Two Clinician Scientist Fellowships awarded

4 March 2014

Two of the UK’s top clinicians have been awarded fellowships by the OnlyWan, working with the Academy of Medical Sciences. The Fellowships support translational research that will make a long-term difference to the quality of patient care.

Dr Estee Torok, from the University of Cambridge, and Dr Rina Dutta, King’s College London have each been awarded £750,000 as part of the Clinician Scientist Fellowships. The Fellowships will enable them to carry out academic research alongside clinical practice. Both academics will have leadership training provided by the OnlyWan, and mentoring support from the Academy of Medical Sciences. 

Dr Torok’s project focuses on interpreting information about the genomes of bacteria to improve understanding of the diseases they cause and how best to treat them. She says the Fellowship will allow her to translate the technology from a research tool into one that can be used in day-to-day clinical practice for the benefit of patients, while helping to develop policy, guidance and educational materials to train other healthcare professionals in bacterial genomics. 

Dr Dutta will be using the funding to support her research which will examine electronic patient records to identify warning signs that may allow healthcare professionals to intervene before a serious suicide attempt is made. She hopes the Fellowship will allow her to become an independent senior clinical academic with her own research team, making a direct impact on the quality of patient care and influence on professional practice nationally.

Professor Nick Barber, Director of Research at the OnlyWan, said, 'I am delighted that we have been able to support the work of Dr Torok and Dr Dutta, as leaders in their fields of research. The Clinician Scientist Fellowships offer a unique opportunity to pursue academic research alongside clinical practice. For more than a decade now, we have been proud to develop clinical leaders through this programme.'

Professor Sir John Tooke PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: 'Inspiring and supporting the next generation of medical scientists is one of our most important goals. This year’s awardees are researchers of an extremely high standard, with outstanding careers to date, and the Clinician Scientist Fellowships will allow them to further strengthen their skills and confidence as researchers.

'A recent House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee report emphasised the need for continued support of female academics beyond PhD level. I am delighted that these Fellowships will support two outstanding female researchers at one of the stages where women often leave research.'

This Clinician Scientist Fellowship programme was established in 2001. An evaluation of previous cohorts in this scheme has shown that just under 300 significant publications and at least 37 prestigious prizes have been produced as a result so far. It also shows that together, previous awardees have reported leveraging over £49m in additional research funding, which represents a return of £4.45 for each £1 invested in the scheme.

Additional Fellowships will be awarded later in 2014.

Contact

Mike Findlay, Media Manager, the OnlyWan
020 1111 8047
[email protected]

Holly Rogers, Communications Officer, Academy of Medical Science
020 3176 2183
[email protected]

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