Our Advisory Board
Julie Thompson Dietitian
Julie works in the NHS as a specialist Dietitian. During her working life she has worked in industry and research, has a degree in Polymer Science and through illness had a change of career, gaining a first class honours degree in dietetics; an area that has always been of interest. Dietetics involves holistic care of patients and includes training in how to help people make changes, whilst taking into account their lifestyles. Dietitians are important in ensuring people with conditions that affect bowel function receive the correct advice about diet. Julie is registered with the Health Professions Council which follow strict codes of conduct that ensure safe and evidence based practice. Julie has also suffered from IBS for most of her adult life. Outside work Julie enjoys cooking, walking in the Calderdale area around where she lives and she loves cats! www.calmgutclinic.co.uk
Gillian works for Sheffield Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust in the community. She has a special interest in Irritable bowel syndrome and other GI conditions.She is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), BDA - The Association of UK Dietitians and is a FODMAP trained dietitian.
Support Group Coordinator
Matthew runs an engineering company in Leeds and also coordinates a local support group in the city. He has suffered from IBS ever since he was a teenager. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ewa is a community pharmacist who works for the Medicines Management Team at Sheffield CCG, which includes support for GP practices.
Hypnotherapist specialising in IBS
After completing research for her PhD on the physiological effects of dietary fibre in the Centre for Human Nutrition in Sheffield, Janet went on to run the anorectal function unit at The Royal Hallamshire Hospital. She has since retrained as a hypnotherapist and runs her own private practice where she specialises in helping people with IBS. She uses gut-directed hypnotherapy along with providing individual information on diet and lifestyle so that people can develop coping mechanisms and feel more in control of their situation.
Our Panel of experts
Marianne Williams is a specialist IBS and allergy dietitian who works for Somerset Partnership NHS Trust. Her focus on innovation has led to the creation of the first UK ‘Dietetic-Led Primary Care Gastroenterology Clinic’ seeing adult patients with IBS or food allergy. This fully funded service has a 70% success rate using a range of specialist evidence based dietary interventions. The clinic was a finalist in 2015 Health Service Journal Awards and won ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2012 UK Care Integration Awards. Marianne went on to receive ‘Dietitian of the Year’ and an ‘NHS Recognition Award’ for her work in this area.
Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology
Peter Whorwell is Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester in the UK and directs a unit with a wide ranging research programme into the clinical, epidemiological and pathophysiological aspects of functional gastrointestinal disorders. It also cares for large numbers of these patients from all over the UK and even abroad and evaluates new treatment options including pharmacological, dietary and behavioral approaches. Professor Whorwell has published over 350 papers and chapters in his fields of interest and serves on a number of national and international advisory panels and working parties.
Laurin McDonald is a highly experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Coach and Mindfulness Meditation teacher. She has over 10 years’ experience of working with people with IBS using hypnotherapy. IBS Clinical Hypnotherapy can be effective for IBS because IBS is primarily thought to be a disorder of the ‘brain-gut axis’.
Laurin is also licensed to train Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which has also been proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and a number of chronic stress related conditions. Where appropriate she will work with the client helping them to develop mindfulness meditation practice to support them.
Dr Anu Agrawal
Dr Agrawal is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. He previously worked as a specialist registrar in Liverpool and completed his PhD on functional bowel disorders with Professor Whorwell at the University of Manchester. During this time and subsequently, he developed extensive clinical and research experience in the management of functional gastrointestinal disorders.He has a keen interest in research and has been first author for a number of papers that have been published in professional medical journals. During his career, he has made presentations at international scientific meetings both in the UK and abroad and has previously received the Ray Clause Award, presented by the ROME committee for the best paper in the field of functional GI disorders
Alex Ford is currently a Professor and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist at St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK. During his registrar training he conducted a 2-year period of research funded by the Medical Research Council, obtaining an MD from Leeds University.
He is an Associate Editor for Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and a member of the international editorial boards of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, The American Journal of Gastroenterology, and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, including original scientific papers in JAMA, BMJ, Gastroenterology, Gut, Archives of Internal Medicine, and The American Journal of Gastroenterology. His h-index on Web of Science is 41, and his papers have been cited over 4900 times in total.
Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist
Dr Adam Farmer undertook his medical training at University College London, qualifying with the degrees of MB BS BSc (Hons) in 2001. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 2004. He undertook his specialist training in gastroenterology and general medicine in the West Midlands before moving to the Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology, Barts and the Royal London School of Medicine, where he carried out a body of research funded by the Medical Research Council. He currently works at the University Hospitals of North Midlands and runs the neurogastroenterology service.
Dr Nick Read
Nick works in private practice as a gastroenterologist and psychotherapist, helping people cope with illnesses, like IBS, that have no clear cause or pathology. During a long academic career, he has held university chairs in Gastrointestinal Physiology, Human Nutrition and Integrated Medicine, published too many papers and a few books. He now devotes much of his time trying to help people understand what underlies their illnesses and how better to manage them. This is the subject of his book, ‘Sick and Tired; healing the illnesses, doctors cannot cure’ (Phoenix, 2006). He has been associated with The IBS Network since its inauguration by Sue Backhouse and Christine Dancey in 1991.
Lee Martin RD
Lee Martin MSc RD is an adult dietitian with 9 years’ experience working within the NHS and in an academic role. Currently Lee works at University College London Hospital as a Specialist Gastroenterology Dietitian. Here he provides group education sessions on the low FODMAP diet alongside one to one expert advice for a range of functional gastrointestinal disorders and inflammatory bowel disease.
Previously Lee worked in an academic role at King’s College London researching and developing the low FODMAP diet for treating irritable bowel syndrome. Lee’s research at King’s College London focused on the long term effectiveness of the low FODMAP diet (abstract available here).
Lee has always advocated the great work The IBS Network conduct and is excited to join their team and provide advice to their members.
He is passionate that people avoid the pitfalls of following a long term restricted diet and has authored the first ever book dedicated to the reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet, available through our online shop.
Specialist gastroenterology dietitian
Kirsten Crothers is a specialist gastroenterology dietitian who has worked in both the NHS and private sectors.
She started her career in gastroenterology at Sheffield NHS Teaching Hospitals and now works for The Food Treatment Clinic based in Belfast. In her current role, she provides expert dietary advice for individuals suffering with digestive health problems, including the low FODMAP diet.
Kirsten is driven to help provide control for those suffering with the symptoms of digestive problems. Through working with The IBS network, she is keen to reach more people as she recognises that sadly, not all people receive the help they need.
Professor of Neurogastroenterology
Professor Aziz started his research career at the University of Manchester and obtained his PhD in 1996. He held posts of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester, and is now Professor of Neurogastroenterology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London since 2006 and is the director of the world renowned Wingate Institute of Neurogastroenterology.