Great Ormond Street Hospital Laboratory Medicine provides a service which is led and supported by a range of clinical and technical experts. Please scroll down to find out about our clinical and technical leads or click on one of the links below to navigate directly to a department of interest.


Management Team                   
Chemical Pathology
Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control
Paediatric Malignancy Unit


Management Team


Simon Heales

Head of Clincial Service

Simon HealesSimon obtained his PhD from Aston University in 1987 and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2003. As well as being Head of Service, he holds the UCL Chair of Clinical Chemistry and has a strong interest in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with inherited metabolic disorders.  This work is underpinned by a number of basic and translational research projects that are carried out in conjunction with the UCL Institute of Child Health.  He has published over 150 papers in the area of mitochondrial, neurotransmitter and lysosomal disorders. Simon is also the Clinical Lead for the Neurometabolic Unit at the National Hospital, Queen Square (UCLH Foundation Trust).



Christine Morris
Lead Laboratory Manager

Christine MorrisChristine is the Senior Laboratory Manager with operational responsibility for Blood Sciences, Blood Transfusion, Immunology, Cell Therapy and the Haematology Cellular and Molecular Diagnostic Service (HCMDS).  Christine also serves as the Lead in Quality and Training for Laboratory Medicine. She has many years experience working in NHS pathology laboratories, commencing her career at the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne then notably spening 25 years at the Royal London Hospital where she managed the automated Haematology Laboratory with additional responsibilities and special interest in Training and Point of Care Testing. 

Christine joined GOSH in 2007 as the Haematology Laboratory Manager. Christine holds a MSc in Haematology and is a Fellow and Chartered Scientist of theInstituteofBiomedical Science.



Clinical and Technical Leads

Chemical Pathology

Helen Aitkenhead
Interim Clinical Lead

Helen AitkenheadHelen Aitkenhead is a graduate of Aston University, Birmingham and University of Surrey, Guildford. Helen undertook her clinical scientist training at Charing Cross, St Mary's and Northwick Park Hospitals. Before coming to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Helen worked as a Senior Clinical Scientist at Ealing Hospital.
Helen has interests in all aspects of paediatric clinical biochemistry as well as point of care testing, quality management and clinical scientist training.

Helen was appointed as Principal Clinical Scientist at GOSH in 2004 and Deputy Head of Chemical Pathology in 2011.




Lucy Jenkins

Interim director North East Thames Genetics Laboratories

Head of Service (Molecular Genetics)


Lucy JenkinsLucy is the Interim Director of the Regional Genetics Laboratories and Head of Service for Molecular Genetics. The Molecular Genetics Laboratory, along with Cytogenetics, forms the North East Thames Regional Genetics Laboratories. After graduating in Molecular Biology from Liverpool University Lucy undertook clinical scientist training and registration in the Yorkshire Regional DNA Laboratory, Leeds.  After 8 years she moved to Great Ormond Street Hospital to take up the post of Deputy Head in Molecular Genetics, obtaining Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2006. Lucy became Head of Service for Regional Molecular Genetics in 2009 and Interim Director of the Genetics Laboratory in 2014. Key interests include the genetics of hearing loss, surfactant protein deficiencies and non-invasive prenatal testing.


Jonathan Waters
Head of Service (Cytogenetics)


Jonathan WatersDr Jonathan Waters is Head of Cytogenetics/Deputy Director within the Regional Genetics Service Laboratories and has an honorary Lectureship in Clinical and Molecular Genetics at ICH/UCL. Jonathan has degrees from Nottingham, where he also worked at the City Hospital and Glasgow. He has worked as a clinical scientist in Manchester, Cambridge and Birmingham together with several short stints in Switzerland. He was a Visiting Scientist at the MRC LMB (Laboratory for Molecular Biology) during his time in Cambridge and was NEQAS (EQA) Organiser in Clinical Cytogenetics while in Birmingham. He moved to Great Ormond St Hospital for Children in 2001. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and currently chairs the SAC (Specialist Advisory Committee) on Genetics and Clinical Embryology.  He has published around 35 papers and book chapters and maintains an interest in placental biology/prenatal diagnosis and the genetics of neurocognitive disorders. His principal focus is on managing and developing a modern cytogenetics (chromosome copy number) service with the emphasis on the introduction into diagnostic service of new molecular methods.




Dr Ri Liesner
Clinical Lead



Dr Michael Ashworth
Clinical Lead

Michael AshworthMichael Ashworth is the Clinical Lead for Histopathology.  He completed his medical education at University College Dublin in 1980 and gained MRCPath in Liverpool in 1989.  Michael took up his first consultant post in 1993 at Bristol Childrens Hospital before taking up the position of Consultant Paediatric Pathologist at Alder Hey Childrens Hospital in 2001.  He joined GOSH in 2005.

Michael was Secretary of the British Paediatric Pathology Association between 2004 and 2009 and Secretary UK Cardiac Pathology Network  2010. He was a Council Member of the Paediatric Pathology Society  between 1999 and 2003 and Chair of the Standing Advisory Committee on Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology of the Royal College of Pathologists, UK from 2007 to 2011. He is also an examiner in paediatric pathology for the Royal College of Pathologists.

Michael's main areas of  interest include heart disease in children, pulmonary  disease and paediatric gastrointestinal disease producing publications in all these areas.  Michael also holds a diploma in the History of  Medicine of the Society of Apothecaries.


Dr Tom Jacques
Consultant Neuropathologist

Tom JacquesDr Tom Jacques runs a research group at the UCL Institute of Child Health focussing on brain tumours and paediatric epilepsy and provides the diagnostic neuropathology service for GOSH. He has held a Clinician Scientist Award for the past 6 years and have recently been awarded a nationally competitive HEFCE Clinical Senior Lectureship. Tom's research focuses on the role of stem cells in the development of paediatric brain disease. Specifically, he have recently shown that the major types of brain tumour can arise from stem cells and that the type of tumour is determined by the initiating genetic mutation (Jacqueset al.EMBO J 2010;29:222-35). Tom has also isolated a pathological stem cell from a malformation of cortical development in children with severe epilepsy (Yasinet al.Acta Neuropathologica 2010;120:85-96).


Professor Neil Sebire

Neil SebireProfessor Neil Sebire is Professor of Paediatric and Developmental Pathology at ICH/UCL and Consultant Paediatric Pathologist at GOSH. Having initially trained in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine, he trained in diagnostic pathology and now has research interests in placental pathology, paediatric tumour diagnosis and investigation of infant deaths.







Dr Liina Palm
Consultant Pathologist

LiinaLiina Palm completed her medical education at Tartu University, Estonia, in 1992 with a medical degree equivalent to MB BS (Hons) and undertook her training in general Histopathology at Tartu University Clinics and North-Estonian Regional Hospital, Tallinn, between 1992 and 1996. Liina gained her paediatric and perinatal training through apprenticeships at several hospitals in different countries, including Germany, Sweden and the Unites States. She was a pioneer in paediatric pathology in Estonia, by promoting it as a separate subspecialty of pathology and by setting up a network of paediatric and perinatal pathology at the main teaching hospitals of the country.

In 2004 Liina moved to the UK where she took up a post of a full time Consultant Paediatric and Perinatal Pathologist at Barts and The London NHS Trust and worked there until 2011. In January 2012 she took up the position of Consultant Paediatric Pathologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. In 2010 she gained FRCPath by nomination. She is a member of BRIPPA and a member of the committee of the Pediatric Pathology Society.

Liina has a wide experience in perinatal and paediatric autopsy pathology, including specialist autopsy work for HM Coroners and for the Metropolitan Police. She is the Clinical Lead for the Mortuary Service at GOSH. Her main area of interest is sudden unexpected infant death (SUDI) and related issues.


Glenn Anderson
Clinical Electron Microscopist

Glenn AndersonGlenn Anderson provides an ultrastructural diagnostic service to GOSH and other institutions in the UK and abroad. Electron microscopy is of value in the diagnosis of renal, neuromuscular and lysosomal storage disorders as well as other rare paediatric diseases. Glenn also has a particular interest in metabolic disorders including the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses and leads one of the few units in Europe to provide a prenatal diagnostic service for these conditions.

Glenn actively collaborates with clinical and scientific colleagues in research projects on a variety of topics, where ultrastructural morphology may aid understanding of disease processes and etiology.





Dr Kimberly Gilmour

Clinical Lead

Kimberly Gilmour received her BSc from Duke University (USA) and her PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (USA). She then completed a research fellowship studying T cell development at Cancer Research UK. She was appointed in 1999 to translate her PhD thesis research (STAT signaling) into clinical diagnostics. Since then she has developed and introduced a number of robust tests for diagnosing primary immune deficiency (PID). She has collaborated with the Molecular genetics service to introduce high throughput sequencing to diagnosing PID. She is also involved with a number of gene and cell therapy trials. She holds several research grants focused on developing and introducing novel diagnostics and monitoring for PID.  Kimberly has published over 60 papers and received her FRCPath by publications in 2012.  In her current role, she is Consultant Clinical Scientist and Clinical Lead for the Immunology laboratory (which in conjunction with NE Thames regional genetics provides a nationally funded and recognized service for primary immune deficiency) and Director of Cellular Therapy.   




Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control

Dr Garth Dixon
Clinical Lead

Garth Dixon
Garth Dixon is expert Paediatric Microbiologist and currently Lead Clinician for the Department of Microbiology, Virology and Infection Prevention and Control.  He has been a consultant at GOHS for five years.

Garth Dixon trained in paediatrics for six years and worked as a general paediatric registrar until undergoing training in Microbiology at the Royal Free Hospital then GOSH.  He obtained MRCPath in 2006 and took up a consultant post that year. Garth Dixon was awarded his PhD in 2000 at ICH

Garth has a special interest in using the latest molecular techniques, including whole genome sequencing, to better define how certain bacteria are able to cause more severe disease than others. Garth maintains a research interests in pathogenesis of Meningococcal disease, specifically, designing novel vaccines to help prevent the disease and also investigating how the bacterium induces damage to the blood vessel walls in severe forms of the disease.


Dr John Hartley
Consultant Microbiologist

John Hartley


Dr James Soothill
Consultant Microbiologist

James SoothillJames Soothill has been a consultant Microbiologist at GOSH for over ten years. He is responsible for the development of antibiotic policy and surveillance of infections of central venous catheters. His interests include the prevention of central venous catheter infection as well as the development for novel methods for the detection and control of  infection by antibiotic resistant bacteria.







Paediatric Malignancy Unit

Dr Helena Kempski
Clinical Lead

Dr Helena Kempski formally transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2004, from the Institute of Child Health (ICH) to head the Paediatric Malignancy Unit (PMU). She previously held the academic post of Senior Research Fellow in the Molecular Haematology and Cancer Biology (MHCB) unit at ICH and continues to maintain an honorary research position with UCL/ICH.  Helena's research interests include: (1) Acquired genomic changes in the acute leukaemias of infancy and childhood, (2) Transient abnormal myelopoiesis in Down Syndrome newborns, and (3) The application of single cell analysis in minimal residual disease. In addition to directing the PMU hospital diagnostic service, Helena is a member of the steering group committee of the UK Cancer Cytogenetics Group (UKCCG), and is a group leader in the MHCB research unit at UCL/ICH.


© 2011 Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust