New appointment to get more undergraduates into research

Dr Helen Devine has been appointed as the new Academic Strand Lead (Research) at Newcastle University Medical School, supporting the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme.

 

We met with Helen to chat about her new role and its importance to the work of the NHIP Academy.

 

Congratulations on your new role, can you tell us a bit more about what it will involve?

Of course. I will be developing the academic component of the MBBS programme at Newcastle University. I want all doctors graduating from Newcastle to have a core understanding of the fundamental role of research in their clinical practice. I also aim to inspire the next generation of clinical academics right from the start of their medical career.

The academic component to the MBBS degree will foster the development of research skills right from the early stages of the course and create new opportunities for medical students to work on some of the cutting-edge research that we’re doing at Newcastle University. I will also lead on intercalation through MRes applications and prepare students to apply for and secure Specialised Foundation posts.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your own research background and why this is important to you?

I studied medicine at Oxford and did my clinical training in Oxford and London before taking up an NIHR Clinical Lectureship in Newcastle. I hold a PhD in molecular neuroscience from UCL and I am currently a Clinical Newcastle University Academic Track (NUAcT) fellow.  My research aims to identify new treatments for devastating neurodegenerative disease.  I focus on understanding the mechanisms of motor neuron loss in motor neuron disease using an induced pluripotent stem cell model.

I have recently taken up an appointment as an Honorary Consultant Neurologist and I have an interest in MND and neuropathy. Throughout my training, I have been passionate about improving research culture and developing the next generation of scientists.  I hold a Master’s degree in Clinical Education and sit on national committees involved in the improvement of the academic medicine training pathway.

In Newcastle, I particularly enjoy being part of the Newcastle Health Innovation Partners (NHIP) Academy leadership as a member’s representative and I am currently supervising the research of SFP doctors.

 

Can you share a bit about why you are involved in NHIP Academy?

NHIP Academy unlocks career development opportunities for the next generation of health and care researchers, at every stage of their career pathway – from pre-doctoral experience, right the way through to becoming an independent researcher.

I know first-hand that the support the Academy provides is exemplary as I personally worked alongside them throughout my recent NUAcT Fellowship application. The team have also provided opportunities for me to be a part of wider networks that benefit my research career.

Newcastle is a fantastic place to pursue a career in academic medicine and by supporting NHIP Academy I know I’m making a difference in helping others on their career pathway. My new role means that I will have a great opportunity to work with and support the next generation of clinical academics from the very start of their career pathway – hopefully making a real contribution to NHIP Academy and its work.

If you want to contact NHIP Academy to unlock your career development opportunities, contact: nhip.academy@ncl.ac.uk

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