Registration is now open for 'Talking PF' - free online event

Talking PF event logos
June 2023

Join us for this free online event on 30 November 2023, from 10:00 - 15:30, to hear the latest in pulmonary fibrosis from the experts.

With a full agenda covering a range of PF-related topics, presentations from PF experts, talks from people affected by PF and discussions for you to get involved in, this event is not to be missed.

We are delighted to be working with the team at Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust for this event.

>View the full event programme

Meet the speakers

Benjamin Mee (Guest Speaker) 

Benjamin Mee is a former science writer whose family bought Dartmoor Zoo in 2006 to prevent it from being closed down. After successfully reopening the zoo Benjamin wrote the best-selling book We Bought a Zoo in 2008, which was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Matt Damon.  The zoo became a registered charity in 2014 and Benjamin is now attempting to spend more time writing. His next book is to be called Never Buy a Zoo. 

Professor Michael Gibbons

Professor Michael Gibbons is a Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Royal Devon University Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust and Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Exeter.  He is Clinical Director of the South West Peninsula Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Network and Clinical Director of the NIHR Local Clinical Research Network: South West Peninsula. He is a past Chair of the BTS Specialist Advisory Group for ILD, a previous member of the BTS ILD Registry Steering Committee and has been a member of the BTS Science & Research Committee and BTS Council. As a patient advocate he worked with the British Lung Foundation IPF advisory panel that helped influence national policy, then more recently with Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was a founding member of the Exeter Pulmonary Fibrosis Support group, which has evolved into the South West Peninsula ILD Support Group, and runs in concert with the Exeter Patient in Collaboration for Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Group. He has a portfolio of research in ILD.

Sarah Lines

Sarah's interest in pulmonary fibrosis was started by a patient in 2008. Since then she has been privileged to be involved in developing the ILD service based at the hospital in Exeter and covering the South West peninsular of England. In 2012 she was a founding member of the Exeter Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group.

Sarah was one of the founder members of the ILD-Interdisciplinary Network (ILD-IN) and had other involvements in ILD at a national level with the British Thoracic Society registry, the Quality Surveillance Team at NHSE and patient charities. Outside work time is mostly taken up with family but she has found time in May 2023 to take part in the Great West Run half marathon for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Professor Anne-Marie Russell

Professor Anne-Marie Russell maintains a portfolio of contemporary practice as a researcher, clinician, research leader and educationalist at the University of Exeter, Royal Devon University Hospitals Trust and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. She has research expertise inmixed methods approaches, patient reported measures, person centered approaches and supported self-manangement in interstitial lung diseases.  

Anne-Marie works collaboratively with international research groups and as an American Thoracic society Fellow and an active member of the European Respiratory Society, contributes to international clinical guidelines. She is the author/co-author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and works collaboratively with ILD charities in the UK and Europe. Anne-Marie retains a clinical commitment to specialist generalist practice and in a regional / national leadership role supports research capability and capacity for nurses and allied healthcare professions.

Professor Sujal Desai

Professor Desai trained in medicine at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in London, qualifying in 1987. As senior house officer, Professor Desai spent time at Royal Brompton Hospital and, after completing the MRCP (UK), he entered formal radiology training at King’s College Hospital Medical School.  Professor Desai was awarded the Frank Doyle Medal for achievement in the Part I FRCR examination and the Rohan Williams Medal for the Part II FRCR examination. Following core radiology training Professor Desai undertook research at Royal Brompton Hospital, under the supervision of Professor David Hansell (his predecessor in the post he now holds), being awarded an MD for his thesis on structural-functional correlations in fibrosing lung disease. Professor Desai was previously a consultant at King’s College Hospital in London where he worked for 18 years before returning to Royal Brompton Hospital.

Andy and Debra Priest

Andy was diagnosed with IPF in 2019 and received a lung transplant in 2022. Andy and Debra live on a 2.5 acre smallholding with a range of animals and glamping pods near Newton Abbot.  

George and Angie Vosper

George and Angie are from Ivybridge, Devon. George is an Army Veteran and Angie a retired Mental Health Nurse and Teaching Assistant. George was diagnosed with Bleomycin Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis in May 2020.

photo of Belen Carbillido Romero

Belen Carbillido Romero

Belen started working for the NHS in September 2009 at Royal Cornwall hospital as a rotational pharmacist after completing her postgraduate studies (Clinical diploma) at Bath University. In January 2013 Belen joined to the Royal Devon Hospital Exeter as a rotational pharmacist. In September 2015 Belen started her new role as CF & Respiratory Lead Pharmacist, joining the ILD team.

A photo of Dr Anna Duckworth

Dr Anna Duckworth

Anna Duckworth is a PhD student at the University of Exeter. She is driven in her research by a strong desire to make a positive lasting difference to pulmonary fibrosis patients and their families. Anna is particularly interested in helping to find better ways to diagnose and treat pulmonary fibrosis and to delay or even prevent onset in those at risk. Her ultimate aim is to help find a cure.

A photo of Dr Giles Dixon

Dr Giles Dixon

Giles graduated from the University of Sheffield and is completing his specialist training in respiratory in the south west. He is currently completing a PhD with the University of Exeter investigating how artificial intelligence can help analyse CT scans of patients with pulmonary fibrosis.

A photo of Rebecca Davies

Rebecca Davies

Rebecca has worked for the NHS since 2001 in a number of different roles in both primary and secondary care. From early on in her career she developed a keen interest in working with patients who have chronic respiratory disease. She has many years’ experience running pulmonary rehabilitation, supporting patients with chronic respiratory disease in their homes and working with chronic respiratory patients in the acute ward setting. She currently works as a specialist physiotherapist with the interstitial lung disease team. Rebecca firmly believes in the benefits of music, nature and exercise on well-being and tries to instil these values taking a holistic approach to patient care.

Dr Callum Masey

Dr Masey is a respiratory registrar in the Southwest. Currently, he is working within the interstitial lung disease team at the Royal Devon University Hospital as a clinical and research fellow. 

A photo of Alastair McArthur

Alastair McArthur

Alastair McArthur is a Specialist dietitian within the Cornwall community respiratory service for the Mid Cornwall. He works closely with a multi disciplinary community team which includes Specialist Nurses, Speech and Languages Therapists and Physiotherapists to deliver services for people living with a range of respiratory diseases. Alastair has an MSc in Dietetics from King’s College London has previously worked as a hospital dietitian in a range of clinical areas before moving into community services.

A photo of Jessica Mandizha

Jessica Mandizha

Jess has been working in the ILD specialism for the last ten years, initially as a Clinical Research Nurse and now as an ILD Clinical Nurse Specialist. She has a passion for research and the hope it offers for improved treatment and care for patients with ILD. She is currently funded by the NIHR to pursue her interests inpatient-centred care, specifically looking at the patient experience of home monitoring and supported self-management.

Prior to this, she has enjoyed a broad nursing career working in the UK and overseas.  This has included emergency care, HIV medicine, travel health and repatriation. When she’s not working, Jess enjoys family time in the great outdoors, music and creativity.  

A photo of Dr Elizabeth O'Donovan

Dr Elizabeth O'Donovan

Elizabeth qualified from St Mary’s medical school/Imperial College in 2002.  During her specialist training she particularly enjoyed her six months at the Royal Brompton hospital which her interest in the imaging of ILD began. Elizabeth completed her radiology training with a fellowship in cross sectional oncological imaging at the Royal Marsden Hospital London, before taking up a locum consultant post at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital.  She relocated her family to Exeter in 2014 and since then has been a Consultant Radiologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.  Elizabeth reports both acute and elective radiology with her specialist interest in the imaging of ILD and the chest. Out of work she has a very busy time running around after her three young children, and since moving to Devon she has discovered a love of chicken keeping!

A photo of Ana Ponte

Ana Ponte

Ana Ponte is a Senior Sleep and Respiratory Physiologist at Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust with 9 years of experience. Ana performs complex lung function tests and has a key role in Exeter's physiologist-led sleep disordered breathing service. Ana has recently completed a Leadership and Management apprenticeship and awarded a role of Research Associate. She has an interest in innovative services and has implemented a CPAP remote monitoring service which was highly successful during the pandemic. Ana is interested in empowering patients improving their sleep quality and nocturnal oxygen.

Ana started her working life journey as an agency worker, she worked in 8 different hospitals, from windy Blackpool to sunny Bournemouth and even Wales, all in less than a year, before settling in beautiful south Devon. This journey has given Ana insight on how the same diagnostic services can be delivered differently across the country and how we can learn from each other.

Dr Elizabeth Renzoni

Dr Elizabeth Renzoni obtained her medical degree and completed her training in respiratory medicine at the University of Siena, Italy, and subsequently specialised in interstitial lung diseases (ILD) in the regional ILD specialist centre in Siena.

John Conway

John, a technology specialist, was diagnosed with IPF in 2015 and in early 2021 was fortunate to receive a double lung transplant. John co-founded and chairs the St George's ILD Support Group, currently in it's 8th year providing information, support and advocacy to its members.

A photo of Professor Chris Scotton

Professor Chris Scotton

Professor Chris Scotton has been investigating lung diseases for nearly 20 years. He currently runs the respiratory medicine research group at the University of Exeter as an Associate Professor in Respiratory Biomedicine, with a remit covering everything from lab-based cell and molecular research through to population genetics, diagnostic technologies, clinical studies and (more recently) clinical trials. All this work is supported through very close collaboration with the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and our dedicated Exeter Patients in Collaboration for Pulmonary Fibrosis research (EPIC) PPIG. He is also a Director of Postgraduate Research, Associate Editor of Thorax, and sits on the Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis research review panel. And when he’s not doing any of that, you can usually find him dangling from a rope at the local climbing centre.

A photo of Professor Athol Wells

Professor Athol Wells

Professor Athol Wells trained at Green Lane Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. He came to Royal Brompton Hospital in 1989 for his post-graduate studies.