Meet The Team

AZoNetwork Team

Editorial Team

April Cashin-Garbutt

April graduated from Pembroke College, Cambridge with a first-class honours degree in Natural Sciences. Specific modules in the History and Philosophy of Science, sparked her keen interest in science and medical news and communication. In her spare time April enjoys presenting hospital and community radio shows.

James Ives

James graduated from Plymouth University with a first class MPsych (Hons) in Advanced Psychology, where he particularly enjoyed getting stuck in with EEG experiments, volunteering and any pub quiz around. After graduating, James travelled to Australia for a year, touring the South East and getting a taste of freelance cameraman work. In his spare time, James continues to enjoy pub quizzing, travelling and particularly enjoys when England beat Australia in the cricket.

Feature Writers

Chloe Barnett
Chloe Barnett
Feature Writer

Chloe has a BSc in Medical Sciences from the University of Leeds and during her time there she enjoyed being close to the Yorkshire dales. Chloe loves the outdoors, spending her spare time hiking and exploring the UK countryside as well as listening to live music and running.

Kate Bass
Feature Writer

Kate graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a biochemistry BSc degree. She also has a natural flair for writing and enthusiasm for scientific communication, which made medical writing an obvious career choice. In her spare time, Kate enjoys walking in the hills with friends and travelling to learn more about different cultures around the world.

Kenneth Jay Bender, Pharm.D., M.A.
Kenneth Jay Bender, Pharm.D., M.A.
Feature Writer

Ken received a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Southern California and a Masters in Human Behavior/Medical Sociology. He taught at the Universities of Florida and of Illinois before returning to the western U.S., as pharmacy director of psychiatric and geriatric hospitals and clinical faculty of the University of Nevada Reno. In addition to skiing and kayaking in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains, he has authored a textbook for Sage Publications, and now reports on medical developments for Psychiatric Times, Medscape Medical News and others.

Susha Cheriyedath
Feature Writer

Susha has a Master’s degree in Life Sciences from University of Calicut, India. With over 12 years of editorial experience, she enjoys medical writing and is passionate about health and nutrition. Apart from freelance writing, she also volunteers for a non-profit organization in Ontario. In her spare time, she loves to cook up a storm in the kitchen with her super-messy baking experiments.

Dustin Chernick
Feature Writer

Dustin graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied Molecular & Cellular Biology. He is now a 4th year Pharmacology PhD Candidate at the University of Minnesota, where his research is focused on cardiovascular connections to Alzheimer's disease. Dustin has a passion for science, and enjoys science writing as a way to spread knowledge of new discoveries to a wider audience. Outside of his scientific endeavors, Dustin loves to golf, ski, and paint alongside old Bob Ross re-runs.

Susan Chow
Feature Writer

Susan holds a PhD in cell and molecular biology from Dartmouth College in the United States and is also a certified editor in the life sciences (ELS). She worked in a diabetes research lab for many years before becoming a medical and scientific writer. Susan loves to write about all aspects of science and medicine but is particularly passionate about sharing advances in cancer therapies. Outside of work, Susan enjoys reading, spending time at the lake, and watching her sons play sports.

Joseph Constance
Joseph Constance
Feature Writer

Joseph Constance has written about research, development, and markets in the health care and related fields. He has authored a number of articles, and business analysis/market research reports in the medical device, clinical diagnostics, and pharmaceutical areas. Joseph holds an MA from New York University in Communications. He enjoys spending time with his wife, biking, traveling, and learning about different cultures.

Shelley Farrar Stoakes
Feature Writer

Shelley has a Master's degree in Human Evolution from the University of Liverpool and is currently working on her PhD, researching comparative primate and human skeletal anatomy. She is passionate about science communication with a particular focus on reporting the latest science news and discoveries to a broad audience. Outside of her research and science writing, Shelley enjoys reading, discovering new bands in her home city and going on long dog walks.

Oliver Fleck
Feature Writer

Oliver graduated from Imperial College London, after doing a research-based Masters in Bioengineering. He is currently a PhD student at Cambridge University, where his research involves lots of fiddly work with cells. His spare time is spent climbing, cycling, riding motorbikes, and making games using 3D printing and laser cutting.

Angela Garland
Feature Writer

Angela holds a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Leicester and is currently finishing an MSc in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College. She has a keen interest in musicals and singing, being a member of several choirs throughout her time at university. She spends her free time “hitting people with swords” which is otherwise known as fencing.

Afsaneh Khetrapal
Feature Writer

Afsaneh graduated from Warwick University with a First class honours degree in Biomedical science. During her time here her love for neuroscience and scientific journalism only grew and have now steered her into a career with the journal, Scientific Reports under Springer Nature. Of course, she isn’t always immersed in all things science and literary; her free time involves a lot of oil painting and beach-side walks too.

Huw Kidwell
Feature Writer

Huw has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from University of Wales (Swansea) and has studied polymer and material science in the US at Ohio University. Following Post-doctoral work for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and GlaxoSmithKline he researched natural products at a small biotechnology company in mid-Wales. He finally succumbed to his more creative side and joined forces with his partner to write articles for magazines and websites. Currently residing in Bedfordshire he divides his time between his two springer spaniels and writing interesting and engaging articles in business, medicine, defence, energy and travel.

Cashmere Lashkari
Cashmere Lashkari
Feature Writer

Cashmere graduated from Nowrosjee Wadia College, Pune with distinction in English Honours with Psychology. She went on to gain two post graduations in Public Relations and Human Resource Training and Development. She has worked as a content writer for nearly two decades. Occasionally she conducts workshops for students and adults on persona enhancement, stress management, and law of attraction.

Ananya Mandal
Feature Writer

Ananya is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Brandon May
Feature Writer

Brandon spent his years at university studying nutrition and quickly discovered that he didn't want to practice as a conventional dietitian. His love for writing and communicating science, medical, and health content to consumers and health professionals led him to medical writing following graduation with his BS in Nutrition and Dietetics. With more than 7 years of professional writing and editing under his belt, Brandon is driven to providing accurate and informative health content to the public. When he's not writing, Brandon enjoys experimenting with gluten-free baking and exploring New England.

Tomislav Meštrović
Feature Writer

Tomislav is a medical doctor with a PhD in biomedical and health sciences, specialist in the field of clinical microbiology, and an Assistant Professor at Croatia's youngest university - University North. In addition to his interest in clinical, research and lecturing activities, his immense passion for medical writing and scientific communication goes back to his student days. He enjoys contributing back to the community. In his spare time, Tomislav is a movie buff and an avid traveler.

Kirsty Oswald
Feature Writer

Kirsty has a BSc in Human Sciences from University College London. After several years working as medical copywriter, she became a medical journalist and is now freelance. Kirsty also works part-time as an editor for a London-based charity. She is particularly interested in the social and cultural aspects of science.

Sally Robertson
Feature Writer

Sally graduated from Greenwich University with a first-class honours degree in Biomedical Science. After five years working in the scientific publishing sector, Sally developed an interest in medical journalism and copywriting and went on to pursue this on a freelance basis. In her spare time Sally enjoys cross-country biking and walking, tennis and crosswords.

Catherine Shaffer
Catherine Shaffer
Feature Writer

Catherine Shaffer is a freelance science and health writer from Michigan. She has written for a wide variety of trade and consumer publications on life sciences topics, particularly in the area of drug discovery and development. She holds a Master's degree in Biological Chemistry and began her career as a laboratory researcher before transitioning to science writing. She also writes and publishes fiction, and in her free time enjoys yoga, biking, and taking care of her pets.

Yolanda Smith
Yolanda Smith
Feature Writer

Yolanda graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of South Australia and has experience working in both Australia and Italy. She is passionate about how medicine, diet and lifestyle affect our health and enjoys helping people understand this. In her spare time she loves to explore the world and learn about new cultures and languages.

Liji Thomas
Liji Thomas
Feature Writer

Liji Thomas is an OB-GYN, who graduated as gold medallist from the Government Medical College, University of Calicut, Kerala, in 2001. Liji practiced as a full-time consultant in obstetrics/gynecology in a private hospital for a few years following her graduation. She has counseled hundreds of patients facing issues from pregnancy-related problems and infertility, and has been in charge of over 2,000 deliveries, striving always to achieve a normal delivery rather than operative.

Jonas Wilson
Feature Writer

Jonas hails from the lovely Caribbean island of St. Martin and is a medical doctor in training at the University of Zagreb Teaching Hospital. He finely compliments this training in general medicine and surgery with a degree in biomolecular engineering from Utrecht, the Netherlands and carried out his dissertation for this qualification in the field of oncology at the Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts General Hospital. Alongside his dedication to medicine, science, research and family, he is an avid debater, enjoys writing and trains mixed martial arts.

Videography Team

Kris Walker
Editor & Videographer

Kris has a BA(hons) in Media & Performance from the University of Salford. Combining editing with video, Kris is also our resident Social media expert. Outside of work, Kris is finally seeing a return on 25 years of hurt supporting Manchester City.

Will Soutter
Editor & Videographer

Will has a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a MSc in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

Customer Relationship Team

Philip Melnik
North American Relationship Manager

Phil is a 10 year veteran of the digital marketing world with past stints at both GlobalSpec and Compare Networks. A 1982 graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, NY (BA- History), Phil is an avid Internet marketing evangelist and a student of markets, literature, life, faith and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lee Pickering
Relationship Manager

Lee has over 20 years’ of marketing and advertising experience working for some of the largest radio, TV and online companies in the world. He has a passion for understanding the requirements of the client and coming up with solutions to meet the needs of their business. He is also a proud father of a 9 year old son and a 6 year old daughter and spends his weekends coaching soccer matches and watching a mix of kids rugby, athletics, swimming and street dance.

Alina Shrourou
Account Manager

Alina graduated from The University of Manchester with a BSc in Zoology. Alongside her love of animals, Alina discovered a passion for writing and science communication during her degree. In her spare time, Alina enjoys exercising her creative side through baking, as well as going to the gym in order to lessen the guilt of consuming the baked goods.

Frank Barker
Digital Marketing Consultant

Frank graduated from Loughborough University with a BSc in International Business. He has spent his younger years playing rugby around the world in both Australia and Spain. Although Frank has a keen interest in combining travel and sport, he has since returned to his hometown and currently plays for the local 1st XV.

Matt Pullen
Relationship Manager

Graduating from the University of Greenwich with a degree in Sports Science, Matt now has over 18 years marketing and advertising experience within Publishing, Broadcast, Events and Digital. He has worked with many clients on a global level offering creative solutions in a highly consultative and professional manner. Passionate about delivering the best results and growing relationships, Matt is happiest when talking and offering solutions to his clients. Outside of work, Matt provides an excellent taxi service for his two children at the weekend and encourages their pursuit of activity whatever the weather. A fan of all sports, he most enjoys rugby (from the side lines these days). And cooking for the family at the weekend!

Hannah Clark
Relationship Manager

Hannah has over 10 years’ experience in the Media Sales Industry and has worked for some of the largest publishers in England both in print and digital. Hannah also has a creative flare and invented, manufactured and successfully sold a innovative dribble absorbent clothing range called DribbleDry. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her two boys, going out for food and drinks with friends and keeping fit where possible.

SEO/Web Services Team

Dave Cockett
Web Services Manager

Dave has 18 years’ experience in digital marketing & started his career in the midst of the .com boom. Dave worked with Blue Chip search engines Lycos, Ask Jeeves & for a brief period MSN before successfully founding his own Digital Marketing Agency. Dave’s main skill sets are Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization. He brings all the necessary experience and skills to help lead our web services team. He is a passionate about educating businesses in what ‘SEO’ is and how they can increase their own enquiry and conversion rates. On the days when he’s not optimizing he loves watching Burnley FC & testing his skills and the poker table.

Jess Malloney
SEO Account Manager

Jess graduated with a BA (Hons) in Media and Journalism from Nottingham Trent University. It was here where she broadened her writing skills across a wide range of content, and Jess still enjoys writing in and out of work. Jess is a keen traveller, spending time in Brazil and Ghana over recent years, and she’d love to see more of the world. In her spare time, Jess enjoys shopping and going to gigs with friends.

Development Team

Joel Scanlon
Digital Guru

Joel, originally from the UK, emigrated to Australia in 1995 and spent 5 years working in the mining industry as an exploration Geo-technician where he developed skills in GIS Mapping and CAD. Joel also spent a year working underground in a gold/copper mine. Upon moving to the North Coast of NSW, Australia Joel worked as a graphic designer for a leading consultancy firm before starting a successful business providing graphic and web design services to local businesses on the eastern seaboard of Australia. Joel is skilled in project management, web programming, design, animation, database and networking, software and editing. Joel has been with AZoNetwork since its inception in 2000.

Ben Amada

Ben's career has focused on architecting, developing and maintaining I.T. systems. Integrating applications with 3rd party systems, improving application usability, troubleshooting and coming up with innovative solutions are Ben's strengths and areas of work he enjoys. In his leisure time, Ben can be found dining out or following his favourite sporting events.

Torsten Christensen
Torsten Christensen
Front-End Developer

Torsten has been working in web design for over 6 years. During that time he has worked with a large number of clients, working for a well established design agency as well as for himself. Other than his passion for design, Torsten has a keen interest in music and can often be found at gigs or playing his guitar.

Arminder Dahul
Lead Developer

Arminder graduated from the University of Greenwich with a First Class Honours degree in Computer Science. Over the last 12 years Arminder has worked in various industries including publishing, insurance and media. He has always been passionate about web development and design and enjoys utilising these skills across AZoNetwork. In his free time Arminder enjoys spending time with his two children, cooking, reading and way too much TV.

Evgeny Lukiyanov
Lead Developer

Evgeny is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer, specialising in .NET development, architecture, modern development techniques and best practices. He is passionate about development teams that welcome modern technologies, best practices and Agile development principles. He enjoys a number of hobbies in his spare time: traveling & photography, fitness & bodybuilding, recording music, snowboarding, hiking & camping, playing board games with friends and family.

Beth Burton
Front-End Web Developer

Beth graduated with an International business degree from University of Liverpool and an MSc in Computer Science. In her spare time she likes to go to concerts, especially country, going to the gym and seeing friends, as well as enhancing her programming skills.

Management Team

Ian Birkby

Ian is a second time around entrepreneur, who founded Dynamic-Ceramic in 1992 and led the company through to a successful exit in 1997. AZoNetwork was established in 2000 in Sydney Australia. Ian has a first class honours degree in Engineering Metallurgy and Ph.D. in Engineering Ceramics and Tribology. Ian's a former member of the Institute of Materials, Materials Strategy Commission and the UK's Institute of Ceramics. He also served as Chairman of Medilink North West (a medical devices consortium) and is a former Director of the Australian Nano Business Forum. When not indulging in his passion for all things webby, techy and digital he can still be seen running around the soccer field trying desperately to emulate his Leeds United heroes from the 70's.

Rolf Easto
Global Relationship Manager

Rolf started his sales career back in the days when print advertising was in vogue and with twenty-five years’ worth of ‘hard yards’ behind him in direct selling, sales management and running a successful manufacturing business, he brings all the necessary experience and skills to help lead our global sales operation. He is a passionate advocate of relationship building and customer service across all levels of the business. On the days when he’s not spreading the ‘AZoGospel’ Rolf can be found watching his local rugby club, mountain biking in the hills and catching up on all things related to his love of soul music.

Kirsten Frances
Office Manager

A background in healthcare based further education lecturing and 5 years plus in Sales Management with Clarins Skincare, Kirsten brings to her role of Office Manager (or chief cat herder as she sometimes calls it) a wealth of corporate organisational experience. She's a a passionate advocate of customer service and would love to hear from you if you're only a mildly upset customer. Outside of work Kirsten enjoys spending time with her three girls and swimming in as many rock pools as she can find on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Rachel Fisher
Finance Manager

Rachel graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in management and sport. Following her studies, she spent 7 years with a UK startup company, which made prototype parts and grew rapidly into a £10m+ company, studying CIMA alongside. She recently relocated "Up North" and found this great opportunity within the AZo Team. In her spare time she can be found coaching kids football, dog training, playing the piano and baking.

Liz Boston-Brady
Accounts Manager

Liz has been working in finance for over 6 years, and has gained experience within all the different aspects of an accounting team. She is currently studying for her qualifications alongside working full-time. Outside of work, Liz enjoys socialising with friends and family, shopping and cooking (not always successfully). She also enjoys taking her dog out and about. Liz also enjoys travelling, particularly camping and would love the chance/time to explore more.

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2017