Staff and Researchers within CHRC



Dr Rhona Anderson

Dr Rhona Anderson is a Reader in Radiobiology in the Department of Life Sciences and a member of the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies at Brunel University London. She has recently been elected as Councillor (at large) of the International Association for Radiation Research and was previously (2012-14) Chair of the UK Association for Radiation Research. In 2017 she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal College for Radiologists. Rhona started her career as a clinical cytogeneticist in Glasgow in 1994 before developing her research interests in radiation biology at the Medical Research Council Radiation and Genome Stability Unit, Harwell (1996-2005). She gained her PhD from Brunel University in 2004 before taking up a lectureship in 2005.

Julie Whittaker
Centre Manager

Julie joined the CHRC in September 2017 at the start of the project, but has been working for Brunel University London since September 1999, when she joined the Department of Information Systems and Computing (DISC) as an administrator for undergraduate final year projects. Whilst in DISC Julie studied part time with the Open University and was awarded BSc Hons in Computer Science in 2010. During her time at Brunel Julie has taken on several secondments which has allowed her to gain knowledge in a wide range of research areas and activities.


Dr Alex Perry
Communications and Engagement Officer

Alex joined the CHRC in November 2018 as a Communications and Engagement Officer. Alex holds a BSc and a doctorate in chemistry from Southampton University. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the USA for 4 years and as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for 15 years. In 2017 Alex moved into the field of science communication and public engagement and obtained a master’s degree in this subject from Edinburgh University.


Ninoshka Barros
Research Technician

Ninoshka joined the CHRC as a Research Technician in March 2020. Ninoshka was awarded a BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical Sciences from Brunel University London. She continued her studies at Brunel University and gained a MSc degree in Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics, specialising in Cancer Biology. Ninoshka has investigated the uptake of coated and uncoated nanoparticles in cells and in the tumor microenvironment, as a form of specific targeted cancer therapy.


Frances Daley
Research Assistant

 Frances joined the Veterans Cytogenetic Project at Brunel University in August 2017 having moved from the Institute of Cancer Research Molecular Pathology department. Frances is a senior biomedical scientist and holds an MSc in Medical Molecular biology from the University of Westminster. She has accumulated vast experience working in a pharmaceutical, diagnostic and a research environments.


Dr Alex Moorhouse
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Alex Moorhouse is working with Professor Yuri Dubrova at the University of Leicester on the whole genome sequencing and analysis of British Nuclear Test Veterans and their families. He has degrees from the University of Exeter in Bioinformatics, UCL in Human Evolution with population genetics, and PhD from the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology with placement at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. Alex has experience using large genetic data sets for genome wide analyses including de novo assembly, functional annotation, phylogenetics, molecular epidemiology and transcriptional studies. Current interests include the frequency and spectra of de novo germline mutations in humans, the genetic effects of radiation exposure and cancer biology. He recently gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and is now at the University of Bristol.

Dr Kirsty J. Lawrence
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kirsty joined the CHRC as a postdoctoral research fellow in November 2019. Kirsty was awarded a BSc degree in Biological Sciences (Genetics) from the University of Leicester. She then went on to gain both a master’s degree and a PhD at the University of Birmingham in DNA damage repair and genome instability. She has experience in molecular and cellular biology and has completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Imperial College London. Kirsty has also worked as a science copy editor, editing articles and managing the review process for an oncology journal, and advising on human and animal ethics within publishing.

Doctoral Researchers

Isabella Bastiani
Doctoral Researcher supervised by Dr Rhona Anderson and Dr Liz Ainsbury

Isabella joined the CHRC in August 2017 as a PhD student. Her research investigates the radiation risks from utilizing Radium-223 for the targeted treatment of bone metastatic disease. She is collaborating with Queens University Belfast and Belfast Health and Social Care trust where advanced prostate cancer patients are enrolled on the ADRRAD clinical trial. Isabella previously attended The University of Kent where she graduated with a Biology BSc with Honours in 2017.

Project: Radiation risk from high LET alpha-emitters using radium-223 as a model

George Collett
Doctoral Researcher supervised by Dr Wendy Martin and Dr Rhona Anderson

George joined the CHRC in January 2018 as a PhD student. His research focuses on radiation worry, ageing and cognitive functioning among British Nuclear Test Veterans. He holds a First Class Honours BSc in Psychology from Keele University and a master’s degree, with distinction, in Social Psychology from Lancaster University. Prior to joining the CHRC, he worked as a domiciliary care worker supporting the elderly.

Project: Exposure worry, ageing and cognitive functioning: An in-depth study of British nuclear test veterans

Justin Dankwa
Doctoral Researcher supervised by Dr Rhona Anderson and Dr Cristina Sisu

Justin joined the CHRC in April 2020 as a PhD Student. His research focuses on the impact of mixed radiation and chemicals exposure on neuronal cytotoxicity, ageing and transcription. He holds an Honours BSc in Biochemistry and MSc in Bioinformatics from the University of Leicester. Prior to joining the CHRC, Justin worked for a year with the Neuro, Emergency and Trauma (NET) Clinical Research Team at Imperial College NHS Trust investigating Sepsis.

Project:The impact of mixed radiation and chemicals exposure on neuronal cytotoxicity, ageing and transcription

Amy Prescott
Doctoral Researcher supervised by Professor Louise Mansfield, Dr Alistair John and RDA: Dr Rebecca Hings

Amy joined the CHRC in January 2018 as a PhD student. Her research project aims to understand how community sport and cultural activities may help and contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of British nuclear test veterans and their families. Amy holds a First Class Honours BSc in Sport Science and a master’s degree in Sport Psychology from St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Her master’s research explored male body image issues.

Project: Sport, culture & wellbeing: community approaches to promote wellbeing among British nuclear test veterans and their families

Finlay Smith
Doctoral Researcher supervised by Dr Rhona Anderson and Professor Andreas Kortenkamp

Finlay joined the CHRC in January 2018 as a PhD student. His research focuses on the effects of combined exposures to ionising radiation and genotoxic chemicals in cell-line models. He has a First-Class Honours degree in Chemistry from the University of the West of Scotland, a Scottish Ordinary Degree in Chemistry with Materials from Heriot-Watt University, and is an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Prior to joining the CHRC Finlay worked for two years with a radiopharmaceutical company supplying radioactive drugs for cancer diagnosis to the NHS.

Project: Assessment of risks from combined exposures to radiation and chemicals

Jade Stephens
Doctoral Researcher supervised by Dr Joanna Bridger and Dr Rhona Anderson

Jade joined the CHRC as a PhD student in January 2018. Her research is to investigate heritable effects of nuclear test veterans and their descendants. This will involve assessing chromosomal abnormalities. She holds an Honours BSc in Bioscience from Canterbury Christ Church University and MSc in Cancer Biology from the University of Kent. Her master’s project was in the field of breast cancer in which she investigated drug resistance and DNA repair.

Project: Heritable effects of pre-conceptual radiation exposure