Chief Investigators

Members of our Chief Investigator Scheme

POMCTN aspires to nurture and support interested clinicians with experience in research at a local level, to progress to become grant co-applicants, members of trial clinical investigator groups and ultimately Chief Investigators.

As such we have set up our Chief Investigator Scheme to develop and mentor the CIs of tomorrow.

Current CI Scheme members were recruited through open competition in 2017 and 2018. All recruitment rounds are advertised on this website, our newsletter and on our Twitter feed.

Those wishing to register an interest in the Chief Investigator Scheme should contact us.

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Jonathan Silversides

Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Jon Silversides graduated in medicine from Queens University Belfast in 2003, and undertook specialty training in anaesthesia, and critical care in Northern Ireland, gaining FRCA, MRCP, EDIC and FFICM qualifications. He completed a fellowship in critical care in Toronto before being appointed as a Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust in 2013. Jon has active research interests in both critical care and anaesthesia, and is nearing completion of a PhD on fluid therapy and deresuscitation in critical illness.

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Ada Ezihe-Ejiofor

Consultant Anaesthetist
Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Ada Ezihe-Ejiofor is a Consultant Anaesthetist at Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Her specialty interests include obstetric anaesthesia, medical education and the ‘growing field’ of medical humanities. Outside of medicine her interests include writing, music, drama and film. She has produced two low budget films exploring the interface between creative media and medicine.

Denny Levett

Denny Levett

Consultant in Perioperative Medicine
Southampton University Hospital NHS Foundation trust

Denny leads the perioperative medicine service at UHS including a pre-operative CPET service, a perioperative anaemia service, a surgery school, and prehabilitation. Her clinical and research interests explore the role of exercise in pre-operative risk stratification and pre-operative optimisation to improve surgical outcomes. She is president of the Perioperative Exercise Testing and Training Society (POETTS) ( and established and chairs the National Perioperative Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing course. She is part of the Fit 4 Surgery research group in Southampton, investigating exercise, psychological and nutritional prehabilitation and is the clinical lead for the multi-centre Wesfit Trial. She is the clinical CI for the INSPIRE trial evaluating inspiratory muscle training before surgery as a means of reducing post-operative complications.

Denny was the Association of Anaesthetists Research Fellow and her PhD thesis involved evaluating exercise capacity at up to 8000m on Mount Everest as a member of the climbing team on the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Expedition. She was the Deputy Research Leader for this altitude field study of hypoxia adaptation and the follow up expedition Xtreme Everest 2, investigating exercise efficiency in Sherpas (

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Rhona Sinclair

General Anaesthetist and Perioperative Clinician
Royal Victoria Infirmary

Rhona Sinclair works as a general anaesthetist and perioperative clinician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne where she leads the preoperative assessment service. She has been involved with the local research team conducting and coordinating portfolio studies for a number of years. She has been involved in research for more than ten years and is principle investigator for a selection of locally led studies investigating fitness in surgical patients, and supervises a number of research students.


Iain McCullagh

Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Freeman Hospital

Iain trained in anaesthesia and Intensive care in Edinburgh and Toronto. He was appointed as a Consultant at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2012. After undergoing some local research training, he began leading portfolio studies in Intensive care and anaesthesia as PI and then went on to develop his own work in the field of postoperative delirium with a regional multi-centre study completing in 2018. This work is being further developed with the help of contacts he has made after joining the chief investigator scheme. He is currently completing a masters in research in Newcastle and is engaged in developing grant applications with POMCTN and with Newcastle based intensive care researchers.

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards

Consultant in Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine
University Hospital Southampton

Mark is an anaesthetist/perioperative physician and researcher at University Hospital Southampton. His clinical activities include anaesthesia for major adult surgery, preoperative assessment/optimisation and developing clinical services within perioperative medicine. He completed his higher degree in perioperative immunology and postoperative morbidity at University College London before moving to Southampton in 2013. He is now Chief Investigator of the NIHR-funded FLO-ELA (FLuid Optimisation in Emergency LAparotomy) trial, Deputy Chief Investigator of the OPTIMISE II trial and a collaborator on the GAP Gabapentin trial. Research support roles within Wessex include NIHR CRN Specialty Group Lead for Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Pain, and Wessex School of Anaesthesia academic training lead. He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Southampton.

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Ben Shelley

Consultant in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Golden Jubilee National Hospital

Ben Shelley is a Consultant in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital and has been working with the Academic Unit of Anaesthesia at the University of Glasgow since 2009. He completed his MD thesis on ‘acute lung injury after lung resection’ in 2015 and is currently principal investigator on several collaborative studies examining acute lung injury and right ventricular dysfunction after thoracic surgery. Dr Shelley was awarded an NRS/CSO Career Research Fellowship in April 2017 for his work on ‘Stratified perioperative medicine to improve outcome after lung resection’.

Dr Ronelle Mouton

Dr Ronelle Mouton

Consultant Anaesthetist
Southmead Hospital

I am a consultant anaesthetist at Southmead Hospital, Bristol and an honorary senior lecturer at the University of Bristol. I have a special interest in vascular anaesthesia and am the chair of the Vascular Anaesthesia Society of Great Britain & Ireland (VASGBI). My research interests include the effect of mode of anaesthesia on perioperative outcomes, collaborative perioperative clinical trials and ischaemic preconditioning.