Dr Dheeraj Rai, Chief Investigator
Dheeraj is a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Bristol and a Consultant Psychiatrist in the NHS. In his clinical role, he has worked with autistic people and people with learning disabilities for over 10 years. He has carried out large epidemiological studies highlighting the high rates of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety in autistic people. He leads a group of interdisciplinary researchers, with a focus on carrying out research which has the potential to help improve the health and lives of autistic people and people with other developmental conditions. He passionately believes that involving autistic people and other stakeholders in research is necessary. Dheeraj is particularly grateful to members of the STRATA Autistic Advisory Group, who have contributed to the development of STRATA with their views and suggestions since the time when STRATA was just an idea.
Dr Amanda Lewis, Senior Trial Manager
Amanda is currently a Senior Trial Manager at the Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration unit, part of the Bristol Trials Centre. She joined the department in 2014 as Trial Manager for the UPSTREAM trial, which focuses on the diagnosis and management of bladder outlet obstruction for men in 26 hospitals in England. Amanda also provides day-to-day operational management, and senior oversight and support for several NIHR-funded multi-centre RCTs (RELIEF, PURSUIT, and STRATA). These trials take place across a range of research themes in various settings (e.g. secondary care urology and urogynaecology units, Emergency Departments (A&E), and Mental Health Services) and in differing population groups (e.g. men with lower urinary tract symptoms, women with recurrent stress urinary incontinence, older adults with rib fractures needing urgent care, and adults with a diagnosis of autism and anxiety). Outside of work, Amanda enjoys the great outdoors, music (classical in particular), and photography.
Doug Webb, Trial Manager
Doug is a Clinical Trial Manager with experience in the delivery of clinical research in the areas of mental health, neurology, dermatology, and metabolic disease. He is based within the Bristol Randomised Trials Collaboration, part of the Bristol Trials Centre, and is excited to be managing the STRATA trial. As a keen outdoor enthusiast in his spare time, you will most likely see him hiking in the mountains or at his local parkrun (he does enjoy a coffee, cake, and a chat too)!
Dr Jade Eloise Norris, Senior Research Associate in Autism Research
Jade is working on the participant recruitment and engagement aspects of STRATA. Jade is also Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bath Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR), with research interests in adapting communication for autistic people in interviews and consultations, including in healthcare, employment, and in the Criminal Justice System. As a result of this work, Jade created the Ambassadors for Autism scheme to enable service providers and employers to adapt their communication for autistic people, with Ambassadors including hospitals, health boards, and the Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment & Support Talent Acquisition Team. Jade volunteered as a Special Constable with Police Services in England and Wales between 2010 and 2020. Outside of work, Jade enjoys nature, travelling, and live music.
If you are potentially interested in taking part in STRATA, please visit the Taking part in the UK page.