First Clinical Associate Professors announced to enhance NNUH research

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has announced its first ever Clinical Associate Professors to boost its research profile.

Eight Consultants have been awarded the posts in translational and clinical medicine following funding from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School and NNUH.

These appointments will expand growing research themes in collaboration with our partners on the Norwich Research Park, contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate education and strengthen the hospital’s partnership with the Medical School.

The eight candidates will develop and lead a programme of clinical research in their specialist area, secure research funding through commercial research or successful grant applications and provide academic leadership as Clinical Senior Lecturers.

Our new Clinical Associate Professors are:

Caroline Barry – Palliative Medicine

Charaka Hadinnapola– Respiratory Medicine

Eleanor Mishra– Respiratory Medicine

Jon Lartey – Obstetrics

Martyn Patel – Older People’s Medicine

Philip Stather – Vascular Surgery

Simon Chan – Gastroenterology

Zoe Venables – Dermatology

Prof Kris Bowles, Associate Medical Director for Research and Development at NNUH, said: “This is a huge first for our Trust and supports our strategy to embed high-quality research across the organisation and enhance our partnerships with UEA and Norwich Research Park partners.

“The funding will help to advance clinical academic research for Consultants who already have a track record of high calibre research. All 24 who applied were brilliant and we hope to run this again in two years.”

This programme, funded for the next four years, aims to promote nationally and internationally excellent research at NNUH, to publish work in high-quality reviewed journals as well as supervising students and contributing to undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Medical School.

Dr Caroline Barry, Palliative Care Consultant, said: “I was surprised, delighted and a little overwhelmed to receive this position alongside such experienced and excellent colleagues. I have a particular interest in neuro-palliative care, such as the care of people with motor neurone disease and brain tumours and need to understand more about how to improve the quality of life for these individuals.”

Simon Chan, Consultant Gastroenterologist, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to have dedicated time to help develop my research interests, which are on defining and understanding the role of lifestyle and environmental factors in the development and progression of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Hopefully this will allow us to gain a better understanding as to why the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease is increasing so rapidly.”

Zoe Venables, Consultant Dermatologist, said: “My aim is to produce good quality skin cancer data to improve awareness and support skin cancer research and prevention programmes. I hope to support students and junior doctors to develop their own academic careers and I hope to work with the Norwich Epidemiology Centre to develop epidemiology expertise across Norwich Research Park to put Norwich on the map in terms of epidemiology research.”

Charaka Hadinnapola, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, who has a clinical and research interest in pulmonary hypertension (PH), said: “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in NNUH, UEA, NRP and further afield to expand our knowledge and provide better treatments for our patients. PH in patients with hypoxic lung diseases is often overlooked and currently there are no approved treatments for this important patient group.”

Martyn Patel, Older People’s Medicine Consultant, said: “I will be working on how we can reduce readmissions to hospital and particularly in Older People’s Medicine, 15% of patients are readmitted within 30 days of going home. This maybe a technical solution with enhanced monitoring or how we communicate with GPs and more closely working with the Integrated Care System.”

Eleanor Mishra, Respiratory Consultant, said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to build my research collaborations with the UEA. One of my areas of research is into long term chest drains which sometimes get infected. This link will enable us to pull together the expertise we have in pleural disease and clinical trials with that at the Quadram Institute and in Microbiology, to produce innovative patient-centred research.”

Philip Stather, Vascular Consultant, added: “This is a fantastic initiative that the hospital and university have put together. I am currently developing the use of a mobile phone application to deliver supervised exercise therapy for vascular patients, and new products to enable patients with venous ulcers to undertake self-care in a safe manner. In addition, collaborating with scientists at UEA and the Quadram Institute will enable me to undertake research into markers of peripheral arterial disease and determine the effects of angioplasty on biomarker levels.”

Jon Lartey, Consultant Obstetrician, said: “I really welcome this opportunity to extend research collaborations between my division, UEA and wider NRP.  This opportunity will allow our team to liaise with world-leading expertise available at Earlham Institute, Quadram Institute and Biological Sciences to extend our work exploring the epigenetic regulation of preterm labour, utilising novel sequencing techniques to characterise potential changes in the vaginal microbiome associated with preterm labour and exploring the effect of vasodilatory drugs to modulate vascular tone in hypertensive disorders and fetal growth restriction.”