Programme leadership team

Martin Tobin headshotMartin Tobin

Programme Director and Theme 2 Lead

As the first person in my family to go to university, I found Leicester Medical School to be a diverse, welcoming and caring environment. After 10 years of clinical work in different parts of the world, I rejoined the University of Leicester, where I was supported in my PhD in Genetic Epidemiology and in early, midcareer and senior Medical Research Council Fellowships before receiving a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award. I love living in Leicester, which has a vibrant multi-ethnic community surrounded by beautiful, uncrowded countryside. At weekends, I make the most of the picturesque cycle routes on quiet roads, the scenic bridleways on a cyclocross bike, or peaceful family walks. All seem to involve coffee and cake at some point! I am passionate about training and career development – I serve on national career development funding panels and I am delighted to lead a research group that has facilitated the successful careers of many current staff and alumni.

Natalie Armstrong headshotNatalie Armstrong

Theme 4 Lead

I am a medical sociologist by background, and my work uses sociological ideas and methods to understand health and illness and to tackle problems in the delivery of high-quality healthcare. Following a PhD at the University of Nottingham and postdoctoral positions at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Warwick, I took up my first academic post in 2008 as Lecturer in Social Science Applied to Health at the University of Leicester. I have remained here ever since, being promoted to Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in 2014 and to Professor in 2017. I was the joint lead of the Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Group from 2016-2018 and am currently Head of Department of Health Sciences. My work covers a number of healthcare topics, although I have a long-standing special interest in women’s and children’s health and in preventative healthcare.

Frank Dudbridge headshotFrank Dudbridge

Deputy Programme Director and Theme 3 Lead

I attended a comprehensive school and did my first degree in maths. My PhD led to many great opportunities, including the chance to work in the USA and Italy, to switch from engineering to medicine, and to interact with clinical, industrial and academic collaborators. I’ve worked at several universities and found Leicester to be the most friendly and progressive. I mainly work on statistical analysis of genetic studies, with interests in cancer, mental illness, and heart and lung diseases. For several years I have actively supported PhD students by organising networking events, generating travel funds and serving on selection panels for fellowships. When time allows I run marathons and play jazz piano.

Louise Wain headshotLouise Wain

Theme 1 Lead

I joined the University of Leicester as a postdoctoral researcher in 2007 to conduct research into the genetic determinants of human health and disease. Since then, I have progressed to Lecturer and Associate Professor and I was awarded my Professorship in 2017. Looking back, it was the support that I received from my line managers, peers and the University that continues to inspire me to ‘pay it back’ and encourage the next generations of PhD students and early career researchers to pursue and achieve their career aspirations. In my spare time, I can usually be found enjoying the Derbyshire countryside with my horses, or out walking with my husband and our two rescue greyhounds.

Sarah Robinson headshotSarah Robinson

Programme Coordinator

Having moved to this role in February 2020, I manage all administrative aspects of the Programme, both for prospective and current students. I have worked at the University of Leicester since 2011 (I even met my husband here!), I have an MA in the History of Medicine and I when I’m not at work, I can usually be found spending time with my family or incessantly reorganising my house.