategic planning for the increasing impact that IT/IS is having on our industry, ensuring that Illingworth Research not only keeps up with current technologies but also stays one step ahead.

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Fiona joined the company in 2014 as Clinical Operations Manager and was appointed Director of Clinical Operations in 2016.  She has over 13 years’ experience working within clinical research, having worked with a variety of companies, from blue chip and smaller European Pharmaceutical companies, those concentrating on drug delivery systems, radiopharmaceuticals and Contract Research Organisations.

She has worked in phases I-IV and across a variety of therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, diabetes, oncology, neurology, women’s health, hepatology respiratory and endocrinology studies.

Fiona has extensive experience in running clinical trials, from project management, monitoring (hospital, GP, and Phase I sites), protocol writing, CRF design, drug packaging, data management, clinical report writing and vendor management.  As Director of Clinical Operations, Fiona is responsible for the management of the clinical operations team, including training and development.  She is client focussed and strives to ensure the clinical team provides an excellent standard of service.  She believes the key to this is effective communication and team working skills.

Juliet joined the company in 2011 as a Senior Research Nurse and after several promotions was appointed the position of Director of Research Nursing in 2016. Juliet has over 15 years’ experience within clinical research, commencing her career in cardiology research covering multiple Phase I- IV trials within the UK National Health Service. Juliet more recently specialised in neurology research, in particular, the field of multiple sclerosis, working on both commercial and non-commercial phase I – IV trials.

Over the past 6 years, Juliet has performed Research Nurse home visits, performed throughout Spain, for a large global paediatric study in Essential Thrombocytopenia.

She has wide experience in the management of trial projects from initiation to close out as well as working with site investigators to improve patient recruitment and patient retention to the study protocols. Juliet’s nursing skills are broadened to include ECG analysis, venepuncture, cannulation, advanced neurological assessment and the rapid response to complex adverse events. She believes developing a strategy that places the patient in the centre of the trial is vital for a successful study. As the Director of Research Nursing, Juliet is responsible for the overall strategic development of the research nursing service and management of the Research Nurse team including training and development.


Kevin joined Illingworth Research Group Limited in 2011 to expand and promote its Medical Photography service for clinical research.  Kevin has over 15 years experience in this sector previously having worked as Principal Medical Photographer within the CRO and Biotech industries, leading their teams of medical photographers and imaging technicians.  Kevin is experienced in establishing and translating the photographic requirements from synopsis to practical resolution, whether subjective image review panels or objective endpoint data analysis.

Kevin also has extensive experience in the ethical, procedural and regulatory aspects of pre-clinical and phase I-III studies.  Kevin has worked on over 40 (primary/secondary) imaging studies, ranging from single centre to global 60 site studies. Experienced in 2D, 3D, video and specialist imaging devices, he provides international clients solutions within the; anti-scarring, accelerated healing, dermatitis, immune system, fungal condition and vascular therapeutic areas.  Prior to joining the medical photography profession, Kevin worked as a crime scene photographer with the UK’s Metropolitan Police Service, gaining extensive technical knowledge and practical experience in the use of infra-red and ultra-violet wavelengths to record latent detail in often challenging situations.