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***Important Announcement on COVID-19***
CHITIN is contingency planning for impediments that trial delivery teams are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.
The CHITIN Programme Management Group is giving significant consideration to the breadth of our research activities and we are liaising with the Special EU Programmes Body. Some trials have paused or put on hold elements of their work to ensure participant and researcher health & safety is prioritised.
Some trial delivery staff are working remotely and discovering new ways of working to meet research deliverables as far as possible.

We thank the CHITIN Project network for their continued dedication and commitment to the programme and we are here to support you.


Rhonda Campbell

Dr Rhonda Campbell is part of the HSC R&D Division team and is Programme Manager for the Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN) project. Before joining the team Rhonda was a researcher and research lecturer with time spent in both QUB and UU. Her research career primarily focused on infection and immunity in a biomedical context. Including in the fields of (a) immunodiagnostics (b) HIV vaccine development on a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/Wellcome Trust funded project, part of the WHO's Global Health Initiative (c) epidemiology of birth defects through project management of the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies Network (EUROCAT) and WHO Collaborating Centre, and on (d) biomarkers of inflammation in relation to complex pregnancy and high risk infants. Before joining HSC R&D Rhonda was involved with the If I were Jack trial – a multi-site cluster randomised trial of a film-based intervention to reduce teenage pregnancy and promote positive sexual health.

Barry Henderson

Barry Henderson is Senior Industry Liaison Manager within CHITIN and HSC NI’s R&D Division. He promotes and facilitates engagement with the life science and health technology industry sectors to explore clinical research, innovation and collaboration.

He has recently completed a three-year contract as Business Development Director, leading the Life Sciences sector with Invest NI’s US Office, and brings a wealth of relevant experience, having previously held roles in biomedical research, sales & marketing within the biotech sector and life science innovation management with Ulster University. 

Barry played a founding role in developing and establishing the Clinical Translational Research & Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) and served as Business Development Manager there until 2014.

Amy McGowan

Dr Amy McGowan is part of the HSC R&D Division team and is Evaluation and Monitoring for the Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN) project. Before joining the team Amy was a Research Officer within the Public Health Agency (PHA). 

Her work as a Research Officer within the PHA involved working on a range of topics including older adults, palliative care, screening and community planning. Furthermore, her PhD research explored the relationship between retinal vessel changes and several chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and Chronic Kidney disease. This research variety has given Amy a passion for all aspects of Public Health, which ignited from her Master’s year at the Centre for Public Health and undergraduate degree in Public Health and Health Promotion at Sligo Institute of Technology.

Debbie McGrory

Debbie McGrory is CHITIN Communications Manager and is responsible for all CHITIN Communications functions within the Health and Social Care Research & Development Division at the Public Health Agency (PHA).

Debbie worked in media outlets before specialising in health communication, working on strategic communications to produce public health messages for the PHA. She then worked in several health communications roles including at the Health and Social Care Board where she was Communications Lead on NI's first 'Choose Well' campaign across NI.
Before joining the CHITIN team, Debbie worked as Communications Lead for the Belfast Strategic Partnership, developing health messages to address health inequalities.  Achievements include successful roll-out of the mental health campaign 'Take 5' across Belfast, establishing a Learning Charter and promoting age-friendly work in Belfast. 

Joanne O'Neill

Joanne O'Neill is Support Manager for the Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN) project. Before joining the team Joanne was a Strand Administrator within the HSC R&D Division (PHA).

Joanne was an active member of the support team responsible for administration of all aspects of awards stemming from the HSC R&D Strategy. This included project managing and financial monitoring of all research projects.