Liverpool Head & Neck Centre

Strategic Advisory Board

  • Professor Vincent Gregoire

    Prof. Vincent GREGOIRE graduated as a Medical Doctor (MD) in 1987 from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. He was board certified in Radiation Oncology in Belgium in 1994 and obtained his PhD in Radiation Biology in 1996 after a fellowship at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (USA).

    Since his return from the USA, Prof. GREGOIRE was appointed at the Academic Hospital of the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels (Belgium) where he was the Director of the Center for Molecular Imaging, Oncology and Radiotherapy, Full Professor in Radiation Oncology, and Head of Clinic in the Department of Radiation Oncology.

    From May 1st 2018, Prof. Vincent GREGOIRE is the Head of the Radiation Oncology Dept. at the Léon Bérard Cancer Center in Lyon (France). He coordinates the Head and Neck Radiation Oncology program where the publication of the consensus guidelines for selection and delineation of target volumes brought him worldwide recognition.

    Beside his clinical activities, Vincent GREGOIRE has been running a translational research program on tumor microenvironment, on the integration of functional and molecular imaging for treatment planning, and on the molecular basis of increased radiosensitivity in HPV-infected cells. Vincent GREGOIRE has directed or co-directed 15 PhD theses and has authored or co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and 16 book chapters. He has delivered close to 850 abstract presentations, lectures or teaching seminars worldwide, including award lectures such as the IFHNOS KK Ang lecture in 2014 and the Blair Hesketh BAHNO Memorial Lecture in 2015. He is member of the editorial board of Radiotherapy & Oncology and is a member of numerous scientific societies, including ASTRO and ESTRO, on which he serves on various committees. He has been the President of ESTRO from 2007 to 2009. Vincent GREGOIRE is the past vice-President of the board of EORTC, past-Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Group of the EORTC and of the Head & Neck group of the EORTC. Vincent GREGOIRE was acting chairman of an ICRU Report Committee on "dose prescription, specification and reporting in IMRT”. He has been nominated chairman of ICRU in October 2018. In 2008, he was awarded Honorary Fellow of the British Royal College of Radiology, and in 2016 Honorary Fellow of the Irish College of Radiology. In 2014 he received the Breur Award from ESTRO and in 2015, he was awarded Honorary ESTRO Physicist. In 2018, he received the Jens Overgaard legacy award from ESTRO.

  • Professor Ruud Brakenhoff

    Ruud H. Brakenhoff, PhD is molecular biologist and chairs the Head and Neck Cancer Biology and Immunology (HNCBI) laboratory at the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery within Cancer Center Amsterdam of Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands. He studied medicine and was graduated at the Radboud University Nijmegen. The same university awarded him in 1992 the PhD title.

    From 1992 his research interest focused on the molecular pathogenesis of cancer, and he was appointed in 2005 as professor of head and neck cancer genomics. Current research questions are ultimately focused on the improvement of diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, and there is a close interaction with the clinic.

    Running projects relate to:

    1. Oncogenesis and genomics

    2. Molecular diagnosis and early detection

    3. Tumor-stroma interaction

    4. Development and evaluation of novel treatments

    He has (co)authored over 200 peer reviewed papers, and introduced models of head and neck carcinogenesis in the literature.

    His main interest is in fundamental and translational research, studying head and neck cancer in models as well as human patients, and bringing new molecular findings to the clinic. Sentinel node biopsy and testing for HPV have been brought from bench to bedside, and are implemented in care.

  • Professor Peter Klussman

  • Professor Simon Laban

  • Dr Kate Hutcheson

    Deputy Director

    Dr. Kate Hutcheson is a Professor and Deputy Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery with dual appointment in the Division of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She serves as Section Chief and Research Director for the Section of Speech Pathology and Audiology. Dr. Hutcheson is a certified speech-language pathologist, a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S), and holds a Doctorate Degree in Epidemiology. She maintains an active clinical practice and research program. She has authored over 120 journal articles with funding support from the National Institutes of Health, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the MD Anderson Institutional Research Grant Award program, and the CPRIT UT Health Innovation Training Program. She is an accomplished clinician and educator who lectures nationally and internationally on radiation associated dysphagia and head and neck cancer rehabilitation.

  • Professor Christian Simon

    Expert in head and neck surgery and reconstructive surgery, as well as in oncology of the head and neck and in otolaryngology, Christian Simon has been appointed full professor at UNIL and head of the Otolaryngology Department. -laryngology (ENT) of the CHUV from February 1, 2012.

    Born in 1969 in Würzburg (Germany), Christian Simon studied at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany) and graduated in 1996. He then held a postdoctoral research position for two years, funded by the German Research Council, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Department of Tumor Biology, where he is interested in the mechanisms of cancer cell invasion and metastasis formation. Returning to Germany in 1998, he completed his internship at the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Tübingen, under the supervision of Prof. Hans-Peter Zenner. After obtaining his FMH title in ENT in 2002, he returned to the United States as a Clinical Fellow and Junior Faculty for two years. There he trained for a year in head and neck ablative surgery at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, then in head and neck reconstructive surgery at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Christian Simon returned to Germany in 2004 to take up the post of Assistant Professor and Consultant Surgeon in the Department of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Heidelberg. He represents his Department on the Expert Committee of the National Cancer Center (NCT) Heidelberg, where he is also head of head and neck oncology. He has also been appointed head of the Molecular Oncology Laboratory since 2005. In 2008, he flew to the United States as part of a one-year clinical research grant, in order to complete his training in the field of otology, neuro-otology and skull base surgery at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (USA). In 2009, he was appointed Vice Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology headed by Prof. Peter Karl Plinkert, at the University of Heidelberg.

    Benefiting from a very complete training in the ENT field, Christian Simon has followed numerous clinical training courses, particularly in the fields of head and neck ablative surgery, head and neck reconstructive surgery and otology / neuro-otology. In head and neck reconstructive surgery, he has specific expertise in free microvascular tissue transfer, as well as in transoral endoscopic surgery techniques. He also has very wide skills in otological surgery.

    In terms of research, Christian Simon has been working since 1996 on understanding the biological mechanisms leading to invasion by cancer cells and the formation of metastases. He particularly focuses on the signal transduction pathways involved in these processes. He is also interested in the influence of human papillomavirus infections on the development of ENT tumors. His work has been the subject of numerous publications in high impact factor journals. The researcher is currently trying to further elucidate these mechanisms and how they contribute to the clinical phenotype leading to recurrence. He also wishes to develop animal models which will help in deciphering such mechanisms.

  • Dr Bryan Bell

    Dr. Bell is currently Physician Executive and Director, Division of Surgical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Clinical Programs for Providence Cancer Institute- Oregon; Medical Director of the Providence Head and Neck Cancer Program; and Member and Director of Surgical Oncology Research at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of the Providence Cancer Institute. In this role he provides vision, leadership, strategy and oversight for all clinical oncology programs and surgical oncology research throughout the Oregon region. Through his appointment as Co-Chair of the Cancer Leadership Council at Providence, he also provides leadership for the entire cancer service line in its 52-hospital health system spanning 7 western U.S. states, within which more than 45,000 cancer patients are treated annually.

    Dr. Bell is a fellowship trained oral and maxillofacial/head and neck oncologic surgeon, whose clinical practice is focused on the comprehensive surgical management of patients with head and neck cancer, including tumors of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, thyroid and skull base. His primary research interest is in developing novel approaches to enhance the effectiveness of surgery for the treatment of head and neck cancer. Currently, his work focuses on modulating the tumor microenvironment prior to surgery by reversing immunosuppression through monoclonal antibodies, vaccines and bioengineered materials for local drug delivery, as well as the discovery of biomarkers to predict response to immunotherapy. Using his surgical practice to run clinical trials in the neoadjuvant setting, Dr. Bell’s work bridges basic, translational and clinical activities. He has also contributed to the clinical development of virtual surgical planning, transoral robotic surgery, and sentinel lymph node biopsy for patients with head and neck cancer. His work has been published in more than 150 scientific articles and book chapters and he is co-author of two major textbooks published by Elsevier, including "Oral, Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery". Dr. Bell previously directed the Providence fellowship in head and neck oncologic and reconstructive microvascular surgery and has successfully mentored dozens of fellows and residents in surgery and clinical research. He has served on National Institutes of Health Head and Neck Steering Committee’s Immmunotherapy Clinical Trials Planning Group and the Task Force on Previously Untreated/Locally Advanced (PULA) Disease. He has also served on a number of editorial boards for peer review journals. Dr. Bell is Past President and Co-Founder of the American Academy of Craniomaxillofacial Surgeons; Past President of The American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons; and has held various leadership positions for the American College of Surgeons, American Cancer Society, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Head and Neck Society, and Oregon Medical Society.

  • Professor Kevin Harrington

    Kevin Harrington is an NIHR Senior Investigator and Head of the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)/Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH). He is the RMH/ICR NIHR Biomedical Research Centre lead for the Targeted Physical Therapies theme, Director for the ICR/RM CRUK RadNet Centre of Excellence, Chair of the CRUK Advanced Radiotherapy Network (ART-NET) Network Accelerator, Chair of the ICR Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Programme and an Executive Board member for the CRUK ICR/Imperial Major Centre for Convergence Science. He is also an Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and at St George’s Hospital, specialising in developing new treatments with a specific focus on head and neck cancer (HNC).

    His research interests include immunotherapy, targeted radiation sensitisers and oncolytic virotherapy. In the field of immunotherapy for cancer, he has been involved in the development of immune checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA-4, TIGIT, CD47 inhibitors) and innate immune activators (eg cyclic dinucleotide (CDN) and non-CDN STING agonists). He serves on Steering Committees and Scientific Advisory Boards that have guided the development of trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors in head and neck cancer (including Keynote-040, -048, -412, -689, CheckMate-141, -651, 714, Kestrel, Javelin-100). He has been Principal Investigator of multiple phase I, II and III studies of novel agents in HNC. He leads a programme of pre-clinical and clinical research in targeted radiosensitisers (Chk1i, HSP90i, ATRi), including the first-in-man phase I PATRIOT study of the ATR inhibitor, AZD6738. This work focuses largely on the potential immunological effects of combinations of DNA damage response inhibition and radiation. In oncolytic virotherapy, he has led in developing DNA (HSV [talimogene laherparepvec, RP1, RP2 and RP3 viruses] and vaccinia virus) and RNA viruses (Reovirus type 3 Dearing, coxsackievirus A21, Maraba and Newcastle Disease virus).

    His expertise has been recognized in membership of multiple national and international practice-defining guideline committees: British Association of Head and Neck Oncology (BAHNO), UK National Multidisciplinary guidelines (2011, 2015); Chair, UK Head and Neck Mucosal Melanoma Group (2018-2020); International Nasopharynx Cancer guidelines (2018, 2019, 2020); Human Intratumoural Immunotherapy (HIT-IT) (2018); Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) HNC guidelines (2019); Intratumoural RECIST Guideline Group (2019-2020); ASTRO/ESTRO guideline group to define risk-adapted radiotherapy in COVID patients with HNC (2020); founding Steering Committee member of the ESMO Co-CARE Registry.

    He received the 2019 BAHNO President’s Achievement Award and was the 2021 Semon Lecturer (Royal Society of Medicine). He is serving as a member of Unit of Assessment 1 for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 exercise.

    Prof. Harrington has published >560 peer-reviewed publications and >50 book chapters.

Website Leads

  • Mr Jason Fleming

    Consultant Head & Neck / Thyroid Surgeon and Website Co-lead

    Jason Fleming is an academic clinician, working as a Consultant ENT/Head and Neck Surgeon and Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Liverpool. His clinical practice is based at Aintree Hospital, which includes a tertiary head and neck cancer service for the patients of St. Helens, Knowsley, Whiston and Warrington. His clinical practice includes all head and neck/thyroid surgery, with a particular interest in trans-oral surgery (robotic/laser), and salvage surgery for recurrent cancer.

    Having graduated from higher surgical training in London and the South-East, including specialist placements at St. George’s Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, and a research secondment to defend a PhD in cancer sciences, he went on to complete an advanced head and neck surgical oncology Fellowship at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital. He then became the first UK trainee to be appointed to the prestigious Ablative and Reconstructive Head and Neck Fellowship at University of Alabama (UAB, Birmingham, AL), where he received dedicated training in trans-oral robotic surgery at one of the early pioneering US centres for the technique.

    As a surgeon scientist, Mr Fleming plays an active role in the research and teaching activity of the Liverpool Head and Neck Centre and University of Liverpool, and has been awarded over £2.5 million in research grants. He regularly presents internationally on his clinical and research interests, is widely published in high impact specialty journals and has authored a number of textbook chapters. He is the Fellowship Director for the Shaun Jackson Head and Neck / Thyroid Fellowship.

    Find out more

  • Katharine Davies

    Miss Katharine Davies

    Consultant Head & Neck / Thyroid Surgeon and Website Co-lead

    Miss Katharine Davies graduated from Cardiff University in 2007. Having completed her specialty training within the Mersey region she undertook the Head and Neck Fellowship in Aintree University Hospital and took up post as a Consultant Head & Neck and Thyroid surgeon within Liverpool University Hospital NHS Trust in April 2020.

    Her work involves both malignant and benign Head and Neck surgery including thyroid and salivary gland pathology. She is actively involved in the recruitment of patients to trials including PATHOS, BEST OF and PITSTOP and undertakes clinics both on the Aintree and Broadgreen site.

    Outside of clinical work she is part of the education team delivering regular programmed medical student teaching within the trust. During her fellowship she created multiple surgical, anaesthetic and patient information videos that are used for education and training.

    She is the co-creator of the recently designed Liverpool Head and Neck Centre website and the aforementioned videos will form a substantial part of this. As part of this media development she has been creating multiple patient and professional educational resources to better inform patients about conditions treated and the investigations and treatment they may undergo.

    She is actively involved with improving the diagnostic pathway for patients with Head and Neck cancer and, in conjunction with the Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance, is working on ways to achieve earlier diagnosis for patients with Head and Neck Cancer with the aim of improving treatment outcomes. Moving this work forward she is hoping to identify ways to get patients with head and neck cancer to present earlier and is part of a health inequalities group looking at barriers to this and ways to improve it.