The Network will be managed by a Core Team.


Professor Karen Kirkby (University of Manchester/The Christie NHS Foundation Trust)

Prof Karen Kirkby has recently been appointed Professor of Proton Therapy Physics by the University of Manchester/ Christie NHS Foundation Trust and is a member of CTRad. Her research on biomedical applications of ion beams bridges between the physical, biological and clinical sciences.  She has led the EPSRC Network on “Applications of High Energy Ion Beams” that brought together a community to bring proton therapy to the UK.  This Network was rated as “outstanding by its international reviewers”.

Karen has a grant portfolio of over £12M and over 180 papers in peer reviewed journals, including Nature and has also written for popular science magazines and the broadsheets.


Dr Michael Merchant (University of Manchester)

Dr Mike Merchant is a lecturer in Proton Therapy Physics, University of Manchester.  He received  his  Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from the University of Surrey, on the topic of  the beam optics of magnetic quadrupole probe forming systems for focussing of MeV ions to sub-micron spot sizes. During this time, he developed an interest in the use of ion microbeams to investigate the radiation response of living cells. He then worked on the development of the Surrey Vertical Beamline, an ion microbeam facility capable of targeting single living cells with single ions, and observing the response using timelapse microscopy.  His current research interests include the development of in-silico models for proton-induced DNA damage and repair in cells, with the aim of modelling cell  fate in response to radiation. His research also includes measuring and modelling the role of nanoparticles in enhancing radiotherapy, in particular understanding the cell-to-cell variability in gold nanoparticle uptake.                                   


Dr Hywel Owen (University of Manchester & Cockcroft Institute)

Dr Hywel Owen is a lecturer in Accelerator Physics at the University of Manchester and in the Cockcroft Institute. As well as having worked in a number of accelerator projects relevant to proton therapy including EMMA, PAMELA and NORMA, he presently sits on the STFC Accelerator Strategy Board with a remit to advise on particle accelerators for medicine. He is a member of the joint technical advisory group for the UK proton therapy centre procurement and is a member of the NHS and NIRO panels advising on accelerator production of radioisotopes.


Dr Martin Turner (University of Manchester)

Dr Martin Turner is currently seconded as the Visualisation Director for the Harwell Imaging Partnership (HIP) as well as Group Leader for Visualisation within the SCD (Scientific Computing Department) at STFC. In this role he is coordinating visualisation activities at various sites within STFC, but also acting as the secretariat to the two core EPSRC networks CCPi (Collaborative Computational Project) in Tomographic Imaging and CCP PET/MR. This includes speeding up code and expanding the use of various tomography reconstruction software including STIR ( and integrating various tomographic quantification tools (for example


Dr Ranald Mackay (The Christie NHS Foundation Trust)

Dr Ranald Mackay is Director of Medical Physics at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Co-Chair of Workstream 4 of CTRad (New Technologies), which has been instrumental in changing the perception of funding bodies to radiotherapy. Dr Mackay leads the Christie for proton therapy project and was instrumental in gaining the funding to bring MR-Linac technology to the Christie NHS Foundation Trust.


Professor Neil Burnet (University of Cambridge)

Prof Neil Burnet is a clinician and a Consultant Neuro-oncologist in the Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge and Chair of CTRad and is widely credited with Prof Tim Illidge and Prof Tim Maughan of being the architects of its success.


Professor Phillip Allport (University of Birmingham)

Prof Phil Allport recently joined the University of Birmingham and was a founder member of the Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications consortium with particular involvement in the strip detector based tracking part of the prototype development. He is a world leader in radiation-hard silicon detectors for particle physics and was the Upgrade Coordinator for the ATLAS Experiment on the LHC from 2011–‐2015. He also led the construction of the silicon strip forward tracking modules operating now in the experiment.  At Birmingham, he will be building a major new facility with recruitment of additional academic staff to greatly extend the detector building capabilities for particle physics and medical applications.


Dr Spyros Manolopoulos (University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Arden Cancer Centre)

Dr Spyros Manolopoulos has a background in the development of new technologies for medical applications having worked as a senior scientist at STFC and is a consultant clinical scientist at the Arden Cancer Centre in UHCW NHS Trust.


Professor John Lees (University of Leicester)

Prof John Lees established the Bio–‐imaging Unit in Leicester in 1999 and has been successful in developing a range of instruments for the Life and Medical Sciences from research which originated in the STFC arena.