Research team

The CONNECT research team is based at six different universities across the UK and involves the McPin Foundation. Find out more about the people working on the study at each site.

Sandra Bucci

As Chief Investigator for the CONNECT Study, Professor Bucci is responsible for the overall delivery of the project to time and budget.

View Sandra’s research profile

Read Sandra’s blog posts

Glen Martin

Glen works as a Senior Lecturer in Health Data Science at The University of Manchester. His research focuses on the statistical methodology of developing risk prediction models, and the application of such methods to healthcare.

He is involved in the statistical team on CONNECT, which is responsible for developing the relapse prediction model. When not doing statistics, he has a love of aviation, swimming and piano.

View Glen’s research profile

Pauline Whelan

Pauline has led the Digital Health Software team at the Centre for Health Informatics for many years. She is leading on the software development of the CONNECT data collection platform.

View Pauline’s research profile

Emily Eisner

Emily is a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Manchester working on a range of digital mental health research studies.

She is particularly interested in prediction of relapse in psychosis, and in what makes people more or less likely to engage with digital mental health tools.

Emily loves Manchester for its wide range of music gigs and proximity of the Peak District.

View Emily’s research profile

Gillian Haddock

Gillian is a Professor of Clinical Psychology with special interest in understanding psychosis and developing new psychological treatments for people with severe mental health problems.

View Gillian’s research profile

Mike Bartlett

Mike is a Quality Manager in the University’s Digital Health Software Team, assisting the project in ensuring the safety of the CONNECT system through the application of clinical risk management.

He specialises in the regulatory journey for the development of health IT systems, including those classified as medical devices.

Read more about Mike

Shôn Lewis

Shôn Lewis is Professor of Adult Psychiatry in Manchester, co-inventor of the ClinTouch app and co-founder of CareLoop Health Ltd.

View Shôn’s research profile

Richard Drake

Richard Drake is a psychiatrist in Manchester who has looked at different ways of using smartphones to improve communication between service users and staff in clinical services. He has also studied how symptoms change over time.

He is not a morning person and likes food more than is good for him.

View Richard’s research profile

Gilson Tam

Gilson is Junior Technical Project Officer in Digital Health Software team at the Centre for Health Informatics.

He does quality assurance and technical support for digital health mobile apps/websites in Digital Health Software team. He is doing coordination and system testing on CONNECT.

Read more about Gilson

Simon Foster

Simon is a user experience designer on the Digital Health Software Team at University of Manchester.

His prior experience has predominately been working in the private sector, working for a wide range of companies and organisations across a variety of different industry sectors.

He has a passion for co-designing user friendly digital services that focus on accessibility.

Read more about Simon

Henry Tranter

Henry is a software engineer in the Digital Health Software team and is one of the developers responsible for the development of the CONNECT mobile application.

Read more about Henry

Hannah Ball

Hannah is a Research Clinical Psychologist interested in understanding the implementation of novel interventions in clinical services.

She is passionate about working with people who experience psychosis and about equitable access to psychological interventions in secondary mental healthcare.

Jindrich Gorner

Jindrich is a software engineer who will be working on the CONNECT mobile app.

Prior to this, he has worked on various other mental-health focused projects and also worked in the sports performance management industry.

Jane Lees

Jane is the Project Manager for CONNECT, making sure all aspects of the study are running correctly and on time at all the different sites.

In her spare time, she enjoys Nordic Walking, and supporting her local football team, but that’s sometimes more like a punishment.

View Jane’s research profile

Matthew Sperrin

Matt is a statistician at the University of Manchester. He develops methods for building models that support better decisions in health and medicine.

View Matt’s research profile

Sian Bladon

Siân is a postdoctoral research associate in medical statistics at The University of Manchester. She will be working on the statistical aspects of the CONNECT study.

Outside of work she enjoys cycling and long walks with her dog.

View Sian’s research profile

John Ainsworth

As Professor of Health Informatics, John is responsible for the data engineering and technical delivery of the project.

View John’s research profile

Anuoluwapo Oluwatayo

Anu is a Research Assistant based in the CONNECT Manchester team. She has previously worked in research on society and social care. She also has patient facing experience in psychosis as she has worked in a rehabilitation service in the past.

Jiawen Zhou

Jiawen is one of the Research Software Engineers at the University of Manchester working on both the iOS and Android app for CONNECT. She is responsible for the front-end and back-end development of the app, including generating automatically running software testing and manually testing work on real devices.

Lizzy Barlow

Lizzy is a research assistant based in the CONNECT Manchester team. She is passionate about the use of lived experience in mental health research and about increasing access to support for people who experience psychosis. 

In her free time Lizzy enjoys reading, listening to podcasts and going for long walks.

Fritz Handerer

Fritz is the research coordinator for Manchester. Before joining the team, Fritz completed a PhD on documenting the social determinants of mental health in clinical records. He has a particular interest in exploring ways of addressing social inequalities in mental health.

King’s College London

Til Wykes

Til is professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation and responsible for managing the CONNECT recruitment site at King’s College London.

She is a Dame, carries out treatment development, and founded a unit at King’s that employs expert researchers who have experience of using mental health services.

View Til’s research profile

Matteo Cella

Matteo is an academic clinical psychologist and Reader in Clinical Psychology at King’s College London.

He has an interest in the development and evaluation of psychological interventions and the use of digital technologies to improve recovery and well-being in people with psychosis.

View Matteo’s research profile

Uzma Zahid

Uzma is the Kings College London Site Coordinator and has a particular interest in early intervention in psychosis.

She likes art house cinema and low brow YouTube videos, and has an irrational fear of public profiles. 

View Uzma’s research profile

Richard Emsley

Richard is an NIHR Research Professor and a statistician and methodologist who works on clinical trials and observational studies in mental health.

View Richard’s research profile

Lois Parri

Lois is a Research Assistant based in the CONNECT London team. She has a variety of professional interests and supports ongoing initiatives relating to digital therapies, lived experience involvement, and alternative dissemination.

View Lois’s Research Profile

Robin Lau

Robin is a Research Assistant based in the CONNECT London team. He has several research interests including psychosis, quantitative genetics, and children’s mental health. In his free time, he enjoys indoor gardening and baking. 

University of Glasgow

Andrew Gumley

Andrew is an academic clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychological Therapy in the School of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow.

Andrew is interested in fear of recurrence in people with psychosis, and in developing and testing interventions to promote relapse prevention and recovery. Andrew is responsible for managing the CONNECT recruitment site at The University of Glasgow.

In his spare time, Andrew has an incompatible love of cycling and wine. Never at the same time.

View Andrew’s research profile

Leonie Richardson

Leonie is a Research Assistant based in the CONNECT Glasgow team, whose interests include trauma, adversity, and trauma-informed approaches to health, social and mental healthcare. Her favourite weekend activities include nature walks and cooking with friends and family while listening to 60s tunes.

Louise Beattie

Louise BeattieLouise is the Research Co-ordinator for the Glasgow site. She has previously worked on a range of clinical studies and trials, and has a PhD in psychology. Her research includes sleep disturbances, and early psychosis.

Beth McCulloch

Beth is a Research Assistant based in the CONNECT Glasgow team, who previously worked as an Assistant Psychologist in GGC. She is passionate about improving access, early intervention and the involvement of lived experience. 

In her free time, Beth enjoys hosting quiz nights with her friends (so she knows the answers) and climbing a “wee” Scottish hill.  

University of Edinburgh

Matthias Schwannaeur

Matthias is a developmental clinical psychologist with an interest in the genesis, adaptation to and recovery from severe mental health conditions, particularly psychosis.

He is motivated to improve clinical care models of recovery, co-construction of care and the use of a contextual understanding of staying well. Matthias is responsible for managing the CONNECT recruitment site at the University of Edinburgh.

View Matthias’s research profile

Natalie Chalmers

Natalie is a Research Coordinator at the University of Edinburgh interested in psychosis and interventions.

She is passionate about  improving healthcare and reducing health inequalities.

Laura Maclean

Laura is a Research Coordinator at the University of Edinburgh interested in digital approaches to psychosis, as well as the role developmental factors play in mental health.

Jen Ward

Jen is a Research Assistant based in the CONNECT Edinburgh team. She holds an MSc in Psychology of Mental Health at the University of Edinburgh. She has recently worked as an Assistant Psychologist for NHS Lothian. She is from Ireland and has been living in Edinburgh since 2019.

University of Sussex

Kathryn Greenwood

Kathy is responsible for managing the CONNECT recruitment site at Sussex.

View Kathy’s research profile

Joseph Sherborne

Joe is a Senior Research Assistant based in the CONNECT Sussex team. He will be involved in recruiting participants, conducting follow-up assessments, and supporting participants’ journey through research. In his spare time, he enjoys running, woodworking, and caring for many houseplants.

Alice Warner

Alice is a Senior Research Assistant based in the CONNECT Sussex team. She has clinical experience working in acute settings with people with psychosis and is interested in clinical interventions that improve outcomes. Outside of work, she likes going on long countryside walks with her miniature dachshund Cleo.


Ellie Robson

Ellie is a Research Coordinator for CONNECT at the University of Sussex. Passionate about improving the reach of mental health care, her research focuses on engagement with psychosis services and the clinical implication of digital intervention.

Cardiff University

Kimberley Kendall

Kimberley is an academic psychiatrist with a special interest in psychosis and genetics. She works in the Wales Health Boards helping to recruit for CONNECT.

She enjoys baking and is frequently told that she is “very Welsh”. 

View Kimberley’s research profile


James Walters

James is an academic psychiatrist, professor of psychiatry and Director of the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University.

His research aims to identify risk factors for psychosis and understand how these operate to develop better diagnoses and treatments.

James is responsible for managing the CONNECT recruitment site at Cardiff and will fulfil national stereotypes by bringing Welsh cakes, cawl and close harmony singing.

View James’s research profile


Sandapa Punchihewa
Sandapa is the Research Coordinator for Cardiff on CONNECT. She is passionate about improving the quality of patient care and has a keen interest in clinical trials and public health because of her professional background in medicine and involvement in international research projects.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring the world.  
Eden Cronin

Eden is a Research Assistant based in the CONNECT Cardiff Team. She has previously worked as an Assistant Psychologist in a neurodevelopmental team and has a master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

Her interests include forensic psychiatry, trauma and catatonia. In her spare time, Eden enjoys running, listening to podcasts and socialising.


Eloise Bagg

Eloise is a Research Assistant in the CONNECT Cardiff Team. She has previously worked as a CAMHS assistant psychologist and a recovery navigator in a community rehabilitation team.

Her research and clinical interests include autism, trauma, and systemic approaches to mental health. In her spare time, Eloise enjoys a pub quiz, and building new creations on the pottery wheel.

McPin Foundation

Annabel Walsh

Annabel WalshWith a background in psychiatric research, including digital mental health, and driven by her own lived experience, Annie will lead lived experience involvement in the CONNECT study.

Alex Kenny

Alex is a Senior Public Involvement in Research Officer at the McPin Foundation.

She is passionate about the use of lived experience in  research and the use of digital technology to improve mental health care provision.

Read more about Alex