Clinical Academics in Training Symposium

NHIP Academy’s Annual Clinical Academic Training Pathway Symposium showcased the region’s clinical academics (medics and dentists) in training.

The event is held in partnership with Health Education England North East and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). It brings together clinical academics from across disciplines to present their work, and to develop their networks with each another and senior researchers.

This year the symposium included keynote talks from:

  • Dr Melanie Chan, clinician scientist and nephrologist with an interest in large-scale whole genome sequencing data sets in order to understand kidney disease. Dr Chan was recently awarded the UK Kidney Association Raine Award in recognition of her contribution to kidney research.
  • Professor Sheena Ramsay, Professor of Public Health & Epidemiology, who leads a programme of research that aims to improve population health, with a particular focus on reducing health inequalities. Prof Ramsay is an expert in chronic disease epidemiology and disease prevention and is an international leader and expert mentor.  She offered insights into her academic journey.
  • Prof Volker Straub is the Harold Macmillan Professor of Medicine and Professor of Neuromuscular Genetics at the Institute of Translational and Clinical Research at Newcastle University and is the Director of the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre. Prof Straubhas a long-standing interest in the pathogenesis of genetic muscle diseases, with research using zebrafish and mouse models. His current research also involves the application of magnetic resonance imaging, next generation sequencing and other –omics technologies for the characterization of primary neuromuscular disorders. He described the joys and challenges of a clinical academic career.

The day included talks from trainees of all levels and time for networking, interactions and collaborations. The talk winners were:

  • Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP) Abstract winner: Alisha Gupta, Adapting to Compromised Routines: Capturing Parental Perspectives on Physical Activity (PA) and Health for Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in the UK during COVID-19 Lockdown. A Qualitative Study
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) Abstract winner: Victoria Wing, Clinical correlates of brain lithium distribution in bipolar disorder: A 3D 7Li magnetic resonance imaging study
  • NIHR Clinical Lecturer (CL) Abstract Winner: Karen Suetterlin, Age-related decline in mouse skeletal muscle excitability

Alisha Gupta, SFP trainee, said: “I really enjoyed the opportunity to present my research and listen to fascinating and inspiring talks. It was also fantastic to meet and network with others from the region.”

About the invited academic journey talks, Neil Rajan, Professor of Dermatogenetics and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist said: “A great showcase of diverse research from young clinical academics.”

For more info on these training programmes, please visit




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