Who we are

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust is at the forefront of clinical research into skin disorders. We are committed to improving health outcomes for people with severe eczema.


Prof Catherine SmithProgramme Lead

Catherine is Consultant Dermatologist and Professor of Dermatology and Therapeutics at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas’. She is lead clinician in national specialised services for adults with severe psoriasis and eczema. Her clinical and research interests focus on inflammatory skin disease and translational medicine, extending from biomarker discovery through to interventional studies (phase II-IV), and involve major national and international collaboration.

Dr Andrew PinkChief Investigator

Andrew Pink is a consultant dermatologist and director of the adult clinical trials unit at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’. He is an honorary senior clinical lecturer at King’s College London, ex-honorary secretary of the St John’s Dermatological Society, a member of the International Psoriasis Council, co-chair of the Annual UK Dermatology Course for Consultants and regularly acts as a NICE clinical expert. His key clinical and academic interests are eczema and psoriasis. Andrew has helped to develop a national multi-disciplinary eczema service at St. John’s. He was previously awarded an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship to undertake and complete a PhD in the field of medical dermatology (molecular genetics of hidradenitis suppurativa), during which he received an MRC Centenary Award. He has acted as CI on multiple trials examining novel therapies emerging in psoriasis and eczema.

Prof Richard EmsleyLead methodologist

Richard is an NIHR research professor and Interim Academic Director of King's Clinical Trials Unit (KCTU) at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. Previously he held a personal chair at the University of Manchester and was Deputy Director of the Manchester Clinical Trials Unit. Richard’s research interests are in clinical trials methodology and developing statistical methods for the analysis of trials using causal inference approaches. He is an investigator on the MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership, co-lead of its Statistical Analysis Working Group and is the founder of the UK (now European) Causal Inference Meeting. He is the trial statistician on a portfolio of studies including in mental health and dermatology, and an investigator on the MRC Psoriasis Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy programme


King's Clinical Trials UnitKing’s College London

King's Clinical Trials Unit (KCTU) is formed of collaborative academic and operational teams, supporting a portfolio of high-quality clinical trials. Centralised expertise streamlines delivery of the most complex aspects of trials.

Caroline Murphy, KCTU Operations Director, is an experienced nurse and triallist leading the King's Clinical Trials Unit with Professor Peter Sasieni. She will be responsible for the management of staff employed on the Beacon Trial within KCTU.

Joanna Kelly, Head of Operations, is an experienced triallist within the UKCRC accredited KCTU. She advises on all aspects of study conduct, supporting studies in the delivery of methodologically robust studies.

Angela Cape, is the Clinical Trials Pharmacist at the KCTU. Her role is to primarily support Chief Investigators with the management of investigational medicinal products (IMP) for blinded drug trials. This is achieved through the development of IMP management plans, liaising with manufacturers to ensure timely availability of the IMP and placing IMP orders for sites.

Prof Tracey SachUniversity of Southampton

Professor in Health Economics, School of Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education, University of Southampton. Co-applicant and lead Health Economist for BEACON.

Prof Max ParmarUniversity College London

Max Parmar is a Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology and Director of both the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL and the Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology at University College London. Professor Parmar is a BEACON Co-applicant, contributing to the set up of BEACON as a multi-arm, multi-stage platform trial that can incorporate newly emerging eczema treatments in the future.

Prof Nick ReynoldsNewcastle University

Nick Reynolds is Professor of Dermatology at Newcastle University and Lead for the Personalised and Stratified Medicine theme within the NIHR Newcastle MIC. Professor Reynolds is a BEACON Co-applicant responsible for the design and delivery of the trial, as well as facilitating the transition of participants into the UK eczema registry (A-STAR).

Dr Paul LeightonUniversity of Nottingham

As a research methodologist Paul has worked across a number of clinical areas and has a track record of income generation as a co-applicant on 12 successful NIHR awards. He has expertise in qualitative methods and process evaluation (including realist evaluation and normalisation process theory), and an interest in social (and sociological) aspects of healthcare. His work has included intervention development, feasibility studies as well as multi-centre trials; and studies have focused upon the experiences of both patients and healthcare professionals. Paul is a Co-applicant on BEACON and is leading on the interview and survey studies embedded within BEACON.

Prof Hywel WilliamsUniversity of Nottingham

Professor Hywel Williams is an internationally-renowned dermatologist, specialising in evidence-based dermatology, the treatment and causes of childhood eczema, systematic reviews and clinical trials. Professor Williams is a Co-applicant on BEACON, contributing to the design, delivery and dissemination of the trial.

Andrew ProctorNational Eczema Society

Andrew is Chief Executive of the National Eczema Society, the UK charity dedicated to making life better for people living with eczema and their families. He has contributed to BEACON since 2019, when the trial was being developed.

Andrew brings insights from the experiences of people living with eczema, gathered through the charity’s Eczema Helpline Advice Service and wider support and engagement with the eczema community. Alongside other patient representatives, Andrew has shared these insights to help ensure the trial design and delivery is grounded in lived patient experience.

Andrew and National Eczema Society are supporting the BEACON trial recruitment work and in time look forward sharing the trial findings with the eczema community. Patients are understandably keen to know about the relative effectiveness and safety of the medicines they are prescribed and BEACON will provide important new research evidence to help patients and their healthcare professionals make informed decisions on treatments.

Andrew is a Co-applicant on BEACON, contributing to the design, delivery and dissemination of the trial.

Tim BurtonPatient Representative

I have suffered from severe eczema for many years and have used almost every systemic treatment there is to try and control my eczema. It has always been difficult to work out what the most effective treatment is. I volunteered to assist with the BEACON trial, as I believe it will shine a light on the best treatments and help patients and doctors to make informed decisions as about which treatment to use. I have been working with the team for quite a while and we are all committed to improving outcomes for eczema patients.

Jack KellyPatient Representative

Jack is a patient representative. He suffered from severe eczema before his participation in a four year trial for tralokinumab. In his own words - this drug transformed my life. As a patient representative on BEACON, Jack has helped shape the way the study has been designed, as well as ensuring any patient-facing material focuses on the aspects that matter the most to those who suffer with eczema.

Trial Managers

Selina CoxSenior Trial Manager

Dr Selina Cox previously completed her PhD and a post-doctoral research associate role in the department of Nutritional Sciences at KCL, where she ran complex dietary intervention trials in inflammatory bowel diseases. She joined the BEACON team as a King’s Clinical Trials Unit (KCTU) Senior Trial Manager in August 2023. She oversees and assists the BEACON trial manager (Sam Curtis) in the day-to-day coordination and management of the trial.

Sam Curtis Trial Manager

Sam Curtis, Trial Manager at Kings Clinical Trials Unit (KCTU) joined the BEACON trial team in 2022. He has previously worked in a number of roles in a range of clinical research fields, including Surgical Trials, COVID-19, and Oncology research. He is the main point of contact for all stakeholders and is responsible for the day-to-day coordination and management of the trial.

Allied Mechanistic Research

Dr Satveer MahilChief Investigator

Dr Satveer Mahil is a Consultant Dermatologist at St John's Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Reader at King's College London.

She graduated from the University of Cambridge and completed integrated academic training in Dermatology at St John's Institute of Dermatology. During her MRC-funded PhD, she used genetic information to gain novel insights into the mechanistic basis of different forms of psoriasis and define new therapeutic targets. Post-PhD she was awarded a MRC Clinical Academic Research Partnership Award and she currently holds a NIHR Advanced Fellowship. She is also director of St John's DermAcademy (dermatology education academy).

Her translational research seeks to optimise outcomes for individuals with inflammatory skin diseases including psoriasis and eczema. She is using molecular profiling technologies and clinical data to understand how current treatments work to resolve inflammatory skin disease (remission), and what might make disease return (recurrence). This work will inform the development of precision medicine approaches to the management of inflammatory skin conditions.

Prof Muzlifah Haniffa Co-Investigator

Muzlifah Haniffa is a Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Senior Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at Newcastle University.

She graduated from medical school in Cardiff, trained as a junior doctor in Cambridge and received her dermatology specialist training in Newcastle. Muzlifah is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a recipient of the Academy of Medical Sciences Foulkes Foundation Medal and the European Federation of Immunological Societies ACTERIA Prize in Immunology and Allergology.

Muzlifah is a leading member of the Human Cell Atlas initiative and pioneered the application of single cell genomics to decode the developing human immune system, and the human skin in health and disease.

Prof Francesca CaponCo-Investigator

Francesca obtained a BSc in Biological Sciences (1992) and PhD in Medical Genetics (1999) from “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy. Her interest in the genetics of psoriasis brought her to the UK. She first moved to the University of Leicester as a Wellcome Trust Traveling Research Fellow (2001), then took on a Lectureship in Human Molecular Genetics at University College London (2004). She joined King’s College London in 2006 as a Lecturer, was then promoted to Senior Lecturer (2014), Reader (2018) and Professor (2022).

Qualitative Study Team

Dr Jane HarveyResearch Fellow

Dr Jane Harvey is a researcher at the University of Nottingham with an interest in the management of eczema and other dermatological conditions. Jane has experience of interviewing patients and health care professionals on a diverse range of topics including attitudes towards taking medicines, the treatment of dermatological conditions within community pharmacy and experiences of accessing services through community pharmacy. Jane has also worked on several Cochrane Systematic Reviews evaluating the treatments used in the management of eczema.