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Learn more for Dr Ioanna Nixon


Who is Dr Ioanna Nixon?

Hello, my name is Ioanna Nixon, and I am a Cancer Specialist, an Educator, and a Coach. My mission is to support people with cancer to live better, longer lives, as well as teams and organisations to guard their wellbeing, foster resilience and thrive. I apply medical and management science knowledge, with coaching skills in an evidence-based person-centered approach, to help people, teams and organisations achieve their mission and goals.




Prof Nixon is a senior oncologist, specialising in the treatment of soft tissue and bone sarcomas, and GISTs, with over 20 years of experience in cancer care. She specialises in the treatment of people with a sarcoma or GIST diagnosis with chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, and clinical trials.

Prof Nixon has a number of National and International leadership roles, including as the National Clinical Lead for the Scottish Sarcoma Network (2015-2021), member of the NCRI Head and Neck Cancer Clinical research Group (2016-2021), UK Chair for the NCRI Epidemiology and Survivorship Clinical Research Group (2018-2021), and a member of the New Drugs Committee, Scottish Medicine Consortium (2021-2021). She is the Clinical Director for Oncology Services in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the biggest health board in Europe. She is an advisory board member for the British Sarcoma Group (since 2018), Regional Quality Improvement Lead (since 2018), and Cancer Innovation Lead for the West of Scotland (since 2022). Her research focuses on novel cancer therapies, quality of life and survivorship, service improvements and clinical innovations.

Oncology expert

She is passionate about person-centered care and to this end she has been trained in Applied Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice with the Institute of Functional Medicine in USA.

She has been awarded with a PhD in Radiotherapy, a Master in Public Health (MPH:Epidemiology) degree and is a Scottish Quality and Safety (SQS) Fellow. She holds developmental roles as an educational supervisor for junior doctors and specialty trainees in oncology and an appraiser for NHS Consultants. She is also an academic mentor for PhD students and a mentor in National Leadership Programmes, including the Scottish Improvement Leader’s programme by National Education for Scotland (NES).

In 2018 she was awarded as a Founding Fellow of Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) for leadership and contribution to improving patient-centered care and recently as Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR). Her team has been finalists for the BMJ Awards Cancer Team of the Year 2020 and for the HSJ Partnership awards 2021. She is finalist for the prestigious Scottish Women’s Awards 2023 under Service in Medicine category. 

Additional to her clinical work, Prof Nixon is an accomplished executive coach and uses her deep knowledge and experience to consult teams and organisations on change management, innovation, efficiency, and resilience.

Current Roles:

  • Senior Clinical Oncologist at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center
  • Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow
  • Cancer Innovation Lead, West of Scotland Innovation Hub
  • Regional Quality Improvement co-Lead
  • Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow
  • Professor of Practice, Management Science, at Strathclyde University, Business School
  • She is the Clinical Director for Oncology Services in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the biggest health board in Europe.



Dr Nixon is committed to and heavily involved in clinical research. She holds a PhD in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy awarded by Kapodistriakon University, Athens, Greece, and an MPH (Epidemiology) by Liverpool University. She has a leading role in sarcoma research in her department and holds a rich portfolio of clinical trials at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center, offering patients access to novel therapies.

During her leadership, she led on the development of the National Sarcoma Research Strategy, which led to the enhancement of novel research for sarcomas in Scotland. One example is the CRUK Accelerator Sarcoma Award ambitious research project, aiming to determine which patients with soft tissue sarcomas with benefit from chemotherapy, as well as develop novel therapies.

Dr Nixon is a co-applicant in a number of national and international studies. She supervises a number of PhDs and MDs.

She is Principal Investigator on the following clinical trials:

She is also leading on a number of patient-centred projects aiming at improving quality of life, and patient experience.


Outside clinical research, she is leading on research in concepts of leadership and innovation, as well as service improvements. Her PhD students are looking at change management in healthcare, personalised medicine and digital health. She is also involved in the high-profile evaluation of the Early Cancer Detection Centers on behalf of the Scottish Government.

National Research Roles

Dr Nixon was first appointed at the National Cancer Institute for Cancer Research (NCRI) Head and Neck Group in 2015. She was appointed as the Chair for NCRI Head and Neck Epidemiology and Survivorship Clinical Research Group in 2018. She is now a member of the NCRI Soft Tissue Sarcoma Clinical Research Group (NCRI), and a member of the following European Organisation on Research for Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).

  • Radiotherapy
  • Soft tissue and bone sarcomas
  • Quality of Life


Cancer Coach

Dr Nixon is the clinical lead for Cancer in the West of Scotland Innovation Hub.


Dr Ioanna Nixon has been invited speaker ,presenter and had her work presented at a number of national and international conferences and webinars, including:

  • Scotland Policy Conferences, Policy Forum for Wales and N. Ireland on “Next Steps for cancer care in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”, 13 October 2022.
  • ‘International Webinar on Good Practices for improving the efficiency of cancer treatment in Europe, organised by EUREGHA, 6th , click here.
  • BMJ/FMLM Leaders in Healthcare Conference 2021, London, 8-11 November 2021.
  • Inspiring Innovation in Cancer Care Webinar, 7th February 2023, click here.
  • Faculty and organising committee for BSG2021, Virtual Conference, 24 & 25 February 2021.
  • 4th International Masterclass of Sarcoma and Rare Cancers, MTeams, 27th November 2021.
  • President for British Sarcoma Group Conference 2020, Glasgow, 26 – 27 February 2020, click here.
  • BARPAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons) Webinar, 25th June 2020.
  • Faculty member The 3rd European Head and Neck Society Workshop on Robotic Surgery in Head and Neck, 21 – 22 November 2019.
  • Scottish Oncology Summit, 1 – 2 November 2019, click here.
  • Faculty 17th World Congress of the International Academy of Oral Oncology (IAOO), click here.
  • BMJ in Faculty of Medical Leaders in Healthcare Conference, 14 November 2018, Birmingham.


Dr Nixon is passionate about person – centered care and what matters to patients and carers. To this end, she is working with patients and carers to co-produce care, raise awareness on sarcomas through educating public and healthcare professionals, and improve cancer journey all the way through from diagnosis to survivorship.


Spinal Sarcoma Priority Setting Partnership (PSP)

Dr Nixon is part of the Spinal Sarcoma Priority Setting Partnership (PSP), which aims to bring together the spectrum of people with spinal sarcoma, their families, carers, charities and clinicians from each step in the patient care pathway, using the James Lind Alliance (JLA) process, to determine the Top 10 research priorities in Spinal Sarcoma. We will publicise these to help inform future research strategies. A secondary benefit of the process is that it will help build and develop clinical, scientific, and patient networks across the United Kingdom to enhance teamwork and cohesion in treating spinal sarcoma.


Dr Nixon is leading on a novel project to co-design innovation priorities with patients and families. Project is facilitated through the West of Scotland Innovation Hub and endorsed by NHS GGC.


She is working with cancer charities, including as an Advisory Board member for the Throat Cancer Foundation.

She is an Advisory Board Member for the British Sarcoma Group.

She is part of the Cancer Tapestry Team, a novel art project led by her former patient Andrew Crummy, aiming to educate patients and general public on cancer, highlighting the importance of compassion in care.


 During COVID-19 pandemic she wrote and illustrated a free book to explain COVID-19 pandemic to children. The book went viral, got translated into 11 languages, and was the start of a series of children’s books to educate and coach them and families on health promotion, life-style behaviours and wellbeing. As a social entrepreneur Dr Nixon is the founder of Jack and Dr Betty, as well as Wee Leaders Hub, both invested to educate children and families on leading a healthy, joyful, purposeful life.

Are you seeking treatment for sarcoma or wanting a second opinion?

Click here to contact Dr Ioanna Nixon.