Our Champions

David John

Events Lead

Joining Donor Research will boost my knowledge of the importance of organ donation. It will also allow me to create awareness among my peers about blood and organ donation for a healthy and equal society. I will definitely learn a lot working with experts in the field. Moreover, this experience will help me grow and boost my CV.


Gunnika Jain

Events Lead

I am currently a Biomedical Science student at the University of Brighton. I want to join Donor Research as I want to spread more awareness about organ donation. I am quite surprised that not many people know about organ donation and transplants. As an international student from India, I can confidently say that very few people have any idea about organ donation and when made aware are quite averse to the idea. Also, I would like to find out about organ donation in minority communities. I look forward to working in the team and spreading accurate information to as many people as possible!


Charlotte Slaughter

Digital Communications and Outreach Lead

I am a Biomedical Science undergraduate student with a genuine interest in Donor Research and education. I believe that sharing knowledge and information about organ donation enables individuals to make informed decisions. Additionally, I believe that Donor Research creates a dialogue within the public, reducing the spread of misinformation and breaking the stigma around organ donation.

I look forward to managing social media and other digital communications for Donor Research; I hope that through my work I can extend the reach that Donor Research has across the university and into the wider community.


Emily Bowker

I am a Journalism student at the University of Brighton. I have become a champion because I want to help others share their knowledge and information about organ donation. As a student, I had little knowledge on the benefits surrounding organ donation but by becoming a champion for Donor Research I want to help change the misinformation about organ donation that still may be within the public.


Samantha Beckwith

Photography Lead

I am now studying Photography at the University of Brighton and have become the offical photographer for Donor Research. I am a kidney transplant recipient who’s passionate about spreading awareness around organ & blood donation!


Marianna Valouma

By being part of the UoB Donor Research team, I am hoping to spread awareness and encourage conversations around organ donation in a safe, inclusive and positive environment.


Davina Twumasi

I am a Biomedical Science student at University of Warwick and I’m driven to deeply understand blood/organ donation and the related conversations surrounding it, particularly in Black communities. Learning from real experiences, I hope to gain knowledge about these topics and play a role in positive change, contributing passionately to projects done by Donor Research.


Xin Yi Teo

I’m Xin Yi, a Illustration BA student. I got to know about Donor Research through an illustration opportunity they put out, which was a chance for me to create visual stories for a meaningful cause while gaining work experience. Working with a team that puts in so much work and heart into what they believe in has been inspiring to me as a storyteller, and I look forward to what we will create together.

Lexi Langwith-Green

I am currently in my first year studying Biomedical Science (BSc) and have joined the Donor Research Team in the hope of inspiring others to donate and consider transplantation to save the lives of others. I feel that there is a lot of misconception surrounding donating and organ transplantations, my main goal is to inform the local community and the nation about the subject to show how a little bit of help from them can hugely benefit and support those in hospital, those suffering with certain medical conditions and save lives. I am very passionate about health care and hope to make a difference by joining this team.


Kalika Iyer

I am enthusiastic about joining an organ and blood donation society because I am deeply committed to making a tangible and positive impact on the lives of others. The prospect of contributing to a cause that directly saves lives and improves health outcomes is a driving force behind my desire to be a part of such a society. Organ and blood donation play a critical role in addressing health emergencies and providing crucial support to individuals in need. By actively participating in a donation society, I aim to raise awareness about the importance of organ and blood donation, dispel myths surrounding these processes, and encourage my peers to join the cause. I am passionate about fostering a sense of community engagement and altruism, and I believe that being a member of this society will allow me to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of others.


Jana Thirunavukkarasu

I am a Biomedical Science student and having previously worked in the healthcare sector, my interest in organ donation has nothing but intensified by becoming a part of the Donor Research team at Brighton! Being Sri Lankan myself, I have noticed that this topic of conversation can be a difficult one to approach, however, being part of this community has made it feel far easier to address misconstrued information, not only with my friends and family, but also with the work we do with schools, that may hold someone back from being an organ donor and potentially saving nine lives. 


Parneet Nayyar

My name is Parneet, and I am currently a first year Biomedical Science student at the University of Brighton. I would like to learn more about why there is such a shortage in organ donation within BAME communities. Being South Asian I have found that many family members are usually not willing to donate or even talk about the subject and yet have no particular reason why and therefore highlights that the stigma is arising due to misinformation which I would like to help change. I am excited to work as a part of the research team and help inform people through outreach projects and much more!


Vishsmitha Gunalan

My name is Vishsmitha Gunalan (Wish)and I’m from Malaysia. As a soon to be second year biomedical science student and as part of the donor research team, my job is to educate as many people of colour (poc) as myself about the importance of signing up for organ donation. Being a part of this amazing dynamic team encourages me to break stereotypes and take in the knowledge of organ and blood donor research. I am so ready to commit and grow with this team.

Thivya Kularajan

I am a medical student at Brighton & Sussex Medical School, and Biomedical Science graduate from the University of Brighton. I have witnessed first-hand the importance of donation, but having grown up in a South Asian household, I am aware of the difficulties in talking about donation in some communities. I appreciate Donor Research opening up those conversations, because it is rarely the case that people don’t want to help – it’s just that they have not been given the right information! I’m thrilled to be a part of a team of people that are working to change that.

Amber Ansombe

I am studying Biomedical Science BSc and have become a Champion for the NHSBT Funded Donor Research Team to simply try and help people and save lives. In order to do this, we will create awareness and break through boundaries, by educating the public against misconceptions, and by empowering people to have the confidence to initiate conversations about blood and organ donation. I want to work towards highlighting the importance and positivity donating brings; it saves lives! Currently, only 50% of the UK are aware of their blood type, there is a 1:6 organ donor to organ recipient ratio, and every organ donor has the potential to save up to 9 lives. Let’s make a change!


Lois Leese

I am studying Biomedical Sciences BSc. Many of the issues surrounding blood and organ transplantation have clear alignment with elements of my course, such as in the blood sciences, genetics, and in biochemistry. But what really draws me to this research team is the fact that it opens up a broader conversation around the ethics involved, with a particular emphasis on the socio-cultural & religious beliefs that may impact an individual’s choices when deciding whether or not to become a donor. Through joining the team, I hope to learn more and to understand how we can better approach the topic of donation, using models that work across all ethnicities and belief systems.


Nadeen Alay

I study Biomedical Science and I am currently on placement as a Trainee Student Biomedical Scientist. I have always been extremely fascinated about Blood and Organ donation; in particular the barriers involved in ensuring successful transplantations, as well as the risk that misinformation has on our community’s awareness of how to register as a donor and their right to Opt-out if they do not wish to. As an individual from an ethnically diverse background; I have seen first-hand the sheer lack of conversation around Organ donation; as part of Donor Research I hope to change family and friends perspectives around this topic – ‘it’s not a taboo!’ I am a B+ Blood Donor and this means that my blood can be used in treatment of Sickle Cell. The element that captivated me the most about the Donor Research Team, is the fact that I will be part of a co-productive project with many different academics and students and I am excited to learn and develop with them. I hope to develop leadership skills and be at the forefront on ethical discussions about donations.