The DETERMIND team
We are researchers from seven UK Universities

Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Sube BanerjeeProfessor Sube Banerjee, Principal Investigator

Sube Banerjee is Professor of Dementia and Associate Dean at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, directing its Centre for Dementia Studies. Clinically he works as an old age psychiatrist. He was trained at St Thomas’, Guy’s and the Maudsley Hospitals. Before joining BSMS in 2012 he was the Professor of Mental Health and Ageing at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. He served as the UK Department of Health’s senior professional advisor on dementia leading the development of its National Dementia Strategy.

Sube is active in health system development and works with industry and governments on health systems, policy and strategies to improve health for older adults with complex needs and those with dementia. An active researcher, he focusses on quality of life in dementia, evaluation of new treatments and services, and the interface between policy, research and practice. He has been awarded national and international awards for work in policy and research in dementia.

Dr Nicolas Farina studied Psychology and Neuroscience at Keele University, before completing a master’s degree in Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol. Having established an interest in dementia, he went onto to complete his PhD (‘Lifestyle factors and Alzheimer-type dementia: The link between exercise and cognitive change’) at the University of Sussex under the supervision of Prof Jenny Rusted and Dr Naji Tabet. Dr Farina joined BSMS in 2014 as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Dementia Studies, working with Prof Sube Banerjee. 

See Dr. Farina’s staff profile on the BSMS website.

Ben Hicks is a Research Fellow and the Co-ordinator of the ESRC/NIHR funded DETERMIND research programme (https://determind.org.uk/). This is a 5-year longitudinal study, led by BSMS, that seeks to examine and address the inequalities and inequities in the post-diagnostic care pathway for newly diagnosed people with dementia and their care partners. The research is based across 3 NHS sites within the UK (Sussex, South London and Gateshead) and is a collaboration of multiple academic partners including University of Sussex, London School of Economics, Kings College London, University of York, Newcastle University and the University of Cambridge. Prior to joining the Centre for Dementia Studies at BSMS, Ben was a Psychology Lecturer at Bournemouth University, where he also studied for his PhD.

See Dr. Ben Hicks staff profile on the BSMS website.

Anomita Karim is currently a Research Assistant for the DETERMIND project. She graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2017 with an MA in Social Research Methods (Social Work and Professional Practice), where she wrote her dissertation on the experiences of transgender’s accessing social and healthcare in Bangladesh. After her MA she worked for Picker, a healthcare organisation in Oxford between 2018 – 2019 and worked closely with CQC in assessing how healthcare has been delivered widely across NHS trusts. Her line of interests include looking into how to improve the quality of care for those impacted with dementia, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds. 

See Anomita Karim’s staff profile on the BSMS website.

Alice Russell is a Research Assistant for the DETERMIND project. She graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2016 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Since then, she undertook a Graduate Psychology Internship with the Adur, Arun and Worthing (AAW) Assessment and Treatment Service (ATS) at Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust (SPFT). Alice’s interest for dementia was established during her University dissertation where she interviewed Dementia Carers about how friendships affected their lives.

See Alice Russell’s staff profile on the BSMS website.

I am thrilled to have joined the DETERMIND team at Sussex and have really enjoyed getting to know the team and some of our participants already. 

 

It was when studying for my Masters in Public Health at the University of Southampton where I fully discovered my interest in older adults mental health including dementia, and since then have undertaken a PGCert in Dementia Studies at Brighton and Sussex Medical school. I am particularly interested in quality of life and non pharmacological interventions, and how these can influence both a person living with dementia and those that provide care for them. 

 

Before DETERMIND I had been working on Time for Dementia, another programme at Brighton and Sussex Medical School where medical, nursing or allied health professional students meet with a person with dementia and their carer/family over a 2 year period. I have also worked on the sister programme Time for Autism, and on the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in medical schools project funded by Health Education England. 

 

I joined DETERMIND as I felt that the opportunity suited my professional interests, and to play a valuable part in making change to dementia policy by listening to our participants experiences. I also felt that the skills and knowledge I would learn would help me continue and grow in my public health career. I am really looking forward to meeting more of our lovely participants, and understanding the different factors that may contribute to a better quality of life for those living with dementia.

University of Sussex

See Dr. Miles’ staff profile on the University of Sussex website.

Dr Rotem Perach, Research Fellow

Dr Rotem Perach is social and health psychology researcher. His areas of expertise include older persons, health behaviours, sleep, and wellbeing. After earning his PhD in psychology from the University of Kent, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and teaching fellow in Goldsmiths, University of London. Currently, he is a research fellow in psychology at the University of Sussex.

Doctoral researcher in the School of Psychology under the supervision of Eleanor Miles and Rotem Perach. Working in conjunction with the DETERMIND project, my research aims to identify, and develop our understanding, of factors that affect wellbeing outcomes for people living with dementia. My primary focus is to look at how emotion regulation strategies of caregivers impact care recipient’s experiences and autonomy.

See Kat Wheatley’s staff profile on the University of Sussex website.

Elliot Dryer-Beers is a Research Assistant for the DETERMIND project. He graduated from University College London with an MSci in Human Genetics in 2017 after completing a Master’s project with the Institute of Healthy Ageing. Since then he has completed research for a PhD with the Brain Sciences and Nutrition, Food and Health departments at Imperial College London investigating the influence of polyphenol intake on cognitive ageing and brain health. His interest in dementia initially developed during time spent working as a carer in a residential home during his undergraduate degree. He is thrilled to have joined the DETERMIND team and is already enjoying getting to know the participants, and appreciates the chance to work together with them to increase the understanding of care structures and create beneficial changes in policy for people living with dementia at a larger scale.

London School of Economics & Political Sciences

Martin KnappProfessor Martin Knapp, Co-investigator

Martin Knapp is Professor of Health and Social Care Policy in the Department of Health Policy, and Professorial Fellow in the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He has also been Director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research since 2009. Martin has been working for many years in the fields of long-term care, social care, and mental health policy and practice. His current research emphases are primarily dementia, child and adult mental health, autism and long-term social care. Much of his work has an economic focus, and in all of it he seeks to tease out the policy and practice implications. He has published almost 600 peer-review journal papers and 15 books. His work has had numerous impacts on policy and practice in these areas. See Prof. Knapp’s staff profile on the LSE website.

Raphael is an Associate Professorial Research Fellow and Deputy Director of CPEC at LSE and Deputy Director of the Centre for Health Service Economics and Organisation (CHSEO) at the University of Oxford.

At CPEC, he leads a programme of research on financing long-term care, which aims to make projections of demand for long-term care and associated expenditure up to 2041. He also leads research on provision of unpaid care and attitudes to caring, leads modelling work for studies of dementia care, and contributes to studies of personalisation, social care workforce, innovation in social care, and other topics.

At CHSEO, he leads research on multi-morbidity and its costs, trends in emergency hospital admissions in England, and costs of screening for diabetic retinopathy in India. He was for many years a Senior Economist at the Department of Health and Social Care, where he led a team of DHSC analysts providing analysis on social services and mental health services.

See Mr. Wittenberg’s staff profile on the LSE website.

Sanna’s areas of expertise are well-being and health, social contacts and socioeconomic factors in middle and older age. She is also interested in social inequalities and school engagement, school burnout, and mental health amongst young people. She uses a range of longitudinal and multilevel methods, especially those based on structural equation modelling.

Her current work at the CPEC includes projects on inequalities, service use and dementia, and public attitudes to social care funding.  

See Dr. Read’s staff profile on the LSE website.

Josie DixonMs Josie Dixon, Co-investigator

Josie Dixon is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at CPEC, LSE. She leads a range of research with a focus on ageing, health and social care, dementia, end of life care, advance care planning and inequalities. Primarily a qualitative research specialist, she is statistically-trained and works across methods, with particular interest and expertise in the design and evaluation of complex interventions. // She is also lead investigator for PrepareD, a 5-year study funded by the Alzheimer’s Society and linked to the DETERMIND study, which aims to understand how support for people with dementia and their carers to prepare for advanced illness and end of life can be improved. // In previous roles, Josie has directed Government- and nationally-commissioned qualitative and mixed method research projects (up to £3 million) and worked with local leaders to improve services (through consultancy, research, value for money work and inspection). She holds an MSc Social Research Methods, LSE (Distinction) and BSc Economics and Government, LSE (First Class).

See Ms Dixon’s staff profile on the LSE website.

Margaret’s long-term career background was in the NHS as a registered nurse, senior nurse and then general manager, particularly focusing on risk, patient safety and medico-legal management towards the end of her career. She has an MA in Health Law. After retiring from the NHS she ran a patient safety organisation for 10 years based at the Royal Society of Medicine. She is a life fellow and former council member and vice-president of the RSM and was responsible for setting up the first patient safety section of the society and was its first president; she remains on the section council.

While still working in the NHS Margaret became involved with the local community and voluntary sector, initially as a chair/board member of various charitable/community organisations. More recently she has become actively involved as an individual representing the views of patients, users and carers at all levels and particularly the views of carers of people with dementia and their carers. She is an occasional conference speaker on patient, user and carer issues.

She chairs an ‘Experts by Experience’ carers group for carers of people with dementia. Her husband has advanced Alzheimer’s disease and her mother also suffered from the disease before her death last year at the age of 102 years. Margaret has been involved with the NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) since the school first set up its first user, carer, practitioner group in 2009. She currently sits on SSCR’s advisory board. She is also a research advisor for PSSRU at the University of Kent.

She is a volunteer and member of the Alzheimer’s Society and a member and local ambassador for Carers UK. She is a ‘Dementia Champion’ and delivers information sessions to sign up participants to become ‘Dementia Friends’

Mrs. Dangoor’s staff profile on the LSE website.

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Maria is currently a research officer within the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her research focuses on the area of ageing and dementia. Her main research interests are prevention, inequalities in accessing older-age prevention, and improving healthcare for older people and for people with dementia.

She was previously a visiting academic at the University of Oxford (Oxford Institute of Population Ageing) and also worked as an advisor for Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and as a researcher at King’s College London (Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care). Maria has also worked as a researcher and project manager at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and the Greek National School of Public Health.

Maria is co-author of the World Alzheimer Report 2016 on “Improving healthcare for people living with dementia: coverage, quality, and costs now and in the future” and of variou reports published by Public Health England on midlife risk factors for dementia. She is participating in many dementia and older people-related research projects.

 

She has an MSc in International Health Policy (LSE), an MSc in Psychology & Counselling (University of Sheffield), and a BSc in Psychology (Middlesex University).

Prior to joining CPEC, Maria worked for several years in clinical practice as director of a dementia day care centre (Alzheimer’s Hellas). Her team was nominated by the University of Stirling (The International Excellence Awards 2010) as “highly commended” for developing innovative programmes of non-pharmacological interventions for people with dementia.

She is currently a member of the Emerging Research Board at the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) and a member of World Young Leaders in Dementia (WYLD). She also collaborates with the Greek thinktank DIKTYO, a network for reform in Greece and Europe.

See Maria’s staff profile on the LSE website.

King's College London

Gregory Joseph is a Research Assistant for the DETERMIND project. He graduated from King’s College London in 2022 with an MSc in Clinical Neuropsychiatry where he worked closely with Dr Latha Velayudhan to investigate clinical markers in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment, specifically, olfactory functioning. His passion for dementia stems mainly from being an informal carer for his late grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease. Gregory then trained to be a formal Care Assistant in London whilst pursuing his master’s which provided him with invaluable experience with various patient groups. He now works on Workstream 1 of DETERMIND focusing on the recruitment of at least 900 individuals with a diagnosis of dementia and their follow-up over the course of three years.

Elena Herrero is a Research Assistant for the DETERMIND project. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, Neuroscience focus. She spent two years working as a Research Coordinator in the Alzheimer’s research department for the largest health system in New York state, Northwell Health. There she headed a cognitive assessment NIHR funded study and worked on multiple clinical trials. Her background is in neurocognitive assessment, and she has valuable experience with individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as carers. Her research interests are in increasing quality of life while building cognitive resilience in people with neurodegenerative disorders.  

Newcastle University

Professor Dame Louise Robinson

Professor Dame Louise Robinson, Co-investigator

Professor Dame Louise Robinson, Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, is an academic GP and Professor of Primary Care and Ageing at Newcastle University.  She was the first GP to be awarded a prestigious NIHR Professorship.  Professor Robinson also holds the first UK Regius Professorship in Ageing.  Louise leads a research programme focused on improving quality of life and quality of care for older people, especially those with dementia.  She leads 1 of only 3 Alzheimer Society national Centres of Excellence on Dementia Care.  Louise was primary care lead for the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge and is a member of the National Dementia Care Guidelines development group.

Prof. Alan ThomasProfessor Alan Thomas, Co-investigator

Alan Thomas is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Newcastle University, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry at Gateshead Trust where he is Medical Lead for our Memory Service and Director of the national Brains for Dementia Research Programme. Over the last 20 years he has been Chief Investigator and Principal Investigator on many research studies in dementia and depression.

University of York

Yvonne BirksProfessor Yvonne Birks, Co-investigator

Professor Yvonne Birks is co-leading Workstream 4 of DETERMIND with Dr Kate Baxter. Workstream 4 aims to investigate the experiences of people living with dementia and their carers as self-funders of care. Yvonne is the national deputy director for the NIHR School for Social Care Research and the York lead for SSCR. Following a ten year career in nursing she worked on a number of health services research projects moving to the Social Policy Research Unit in 3013 to concentrate on a portfolio of work around older people. Yvonne works across a number of areas in older people’s social care including choice and control, care funding, delayed transfers of care, and quality and safety. She is part of the newly announced NIHR Applied health Collaboration in Yorkshire and Humber in the frailty theme and works on two NIHR Policy Research Units based at York.

Dr Kate BaxterDr Kate Baxter, Co-Investigator
Dr Kate Baxter is co-leading Workstream 4 of DETERMIND with Professor Yvonne Birks. Workstream 4 aims to investigate the experiences of people living with dementia and their carers as self-funders of care. Kate is a Senior Research Fellow in the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York. She has substantial experience in health and social care research. Since joining SPRU in 2005 she has undertaken predominantly qualitative research and led projects about social care for working age and older people, with a focus on personal budgets, choice, home care markets and self-funders. Kate is a Senior Fellow of the NIHR School for Social Care Research.

Kate Gridley, Research Worker

Kate Gridley is an SSCR NIHR Research Fellow with 15 years’ experience undertaking health and social care research at the University of York’s Social Policy Research Unit. She has a particular interest in research with people with dementia and carers, and has led and worked on several studies in this area including an NIHR evaluation of life story work with people with dementia and a study of specialist nursing services for carers.  Kate works on Workstream 4 of DETERMIND focussing on the experiences and outcomes of people self-funding social care. She is also undertaking a PhD attached to DETERMIND looking at the experiences and views of people involved in dementia research and their implications for future research. She holds an MSc Social Research Methods, University of York (Distinction) and BA Social Studies, Newcastle University (First Class).

Cambridge University