About Us

JD Dr Jessica Deighton is the deputy director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU). Her research concerns the relationship between social, emotional and educational outcomes for children and the effectiveness of interventions to improve children’s mental health and well-being in school and health-based settings. She leads and collaborates on studies funded by the Department of Health, Department for Education and the Health foundation that focus on evaluation of large scales interventions aimed at improving health and mental health outcomes for children and young people across health and education settings.
MW Professor Miranda Wolpert, MBE, is Professor in Evidence Based Practice and Research at UCL, Head of the Innovation, Evaluation and Dissemination programme at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) and Director of the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC). Miranda is a clinical psychologist by background and worked for many years in the NHS and schools providing therapy to young people and families in London and Bedfordshire. Miranda is committed to developing and disseminating the evidence base in relation to child mental health service provision, and is recognised for her contributions to help ensure patient voice is at the heart of clinical practice and service commissioning.
NH Professor Neil Humphrey is the Head of the Manchester Institute of Education and Professor of Psychology and Education. His research interests include social and emotional learning, mental health, and special educational needs. Neil’s work in these areas has been supported by various funding bodies, including the National Institute for Health Research, Big Lottery Fund, and Education Endowment Foundation. He is the author of, “Social and Emotional Learning: A Critical Appraisal”, published by Sage. Neil is a member of the ESRC mental health expert group and the children and young people’s research working group for the Department of Health’s 10-year strategy for mental health.
PC Dr Polly Casey is a Research Fellow at the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU). She has been conducting research on families and family relationships for almost ten years, first within academia and more recently in a more applied sense within the voluntary sector evaluating the outcomes of couple (or inter-parental) interventions on whole families. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2012, and has published on areas including assisted conception families, same-sex families, and relationship support.
KM Kate Martin has over 15 years experience of working across the youth, social care, disability and mental health sectors in the UK. Kate’s experience centres on children and young people’s participation, shared decision making and collaborative practice, as well as in promoting children’s rights and disability equality. Kate is also working on her PhD at the UCL Institute of Education, researching shared decision with young people with mental health issues.
TL Dr Tanya Lereya is a research fellow at the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU). Her research interests focus on investigating factors that help children in the face of adversity. Tanya completed her PhD at the University of Warwick which focused on the precursors and consequences of bullying involvement. Following her PhD, she worked as a research fellow at the University of Warwick and before joining the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) based across University College London and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. She is interested in the relationship between social, emotional and educational outcomes for children and identifying protective factors that help children in the face of adversity.
Dr Melissa Cortina (on maternity leave) is a research fellow at the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU). She has extensive experience in service and intervention evaluation in public and private sector for children and young people’s mental health. She has been working with local authorities, CCGs, schools, and mental health professionals to better support young people and promote resilience (Mental Health Services and Schools Link Pilots [CASCADE]; Youth Wellbeing Initiative). She also supervises quantitative and qualitative MSc projects.
MP Dr Margarita Panayiotou is a postdoctoral research associate at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Edinburgh, her studies focusing on the development of the Revised WHOQOL-BREF quality of life measure. Her main research interests are in psychometrics, mental health, and promotion of well-being.
Lawrence Wo is a research associate at the University of Manchester supporting various projects from maths education to student wellbeing, with experience in data collection and analysis and in developing websites and other online applications to support teachers and researchers.
KD Kate Dalzell is the Practice Lead at the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC). She heads up the CORC team that supports practitioners and organisations to work with outcome measures and collect outcome data on the ground, and to use that to develop services and strengthen commissioning. Kate is also the Head of Innovation and Dissemination at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Kate’s background is in service development in a local authority context, and in particular applying data-driven approaches to embed a focus on outcomes. She has been active in improving service collaboration and coordination around community needs through her work across a range of public, voluntary and community sector bodies – in particular in regeneration contexts.
KB2 Kim Burrell is the Northern Hub Coordinator for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families based in the Manchester Institute of Education. She has a background in academic and public sector research focussing on young people, including the role of schools in supporting the emotional wellbeing of young people and drug and alcohol misuse among vulnerable young people.
 Joao4 Joao Santos is a Research Associate and Data Manager at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester. João has worked in research settings for the past 10 years and, in 2017, he was awarded his PhD in Clinical Psychology by the University of Edinburgh, where he studied cognitive processes in individuals suffering from mood disorders. João’s interests include, but are not limited to, statistics, data visualisation, and research methods.