UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


Careers in Cardiovascular Science

23 January 2020

Picture of people at careers event

The Institute of Cardiovascular Science (ICS) in conjunction with UCL Careers Service and UCLSU Volunteering delivered a careers event on 18th November 2019, exploring opportunities and careers in cardiovascular science.

A Careers Consultant outlined the services available to us, including one-to-one appointments, application support and a wealth of online resources. The Volunteering Service stressed that while voluntary activities are an enhancement to your CV, they also provide opportunities to gain new skills and enrich your university experience.

Next, we heard from MSc in Cardiovascular Science Alumni. Ms. Emma Cook, now a medical student at King’s College London, provided insightful tips for students wishing to pursue a medical degree. Echoing the Volunteering Service’s comments, she expressed her enjoyment of volunteering with London’s Lowland Search and Rescue team and how this was a talking point for her applications to medical schools.

Fellow alumnus, Dr. Ayodipupo Oguntade, a Cardiologist at University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria, joined us via video. He expressed how the MSc in Cardiovascular Science programme had enhanced his career and of his plans to establish an Institute of Cardiovascular Science at the Hospital. He encouraged attendees to grasp as many opportunities for learning and development as possible during our time at UCL.

Innovation and entrepreneurship were next on the agenda. Prof. Silvia Schievano, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at ICS, discussed how her work bridges the gap between the fields of medicine of congenital heart disease and engineering. She detailed the growth of biomedical engineering as a field, and, the challenges and successes of multidisciplinary collaboration.

Dr. Alexandros Protonotarios, a Senior Clinical Research Associate at ICS, provided insight into co-ordinating both medical and academic career development. He expressed the importance of selecting the appropriate juncture in medical training at which to pursue a PhD. 

Dr. Paul Frankel and Prof. Sean Davidson from ICS discussed their routes to becoming researchers in academia. Prof. Davidson expressed the benefits of working and studying at different institutions throughout your career, while Dr. Frankel detailed his transition from pharma (Pfizer), to biotech start ups (Ark Therapeutics) and finally to a research group leader in academia. A key message from this was that the path to becoming an academic is not a linear one.

The event, organised by Dr. Ann Walker, provided the opportunity to network with alumni and delivered insightful testimonials and advice for students wishing to pursue one of the diverse career paths in Cardiovascular Science.


Bronwyn Berkeley is a Cardiovascular Science MSc student (2019-20).