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R&I Awards winners 2023

Outstanding Achievement in Research by an Individual - Professor Manish Pareek

“Manish is an outstanding investigator who has achieved national recognition, helping to enhance the reputation of Leicester as a major research centre, and delivered the UK-REACH and BE-DIRECT studies. He has mentored and developed a team of outstanding trainees who will help to ensure that Leicester’s research successes will continue into the future.” 

– Professor Martin Wiselka


  • Magdalena Kierzenkowska, research development midwife
  • Dr Gary Stiefel, paediatric consultant in allergies
Professor Manish Pareek accepts research award
Professor Manish Pareek accepts research award

Research and Innovation Team of the Year - Hope Cancer Trials Centre set-up and delivery team

“The Hope team was driven by a single purpose: to complete the expansion project for the benefit of patients. They adopted innovative ways for patients to continue on trials, while keeping disruptions related to relocations and COVID-19 risks to a minimum and completed fundraising activities in their spare time.” 

– Professor Anne Thomas


  • NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Leicester
  • Glenfield Imaging Research team
Hope Cancer Trials Centre with R&I Award
Hope Cancer Trials Centre with R&I Award

Putting Patients First - Virtual AF Ward team

The successful development and delivery of the innovative Virtual AF Ward demonstrates the team’s passion and creativity. Their single focus to improve the care for patients has led to this first-of-its-kind patient-centred care model.”

– Richard Lea


  • Carolyn Bodycote, research administrator
  • Professor Julian Barwell, consultant in genetics
Virtual AF Ward team at UHL R&I Awards
Virtual AF Ward team at UHL R&I Awards

Newcomer of the Year - Dr Zaki Arshad

“His academic record would be hugely impressive for a fully qualified orthopaedic surgeon, but the fact that Zaki has achieved all this at the age of just 24 is remarkable and clearly well beyond what may be expected from a doctor at his career stage. With this record, he is the most accomplished young researcher I have come across.” 

– Mr Maneesh Bhatia


  • Dr Ahmed Kotb, consultant cardiologist
  • Gurneet Kaur Sohansoha, research assistant
Dr Zaki Arshad collects R&I award
Dr Zaki Arshad collects R&I award
Unsung Hero - Dr Linzy Houchen-Wolloff

“Linzy works incredibly hard to facilitate research opportunities for clinical Allied Health Professionals, whilst maintaining her own research portfolio and clinical role. She actively reaches out to all specialties within therapies to engage clinicians to understand how research can be useful to them in their role, and to embed research within their clinical practice.

 – Dr Rachael Evans


  • Louise Hanson, research support officer
  • Rosalind Moore, communications and engagement manager (commercial research)
Dr Linzy Houchen-Wolloff accepts R&I award
Dr Linzy Houchen-Wolloff accepts R&I award
Anthony Gershlick Memorial Award for impact of clinical research and innovation on healthcare - Dr Bhavik Modi

Dr Bhavik Modi for using technology, alternative pathways and patient feedback to provide the best support to STEMI patients. 

Bhavik has been a consultant with the Trust for just over a year. Within three months of coming into his role, he had set up an innovative pathway for patients presenting with a STEMI. 

With the new pathway, patients can be discharged home early with accelerated support on discharge at weeks two and eight from a prescribing Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP). The support system uses a simple blood pressure machine, which the patient takes home to keep, in addition to technological support, including video consultation and two-way texting.

So far, over 90 patients having been discharged early, reducing the average stay from 79 hours to 35 hours and saving the Trust approximately £100,000. Patients have told us they prefer to be at home and fell well-supported after this life-changing event.

Dr Bhavik Modi accepts award from Professor Gerry McCann
Dr Bhavik Modi accepts award from Professor Gerry McCann
Research Directors’ Award - Professor Anne Thomas

Professor Thomas is a professor of cancer therapeutics at the University of Leicester and honorary consultant in medical oncology at Leicester’s Hospitals. She has been based in Leicester since 1998. Professor Thomas specialises in the management of patients with upper and lower gastrointestinal malignancies. She uses her skills to deliver translational studies – many of which she has been Chief Investigator for - working closely with cancer scientists to deliver research from bench to bedside, to improve outcomes for patients.

Anne has been the Director of the Hope Cancer Trials Centre since a dedicated cancer trials facility was first opened a decade ago in 2012. Before that, Anne was often found recruiting study participants on the cancer wards and in outpatient clinics in the Osborne building. In her role, she has overseen a £1.5 million expansion of the Centre that has doubled its capacity, providing even more opportunities for patients to access potentially life-changing treatments. Furthermore, Anne is also the Director of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. Between them, they offer approximately 100 research studies from phase I to III across haematology and oncology at any one time.

Most recently, Anne and her colleagues were successful in their application to lead a new cancer theme in the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.

This award recognises Professor Thomas’ tireless dedication to her patients, to developing the next generation of clinical academics, to cancer research more widely, and to her life’s work to bring hope to many people’s lives.

Professor Anne Thomas
Professor Anne Thomas speaking at the R&I Awards 2023