The Academy Team
President, Prof. Brendan Cooper
I have been Consultant Clinical Scientist in Respiratory and Sleep Physiology at University Hospital Birmingham for over 13 years and I also hold an Honorary Professorship in Respiratory & Sleep Physiology with the University of Birmingham. My professional work has spanned over 30 years and involves acting at consultant level as part of the respiratory medicine team and requires my clinical involvement in direct patient care, overseeing one of the largest respiratory physiology departments in Europe and being responsible for teaching and researching in respiratory physiology at both a national and international level.
I have a had a fairly unique role in my profession in that I have been a leader of my professional body for over 25 years, initially as Honorary Chair and more recently President of the Association for Respiratory Technology & Physiology. Furthermore, I have extended my professional leadership profile internationally through the European Respiratory Society as a Group Chair and then as Head of an Assembly (Allied Respiratory Professionals). This in turn has lead to opportunities to be a leader on numerous global respiratory physiology task forces on standards, reference values and international training courses. I have an international reputation as a researcher and clinical specialist in respiratory physiology split between lung function testing and sleep breathing disorders. My work in this area has recently been recognised with my award as a Fellow of the European Respiratory Society. I am the first UK healthcare scientist to be given this prestigious title.
My research career has spanned 34 years and has been varied in respect of; subjects (respiratory physiology, sleep, metabolism and exercise in humans); full-time and part-time research appointments, and my role as a biologist, physiologist, clinician and investigator. I have over 150 peer-reviewed published papers and a further 150 scientific abstracts to my name, and I am actively involved with grant applications (, , etc.), research trials, and I support both undergraduate and postgraduate research staff at the university. I also lead a modest research programme in the Lung Function & Sleep department at where we are investigating new technologies for assessing breathing and lung function in the early stages of respiratory disease as well as validating commercial diagnostic equipment. I lead a programme of research looking at the acute effects of E-cigarettes on lung function and analysing breathing patterns in disease.
I am proud to be President of AHCS and endeavour to bring all scientists in healthcare together to express “One Voice” on behalf of all our professions.
Business Manager, Keisha Asamoaht
Keisha is responsible for business planning and delivery; supporting policy development and implementation.
GDPR Consultant, Christine Gifford
Christine is the AHCS GDPR consultant and provides advice on processes and protocol, as well as providing up to date training to our staff.
Leadership Ambassador – Ruth Thomsen
Ruth is the Scientific Director, NHSE London and works with the Academy to promote leadership within the Healthcare Science Community. Ruth instigated the Practical Skills in Education and Leadership course, which has been delivered to over 450 healthcare scientists since implementation.
Head of Standards, Elaine Jenkins
Elaine is the Head of Standards with oversight of the Academy’s Standards, its Equivalences processes, and quality assurance matters.
Elaine also undertakes project work with other organisations on behalf of the Academy, currently with the Centre for Advancing Practice where she is Lead for the ePortfolio (supported) Route.
Lead, Lynne Smith
Lynne is the AHCSProgramme Lead for the Certificate of Attainment and the Certificate of Equivalence.
Head of Registration Services (Healthcare Science), Paul Lawton
Job share – Deputy Registrar
Deputy Registrar, Jude Savage
Job Share – Deputy Registrar
Life Science Industry Advisor, Clive Powell
Clive advises and supports the Life Science Industry National Credentialing register by ensuring its standards, policies, procedures and guidance are up to date and relevant.
Clinical Research Practitioner Advisor, Fiona O’Neill
Fiona advises and supports the development of a professional identity and standards for Clinical Research Practitioners through its Directory and Register.
Registration Council Chair, Professor Barry Hirst
Barry joined the AHCS in 2017 as a lay member and currently chairs the Healthcare Science Registration Council and the Education, Standards and Accreditation Panel.
IT Lead, Mark Dixon
Mark manages the security of all IT equipment, maintenance of the email system and document storage as well as the specification and development of new database systems.
Head of Accreditation, Lizanne Steenkamp
Lizanne is the Head of Accreditation for the Academy for Healthcare Science and has over 10 years of experience in Higher Education as well as accreditation, registration, and equivalence in Healthcare Science professions.
Lizanne received both her Bachelor’s degree in Human Genetics and her Honours Degree in Speech Therapy and Audiology from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and completed the PgCert in Professional and Higher Education at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Lizanne worked as a Speech Language Therapist and Audiologist in South Africa before coming to Scotland in 2005. Between 2005 and 2007 she worked as an Audiologist in the National Health Service in Scotland before joining QMU as a lecturer in Audiology in 2007.
Since 2010, she has been involved with the British Academy of Audiology () and the Registration Council for Clinical Physiology ( ) and now the AHCS in a variety of roles focused on accreditation, registration, and equivalence.
Head of Administration, Fiona Fiorentino
Fiona manages the 5 strong administration team, ensuring back office operational functions operate smoothly. Fiona also manages the website, SharePoint, internal HR processes, and third party contractual arrangements.
Executive Assistant, Kirsty Clark
Kirsty heads up the Professional Bodies Council administration, the Honorary Fellowship nominations process, Life Science Industry National Credentialing Register and deputises for the Head of Administration. Kirsty also undertakes routine register administration and is passionate about mental health and wellbeing, sharing resources and tools internally and to our registrants.
Communications & Marketing Co-Ordinator, Carly Allen
Carly co-ordinates all our communications with registrants and external stakeholders via our website, newsletters and social media platforms and undertakes routine register administration. If you would like to get involved, or write an article for us, you can contact Carly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regulation Operations & Fitness to Practise Manager, Zoey Harries
Zoey manages the AHCS complaints and Fitness to Practise processes, and undertakes routine register administration.
Data Analyst & New Business Administrator, Marketa Nyklova
Marketa collects, scrutinises and interprets our data to aid business decisions, and undertakes routine register administration.
Administration Assistant, Marcia Owen
Marcia leads on equivalence administration and facilitates the Education, Standards and Accreditation Panel and undertakes routine register administration.
Project Administrator, Milly Brittain
Milly administers the Clinical Research Practitioner Directory and Register routes, as well as providing administration support to external stakeholders and undertaking routine register administration.