Since qualifying from Sheffield Hallam University in 2015, I have worked as a Registered Nurse in several acute clinical areas within the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, including cardiac surgery, adult intensive care and ECMO. Most recently, I have worked as a vascular research nurse within the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, coordinating and recruiting to commercial and academic studies as part of the vascular and endovascular surgery research teams. I have been the lead nurse for a number of NIHR HTA funded studies, enabling our team to be the highest recruiting site both nationally and internationally. In addition to high quality research delivery, I have been heavily involved in raising research awareness across the multi-disciplinary teams and clinical specialities by hosting monthly teaching for junior doctors, speaking at the Royal College of Surgeons and mentoring clinical research practitioners and associate-PI’s in the NIHR Associate-PI scheme.
Working as a research nurse highlighted the importance of today’s research and how it impacts tomorrow’s clinical care and decision making. My clinical and academic interests led me to apply for the prestigious Leicestershire Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Doctoral Training Programme (LHIIP).
I am the first LHIIP fellow to study at the world-renowned National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) at Loughborough University, which is an exciting opportunity. My project is looking at the effects of a group of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptides (GIP), which are currently licensed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. I will be looking at the effects on brain activity, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in South Asian and white European populations.
I am also passionate about challenging professional stereotypes and channelling a pathway for other nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to embark on a clinical academic career; being visible, approachable and inspiring is a key part of being a LHIIP fellow.
Outside of work and my clinical academic career, I enjoy open-water swimming and this year have set myself the challenge of completing ten swims under 10 degrees Celsius.
I am a Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow in Leicester with an interest in early-onset type 2 diabetes, physical activity and lifestyle. I am a doctor-in-training by background and am currently out-of-programme from Internal Medicine Training (stage 1) having recently finished as an NIHR Academic Clinical fellow in Diabetes and Endocrinology. I also have an intercalated BSc in Sports and Exercise Science from Loughborough University.
My work is focused on improving care for young people (<40 years) with Type 2 diabetes (termed early onset type 2 diabetes; EOT2D), and more broadly, for young-people with obesity. EOT2D is more prevalent in women, people with higher levels of social deprivation, and people of south Asian or black ethnicity; thus highlighting important healthcare inequalities. My PhD aims to seek ways to minimise the bio-, psycho-, social- burden of EOT2D, with a particular focus on weight loss medications (to improve cardiovascular risk) alongside exercise (with the potential to ameliorate lean muscle mass loss seen with weight loss therapies). I will also continue to work on the holistic person-centred multi-component “M3” randomised controlled trial, looking at new ways of working with people with EOT2D, having previously having a role in the design of this trial. Other work and interests include looking at measures of physical activity and physical function and their association with health and disease within big data, particularly for young people with metabolic disease.
I qualified in 2009 from Sheffield Hallam University and for most of my clinical career have worked overseeing pulmonary rehabilitation as a Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist and non-medical prescriber. Post-pandemic, I have engaged in a range of fellowship opportunities to include Yorkshire and Humber’s “Future Leaders Programme”, and the National “Population Health” fellowship scheme.
Whilst completing my Future Leaders Programme Fellowship, I completed a PGCert in “Public Health - Leadership and Management”, which brought to the forefront my passion for reducing health inequalities and to work on larger-scale upstream interventions to keep people living in better health for longer.
On completing the Population Health Fellowship, I was successful in obtaining a “Clinical Programme Manager” role overseeing Sheffield’s city-wide Long Covid Programme strategically and Rehabilitation Hub clinically and operationally. This role required using quality improvement methodologies to iteratively co-design and co-produce a rehabilitation provision to meet the needs of the population.
The ambitions of the Leicestershire Health Inequalities Improvement Doctoral Training Programme align with my values, and this opportunity provides the perfect next step. My project: “Exploring how Long Covid Rehabilitation should be designed to address ethnicity, language and digital divide health inequalities” provides ample opportunity to develop research skills across mixed methods.
I currently sit on the AHP Public Health Expert Advisory Group, chair the AHPs in Population Health SY Network, and was recently awarded “Highly Commended” for the CAHPO Public Health Champion Award. Outside work, I support Burnley, play cricket and enjoy spending time with friends.
I’m a nurse by background, qualifying in 1998, and have worked across a variety of clinical settings in Ireland, England and Scotland. Since 2004, I have worked in Urology as a Nurse Practitioner working to advance patient care and improve access for patients of underserved backgrounds. As part of this role, I co-created a community-based prostate cancer clinic targeting men of African-Caribbean background which was highly successful in improving knowledge and detection of prostate cancer in this high-risk group. I have also collaborated with a local prison to improve services for their residents who often find healthcare difficult to access.
I came late to academia, completing my BSc in 2006, and my MSc in 2014, however I’m a firm believer that you’re never too old to learn and change. My PhD project will investigate the role that indoor air pollution plays in the development of lung cancer in never-smokers of different ethnicities. While this is a change from Urology, it explores cancer in minority ethnic populations, which has been my focus for many years.
I am very proud to be working alongside the Wellcome Trust in driving research forward, and working towards my goal of Clinical Academia.
Outside my life as a nurse and academic I play traditional Irish fiddle, and enjoy hiking and wild swimming any chance I get. I have a wonderful husband, fabulous grown-up son, and useless rescue dog. I come from a family of inspiring and strong women who have a habit of changing their lives in their mid-forties, and am delighted to be continuing this proud family tradition.
I am a General Practitioner by background and my broad research aims are to improve the care of people of with multiple long-term conditions and to help address the health inequalities that arise in our local population in the East Midlands. My interest in research first started with an intercalated BSc that I undertook between 4th and 5th years at medical school. It was a qualitative project that involved conducting interviews and was a great way to combine the communication skills I had been developing through my undergraduate medical training, with the knowledge and understanding of clinical research that I was acquiring through the BSc. It was also an opportunity for me to work alongside clinical academics, including Academic GP's and through this I understood that developing research skills as a clinician, provides the agency to find ways of providing answers and solutions to the questions and problems that may arise in everyday clinical practice.
I later chose General Practice as my clinical specialty and wanted to continue my research training alongside my clinical training. I became an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in General Practice, through which I was able to complete a Master of Research degree in Clinical Sciences and gain more practical experience of conducting research, under the guidance of experienced clinical academics.
The next step in my clinical academic career was to undertake a PhD, and the Wellcome trust LHIIP DTP was a valuable opportunity for me to undertake a PhD as a clinical academic. My PhD project aims to investigate and understand the symptomatic perceptions of breathlessness in culturally diverse populations and aligns closely with my research interests, as well as providing with invaluable opportunities for training and development as an Academic GP.