College of Life Sciences


Photo of Kate Williams

Professor Kate Williams

Kate Williams is Professor of Education in Applied Health Research, Lead for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Life Sciences and the staff co-lead of MedRACE, a student staff group at Leicester medical School. Kate trained as nurse before completing a degree in Politics at Warwick University. She completed her PhD in Applied Health Research and went on to conduct research-evaluating services for a range of long-term conditions. She leads the Masters in Research Programme in Applied Health Research and provides support in the Leicester Medical School pastoral support unit. Her energy and enthusiasm for EDI has resulted in a record of accomplishment of leading projects around equity and inclusion at University, College and School level. She led the first department, college and University Silver Athena Swan awards for Leicester (that recognise good practice in gender equality), developed, and delivered ambitious strategies to embed EDI in the University and College of Life Sciences. She is committed to identifying and removing barriers to inclusion for staff and students and has led multiple projects addressing inequalities through gentle but persistent activism!

Keynote speakers

Photo of A SowemimoDr Annabelle Sowemimo

Dr Annabel Sowemimo is a doctor, academic, activist, and writer. As well as being a Sexual and Reproductive Health Registrar in the NHS, she is co-director and founder of charity the Reproductive Justice Initiative (RJI) (formerly Decolonising Contraception), which aims to address health inequalities and racial disparities. They have been shortlisted for numerous awards, winning grassroots organisation of the year at the 2020 Sexual Health Awards and a National LGBTQ Health Advisor award in 2022. Within her specialty, she is interested in tackling Gender Based Violence and improving access for marginalised groups. She is a regular columnist for gal-dem as well as a freelance writer having written for The Independent, The Guardian and numerous other publications. As well as jointly hosting The Sex Agenda podcast, she is frequently in demand for TV and radio.

Annabel is a part-time PhD candidate and Harold Moody Scholar at King’s College London with her research focusing on the experiences of Black British women with fertility control methods. As well as writing for mainstream publications, she has co-authored several academic publications. Annabel firmly believes that healthcare should be about empowering people with knowledge to make informed choices about their bodies. She spends her spare time campaigning on reproductive justice, against NHS cuts and improving healthcare for marginalised groups. Her first book Divided: Racism, Medicine and Decolonising Healthcare will be published by Profile Books/Wellcome Collection in April 2023.

Photo of E MensahDr Evelyn Mensah

Evelyn (Evie) Mensah is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Central Middlesex Hospital, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust where she is the Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology. Evie is also Co-Lead for the North West London Ophthalmology Clinical Reference Group. Evie obtained her medical degree from Imperial College and her ophthalmology training was at Moorfields where she was also the Senior Surgical Resident for the medical retina service. Her expertise includes the management of medical retinal disease and complex cataract surgery in patients with medical retina co-morbidity. She is a previous educational supervisor and college tutor to Ophthalmology Specialist Trainees (OSTs) in her unit and she has also trained and accredited a multi-professional workforce (Nurse Practitioners, Optometrists and Orthoptists) to take on extended roles managing long term medical retina conditions. Evie has been the recipient of two ‘Best Trainer in Ophthalmology’ awards over the past four years from NHS Health Education England (HEE), nominated by the London OSTs.

Evie is involved in charity work in West Africa and has developed an innovative diabetic retinopathy management course for West African Ophthalmologists that is underpinned by input from educators at University College London and the West African College of Surgeons. She also runs an innovative Laser simulation course for London OSTs supported by HEE. Evie is the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Expert for her Trust that comprises a 67% global majority workforce. Evie is also a member of the Medical Workforce Race Equality Standards (MWRES) London Steering Group, designed to develop a collaborative approach to improving the MWRES data for London through the formation of a partnership with NHS England and Improvement, Health Education England and the General Medical Council.


Student panel

Photo of S ShahSarwar Shah, Warwick, 3rd Year Student

Sarwar is a 3rd year GEM student at Warwick Medical School. Prior to medical school, Sarwar qualified as a pharmacist in 2019 and is still working as a pharmacist alongside medical school. Alongside studying he is the co-president of the WMS pharmacology and therapeutics society, where he is organising support workshops for the prescribing exams and he is also educational officer for CardioSoc. Sarwar also runs a healthcare educational network, PharmaSense where he helps foster an environment of peer support to empower HCPs. When not studying, he loves spending time with friends, family and finding new spots to eat!

Photo of Z HammadZainab Hammad, Nottingham, 4th year medical student

Zainab Hammad is a 4th year medical student at the University of Warwick. She worked on a BMedSci Project on 'Evaluation of Ethnic Inclusivity in Anatomy Teaching at the University of Nottingham', as well as being involved in analysis of images in Moore's Essential Clinical Anatomy textbook and resources produced by the University, and more.

Currently, Zainab is the President of student society IMAN: Islamic Medical Association Nottingham. She is adapting a guide from Manchester Medical School for Muslim students to Nottingham, whilst working on conducting a survey for Muslim medical students at Nottingham. Lastly, Zainab works with UoN chaplaincy and EDI reps to bring meaningful change to the student experience for Muslim students.

Photo of A SidkiAmardeep Sidki, Leicester, 4th year medical student

Amardeep Sidki is a 4th year medical student at the University of Leicester. He is passionate about exploring the needs of underrepresented groups and working with others through MedRACE to come up with practical solutions to support these differences. Amar was refused to enter theatre for wearing his Kara; a metal bangle worn by Sikhs to represent their unbreakable bond with God, and for him, it really contextualised how inclusive practice can impact on a persons mental health and career ambitions. As a result, Amar changed local policy to permit the Kara and aspires to see this change be supported nationally across all trusts.

Photo of A AshayeAlexandra Ashaye, Keele, 3rd year medical student

Alexandra Ashaye is a 3rd year medical student at Keele University. Within Keele, Alexandra is part of the decolonsing the curriculum group and recently worked with some of the senior staff members to create a case for the Year 2 students. Outside of her academics, she works very closely with the Charities TKFCare and Obirin Africa both of which are tailored to supporting the less privileged in Africa.

Photo of F FeyisetanFolasade Feyisetan, Lincoln, 3rd year medical student

Folasade Feyisetan is a third-year medical student at the University of Nottingham Lincoln pathway. As a Black individual, Folasade has always passionate about promoting healthcare equity for all people, especially those of Black origin. Her dissertation research was on racial disparities in sickle cell management in the UK. Folasade hopes to provide insight into improving the medical curriculum by incorporating more inclusive scenarios related to race and skin tones. She also hopes to discuss ways to improve community outreach and clinical experiences for ethnic minority patients.

Elevate Grant winners 2022

The Elevate Grant of £1000 is awarded to an ethnic minority student or student group in support of a research project relating to the goals of the MREM network. In 2022, we awarded this grant to 2 students who will be speaking about their research at the conference.

Photo of H MuhammadHaris Muhammad, University of Leicester

'The prognostic value of cardiac power and cardiac efficiency in asymptomatic aortic stenosis'

Photo of B. Singh SokalBalamrit Singh Sokhal, Keele University

'Impact of frailty on the causes, treatment, and outcomes of patients with cardiovascular admissions in a national cohort'

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