About us Team MEDICAL ADVISORS MELANOMA UK IS LUCKY TO HAVE A VAST WEALTH OF EXPERIENCED AND HIGHLY SKILLED MEDICAL ADVISORS ON BOARD. PROFESSOR JAMES LARKIN Professor James Larkin is a Consultant Medical Oncologist specialising in the treatment of melanoma and cancers of the kidney. Professor Larkin took a first in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and undertook clinical training at Oxford University, qualifying in 1996. He underwent general medical training in London and in 2001 won a Medical Research Council Fellowship for a Clinician, carrying out laboratory research at the Institute of Cancer Research leading to a PhD. Specialist training was completed at The Royal Marsden and he was appointed a Consultant in 2008. His research interests involve trying to understand cancer and its consequences better as well as developing improved treatments, particularly with targeted therapies and immunotherapies. He is a past National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) National Specialty Lead for Early Phase Oncology Trials, as well as a past Chair of the NCRI Renal Cancer Clinical Studies Group, The Royal Marsden/ICR Committee for Clinical Research and the CRUK Clinical Research Monitoring Panel. He is currently Vice Chair of the CRUK Clinical Research Committee and Lead of the Uncommon Cancers Theme at The Royal Marsden/ICR Biomedical Research Centre. In 2018 he was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Since 2019 he has been Vice Chair of the Medical Oncology Specialist Advisory Committee for the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board and in 2020 he was appointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator. He serves as a senior clinical adviser to CRUK, as a medical advisor to the patient advocacy group Melanoma UK, as a trustee of the Kidney Cancer Support Network and serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the International Kidney Cancer Coalition. Professor Larkin became a medical advisor to Melanoma UK in December 2013. MR. MYLES SMITH Mr. Myles Smith is a Consultant Surgical Oncologist and General Surgeon in the Sarcoma Unit and Skin Unit at The Royal Marsden since 2014. Prior to appointment at the Royal Marsden he trained as General Surgeon in Ireland and subsequently underwent additive specialist training in General Surgical Oncology, as a fellow at the University of Toronto.He has a special interest in surgery for melanoma, in particular surgical treatment of oligometastatic disease, use of regional therapies for melanoma metastasis such as T-VEC, and the management of anorectal and visceral melanoma. He is honorary faculty member of the Institute of Cancer Research, and one of his research interests is in investigating biomarkers for lymph node metastasis in melanoma. Myles joined Melanoma UK as an advisor in 2018. WAYNE JAFFE Wayne Jaffe is a senior consultant and Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon based at the University Hospital of North Midlands where he is the Lead of the Specialist Skin Cancer MDT. He has extensive clinical interests in skin cancer and is Chair of the Skin Cancer Expert Advisory Group for the West Midlands. Wayne had served as Quality Assurance Lead for Plastic Surgery for the joint Royal Colleges of Surgeon's and was chair of the West Midlands Specialist Training Committee for Plastic Surgery for 10 years. He enjoys cycling to work and raising funds through his Ironman triathlons and other sporting feats for medical causes close to his heart. With both clinical and organisational experience at national and local level, Wayne will bring his expertise to add additional support to Melanoma UK. Wayne joined Melanoma UK as an advisor in 2020. NATALIE FISHER Natalie Fisher is an experienced Dermatology Nurse specialist. She has worked in the field for 15 years. She studied dermatology and independent nurse prescribing at Kings College London. Natalie currently works in skin cancer screening clinics where her job involves identifying potential skin cancers, educating patients on self-checking, sun awareness and she is qualified to perform skin surgery. Natalie is a visiting lecturer at Canterbury University where she teaches advanced nurse practitioners. Natalie works as an expert witness on cases involving dermatology. She is very keen on health promotion and has a social media presence to help promote sun safety awareness. Natalie joined Melanoma UK as an advisor in 2020. DR NATALIA SPIERINGS Dr Spierings trained as a Consultant Dermatologist in London with sub-specialty fellowship training in Mohs Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgery from the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and a Master’s Degree in Aesthetic Medicine from the University of London. She received her medical training at St. George’s, University of London. A unique combination of technical skill, depth of knowledge, aesthetic sensibility and communication skills has positioned her globally as a leading dermatologist. Dr Spierings held a substantive NHS consultant post at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in Leeds, UK, until recently where she was one of four Mohs Micrographic Surgeons in the region. Dr Spierings’ subspecialty is the diagnosis and management of skin cancer, with the primary aim of providing the best cosmetic outcome after successful surgical treatment. She currently divides her time between her London-based private practice and NHS work and working as a visiting consultant dermatologist at King’s College Hospital in Dubai, UAE. She recently set-up the first Mohs micrographic surgery service in Dubai, bringing the gold standard in the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer to the patients of the Middle East. Natalia joined Melanoma UK as an advisor in 2020. DR FAISAL ALI Dr Faisal Ali is a Consultant Dermatologist and Mohs micrographic surgeon working in Manchester, Cheshire (BMJ Team of 2018) and London, with expertise in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of skin cancer. He graduated from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, with a Double First in pre-clinical medicine before completing clinical studies at Christ Church, University of Oxford. After junior medical training in London and Manchester, Dr Ali then completed a highly competitive advanced dermatological surgery fellowship (including Mohs micrographic surgery and laser dermatology) in the world-renowned St Johns Institute of Dermatology based in Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London. He continues to work there as a Mohs micrographic surgeon. He subsequently undertook a fellowship to study skin pigmentation disorders in the National Skin Centre, Singapore. Dr Ali has diverse research training with a PhD from the University of Cambridge and over 160 academic publications, many of which are focussed on prevention and treatment of skin cancers. In addition to his clinical and research roles, Dr Ali also is a specialist advisor and inspector for the Care Quality Commission. Faisal joined Melanoma UK as an advisor in 2020. DR ZENA WILLSMORE Dr Zena Willsmore is a Dermatology Specialist Registrar in London and is currently completing a PhD at King's College London. She undertook medical training at Imperial College London, graduating with Honours and Distinctions in 2010. Zena also completed an intercalated Bachelor of Science degree in Endocrinology in 2008. Zena underwent general medical training in London before starting dermatology training in 2014. In 2019 she was awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinical Fellowship to carry out research to complete a PhD which is ongoing. Her research focuses on mechanisms of action of immunotherapy in melanoma patients. Dr Willsmore joined Melanoma UK as an advisor in 2021. PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN ALDRIDGE Professor Aldridge is the Chair of the All Wales National Specialist Advisory Group for Skin Cancer. He has previously been the Skin Cancer MDT Lead at Cwm Taf NHS Trust for a 4-year tenure and currently operates the Rapid-Access Skin Cancer Clinic at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, which incorporates a same-day operating list which excises those skin cancers identified in clinic without delay. Professor Aldridge is a graduate of the University of Cardiff, School of Medicine where he obtained a BSc Hons in Physiology and graduated from Medical school in 1998. He specialised in Dermatology and has developed a sub-speciality interest in Skin Cancer; in particular, the management of Melanoma. He is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Society of Dermatological Surgery and the American Academy of Dermatology. Professor Aldridge has had research published in respected peer-reviewed journals and his ongoing clinical activities involve the development of a Teledermatology service, which aids triaging of suspect lesions from GPs via photo/email service. There are also close links with allied colleagues in oncology and plastic surgery in order to provide an exemplary service for the total treatment of Melanoma, for patients within his Trust. Equally important to Professor Aldridge is the need to raise awareness of Skin Cancer as timely intervention makes a huge difference. This is undertaken using different approaches for e.g from talks and meetings to local GPs and allows Melanoma UK to share his work and findings using social networking sites for e.g Twitter, to propagate the salient points and to keep the public abreast of recent developments. Professor Aldridge became a medical advisor to Melanoma UK in November 2013. DR. NICOLE CHIANG Dr Nicole Chiang is a Consultant Dermatologist on the GMC Specialist Register who works in the NHS in Manchester. She is trained in both paediatric and adult dermatology. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Liverpool and graduated with an Honours degree in Medicine and Surgery in 2007. She underwent general medical training and then pursued her dermatology higher specialist training in Birmingham and Manchester.She has completed two advanced Dermatology Fellowships in Oxford, UK and Sydney, Australia. In addition, she has gained further experience in medical and cosmetic dermatology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and the Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Centre, Pittsburgh, USA. PROFESSOR JOHN WAGSTAFF Professor Wagstaff trained as a Medical Oncologist at the Christie Hospital in Manchester. On completion of his training he took up a position as a Senior Lecturer at the Free University Hospital in Amsterdam in 1986. In 1994 he was appointed as the Karl Landsteiner Professor of Medical Oncology at the Free University. In 1998 he became Professor & Head of Haematology and Oncology at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Dr Wagstaff is currently Professor of Medical Oncology within the College of Medicine at Swansea University. He is also Director of the Wales Cancer Research Network and Deputy Director of the Wales National Institute for Social Care and Health Research Clinical research Centre (NISCHR-CRC). He is a member of the European Society of Medical Oncology, American Society for Clinical Oncology, Association of Cancer Physicians UK, UK National Cancer Research institute’s melanoma and renal cancer clinical study Groups and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Professor Wagstaff has co-authored over 127 papers in International Peer reviewed journals. His main research interests are renal cancers, melanoma and sarcomas. He is interested in immunotherapy and the interaction between the immune system and the neo-vasculature within tumours. His main focus has been in developing clinical trials for patients with the above diseases and conducting translational research to better understand the effects of new treatments on patients with cancer. PROFESSOR J MERION THOMAS Professor J Meirion Thomas is Melanoma UK’s Senior Surgeon and has extensive knowledge of melanoma. He has been a Senior Surgeon on the Sarcoma and Melanoma Unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital for 29 years. He has a track record in clinical management and research in the treatment of melanoma. Meirion’s research subjects encompass almost the whole breadth of melanoma but he has written extensively on the subject of sentinel node biopsy, pointing out that its benefits have been exaggerated and over-stated. SANDRA PHINBOW Sandra Phinbow (Nee Richards) is an experienced chartered specialist biomedical scientist, having also worked as a diagnostic dermatology manager.She is a National Council Member for the Institute of Biomedical Science and leads on public engagement. Sandra has won several awards for her work in the public engagement of science including the Top 100 Leading Scientists in the UK list, all culminating into her entry to Who's Who in 2014. ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Alexandra is a junior doctor working in the South West. She has a keen interest in dermatology and aspires to become a Dermatologist in the future. Alexandra undertook her medical training in London and has worked for a number of years in South London and Perth, Australia, before moving to Bristol. She has clinical experience of dermatology in both hospital and general practice settings and within plastic surgery. She has dedicated time to research into the development of new treatments for melanoma and continues to do so outside of her work commitments. Alexandra explains, 'There are incredible developments being made in the treatment of melanoma and the science behind these is fascinating. However, I am determined that my role as a doctor should be to provide more than just these medicines. I am passionate about providing all patients and their families or friends with much needed psychological support and reassuring patients that they are not alone in what can be a very scary time. By introducing patients to wonderful charities, such as Melanoma UK, who can offer tremendous help to patients and their families or friends, together we can provide a much needed, broad support network. I am delighted to be a Melanoma UK ambassador. I hope to raise awareness of the fantastic work Melanoma UK does to both patients and other doctors.'