Research Working Group – Biographies

Amanda Drury, Ireland (Co-Chair)
Dr Amanda Drury is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin and Fulbright-HRB Health Impact Scholar 2020/21. She is currently an EONS Board Member, and co-chair of the Research Working group. Amanda has over a decade of clinical and academic experience in cancer nursing. Her research interests span the areas of supportive and palliative care in chronic illness, using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research approaches.

Grigorios Kotronoulas, UK (Co-Chair)
Dr Grigorios Kotronoulas is a cancer nurse and Lecturer in Nursing and Health Care at the University of Glasgow. He has 15 years of research experience in the area of cancer care and patient and family support. His PhD investigated alterations and interrelations in sleep quality in breast cancer patient-caregiver dyads. Grigorios has been involved in over 25 nurse-led research projects, and has a strong background in quantitative research, mixed methods research and critical evidence synthesis. His research interests include implementation of patient-reported outcomes and measures; symptom assessment and management (focus on sleep); and cancer survivorship and rehabilitation. He supervises MSc and PhD students, and is the leader of Research Methods courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is a member of the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS).

Nikolaos Efstathiou, UK
Nikolaos is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham. He is a nurse with experience in critical care nursing. He has been an EONS member for almost 20 years and was one of the first recipients of the EONS Novice Researcher (1999) and Research Travel (2013) awards. His research focuses on palliative and end-of-life care. He is experienced in conducting research using qualitative and quantitative methods and is an expert in Delphi technique. He has also published a number of systematic reviews. His PhD was on desired oncology services by service users and providers in Greece. He holds an honorary contract with Connected Palliative Care at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, a service providing 24/7 coordinated end-of-life care for patients and their carers. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa, School of Nursing and a member of their Nursing Palliative Care Research & Education Unit.

Paz Fernández-Ortega, Spain
Dr Fernández-Ortega is the Nursing Research Coordinator at the cancer center of the Institute Català d’ Oncologia and has worked in Oncology since 1985. She is also an associate professor at Barcelona University where she teaches cancer nursing and research methods for undergraduate and postgraduate students. She was an EONS Board Member from 1999 to 2006 and was the recipient of the EONS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. Paz earned her PhD with honors, cum-laude with a special mention in Nursing Sciences and she has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Her expertise includes Nursing Cancer Care – Oncology; Nursing Education; Nursing Research; Quality of Life and Symptoms Management and Psycho-social support. She is currently the chair of the Education Study Group of MASCC and belongs to the Cancer Care Node of the Joanna Briggs Institute.

Maura Dowling, Ireland
Dr Maura Dowling has over 30 years of clinical practice, education and research experience in oncology nursing. She is a senior lecturer at the School Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway, and programme director of the MHSc in Oncology and Haematology nursing. Maura’s research expertise spans most qualitative methodologies, including phenomenology and qualitative evidence synthesis and she is a research associate with Evidence Synthesis Ireland (ESI). Maura supervises masters and PhD students and supports a network of oncology and haematology nurses nationally undertaking and publishing research.

Karin Brochstedt Dieperink, Denmark
Karin Brochstedt Dieperink, RN, MCN, PhD is Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital and Deputy Head at Department of Clinical Research. She is Head of Research at Family focused healthcare research Centre (FaCe), University of Southern Denmark (SDU). She is also head of the Danish Family Nursing Association.

Clinical and research interests:
Karin’s interests are in nursing, rehabilitation, palliative and supportive care for cancer patients and their families. The research area is concerning cancer patients’ acute and late adverse effects after treatment, quality of life and coping with the life situation and rehabilitation for prevention or reducing late adverse effects, furthermore, uncovering the impact of disease on family health and innovative interventions with family involvement.
Karin has experience with different research methods: patient reported outcomes (PRO) randomized controlled trials, focus group interviews and individual interviews, reviews and translation and validation of questionnaires.
International collaboration with researchers within family nursing in Australia, and actively involved in the European FAME-RN research group with nursing researchers from Finland, Netherland, Switzerland, Spain, and Iceland.

Sara Colomer-Lahiguera, Switzerland

Sara obtained her Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2006 at the University of Valencia (Spain). She then worked as a pediatric oncology nurse in university hospitals in Valencia and Barcelona. In 2010, she started a translational research path, first obtaining two master degrees and moving on to doing her PhD in Biomedicine at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) which she defended in 2015. Her thesis was conducted at the St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung Institute (Vienna, Austria) where she studied the role of cell cycle regulators in the development of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

In 2017, Sara joined the Institute of Higher Education and Research in Healthcare at the University of Lausanne and the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) where she is currently leading a study in the Department of Oncology to better understand the experience, needs, and symptoms of cancer patients starting a treatment with immunotherapies. For this study, Sara was awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Commission (H2020 programme). Her research has a special focus on patient-reported outcomes measures, symptoms, and biomarkers in immuno-oncology.

Cherith Semple, UK

Dr Cherith Semple, has over twenty years of clinical practice, education and research experience in oncology nursing.  She is a Reader in Clinical Cancer Nursing, which is a joint clinical academic appointment between Ulster University and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.  Cherith currently has a clinical caseload providing care to patients and their families newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer, and leads on two research programmes of work, namely, “Promoting positive coping when a parent of dependent children has cancer” and “Addressing QOL issues for patients with head and neck cancer”.  She also supervises PhD and MSc students and impacts teaching programmes for nurses.  Recent achievements include RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year in 2015 and she was awarded a MBE in the Queen’s Honour List  in 2017.

Gulcan Bagcivan, Turkey

Dr. Gulcan Bagcivan is an Assistant Professor at Koc University School of Nursing in Istanbul/Turkey. She has 15 years of oncology nursing background in both the clinical and academic settings. After two year of clinical experiences she started master’s in nursing and since then she has been teaching oncology nursing and doing research on cancer and palliative care. Gulcan holds a PhD, a MSc in Medical Nursing, a BSc (Hons) in General Nursing and MSc in Epidemiology. She has been at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)/ U.S. as post-doc visiting researcher for two years.  She has focused on pain management, symptom management, oral chemotherapy adherence and palliative care in cancer patient in her thesis, dissertation and in post-doc research projects. Gulcan is experienced in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research, and is currently involved in the design and conduct of several research projects in the areas of cancer care, palliative care and chronic illness. In her current role, Gulcan is supervisor for postgraduate research projects and provides lectures in Research, Medical Nursing, Oncology Nursing courses on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Nursing.

Eva Pape, Belgium

Mrs Eva Pape, MSc, is a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) digestive oncology at Ghent University Hospital in Belgium. She counsels patients with curative rectal cancer and patients with a local recurrence in need of a pelvic exenteration. Eva combines this with her PhD at Ghent University Hospital and the University centre for nursing and midwifery at Ghent University. In the first phase, she conducted a qualitative study based on the principles of the grounded theory to explore the needs of patients with the low anterior resection syndrome (LARS) and their informal carer. In the current phase, the plan is to optimise care for patients with LARS by developing education material and a nurse-led clinic. Eva is also an executive board member of two national societies: the national society for oncology nurses (VVRO) and the national society for CNS (BVVS). In this last society, she leads the research working group.

Susana Miguel, Portugal

Susana Miguel is a Specialist in Medical-Surgical Nursing, working at the Head and Neck Surgery/ENT and Endocrinology Department of the Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Francisco Gentil, with differentiated competence in Oncological Nursing.

She is doing a PhD in Nursing at the Portuguese Catholic University, Collaborator in the Interdisciplinary Health Research Center of the Portuguese Catholic University.

She has advanced competence in Clinical Supervision with educational and practice experience with students from different degrees and specialities. She coordinates the working group of oncologic surgery (Oncocirurgia) from the Portuguese Association of Nursing Oncology (AEOP).

Susana has a Masters in Health Unit Management with advanced competence in Management. She is also author and co-author of several national and international publications.

Clinical and research interests: research, mixed methods (Q Methodology), focus groups, nursing diagnoses, surgery, head and neck cancer, body image, low self-esteem, tracheostomy.