Faculty Biographies

Dr Karen Poole
PhD, BN (Hons), RNC
Lecturer in Cancer Care, University of Surrey, UK

Karen Poole trained as a nurse at University of Wales College of Medicine in 1994, graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing First Class Honours Degree. She became the first nursing student to be awarded the Lord Merthyr Medical Research scholarship to fund her PhD, which she completed in 1998. Her doctoral studies investigated the psychological impact of undergoing investigations for breast disease and formed the basis for her career in cancer clinical research.

Since then, Karen has worked across academic, industry and NHS settings. After establishing the Surrey, West Sussex & Hampshire Cancer Research Network (2002-2007), Karen became the Research Delivery Director for the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (formerly National Cancer Research Network) responsible for the delivery of the national portfolio of over 500 cancer clinical research studies, across all disease types in the NHS (2007-2014). She has worked with service users in designing and delivery clinical research for over 16 years.

From 2015 to 2017, Karen returned to academic research as a Research Fellow with Professor Sara Faithfull on the True NTH Exercise & Diet project developing a pharmacy-led lifestyle intervention for men after treatment for prostate cancer. More recently she was appointed as a Lecturer in Cancer Care (2017) teaching on the undergraduate programme and CPD modules, with leadership responsibility for the Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy Nursing Practice Module.


Professor Sara Faithfull
PhD, MSc, BSc (hons), RN
Professor of Cancer Nursing Practice
Lead for Clinical Innovation, University of Surrey, UK

Sara Faithfull trained as a cancer nurse in 1986 at the Royal Marsden Hospital (UK) and worked within Oncology in several fields: radiotherapy supportive care and urology. She was the recipient of the Smith and Nephew Nursing fellowship in 1991 and a Cancer Research UK Nursing Research Fellowship in 1994. Her PhD study was completed in 2000 at the Institute of Cancer Research in Academic Radiotherapy. As a board member of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONs) from 2003-2011 she was president from 2008-10.

Sara continues to support health sciences through work with national, European and International partners. Sara Faithfull is an expert member for the cardiac guidance for GPs for cancer patients as part Macmillan Cancer Support. She is a congress faculty member of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) and is member of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS). As a member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) she is proud to support nursing innovation and new roles. In 2010 an edition of Cancer World featured Faithfull's work on health assessment in a feature and in 2011 she was awarded the Bob Tiffany Annual lecture for cancer research and education at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Sara Faithfull's current programme of research is in clinical innovation, addressing challenges in early diagnosis and consequences of cancer treatment. Funded research is in cancer survivorship, functional health assessment and lifestyle interventions for men with prostate cancer. Studies test new approaches to side effect and multi- morbidity management as a consequence of cancer treatment as well as developing novel approaches to improving patient outcomes. Research expertise is in mixed methods, complex intervention development and clinical trials. Key drivers of her work are to introduce and test complex interventions in practice with the aim to improve speed with which innovations can be adopted in patient care pathways.


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