Find out more about our programme leaders and what they are involved in inside and outside of UCL.
- Medicine, MBBS: Deborah Gill
- Applied Medical Sciences: Dave Spratt
- Medical Sciences and Engineering: Alvena Kureshi
- Medical Sciences and Engineering: Darren Player
- Nutrition and Medical Sciences BSc: Nathan Davies
- Dietetics (Pre-registration) MSc: Adrian Brown
- Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences: Bhavesh Kumar
- Cancer Biomedicine BSc: Christina Thirlwell
- Aesthetics, MS: Afshin (Ash) Mosahebi
- Advanced Minimally-Invasive Surgery: Manish Chand
Medicine MBBS: Deborah Gill
Professor of Medical Education and Director of UCL Medical School
As a clinical academic, I combine my role as a GP in North London with leading the UCL Medical School and the MBBS programme. Education is central to what I do. I am an active education researcher and practitioner, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a supervisor at master’s and PhD level, as well as looking after undergraduates.
I am a proud UCL alumna, and I think this gives me a unique perspective. I am passionate about creating a sense of belonging and family and engaging our alumni in the activities of the school. I am also committed to widening access and ensuring medical students thrive at UCLMS, regardless of their background or financial means.
The MBBS programme accesses exceptional educators from across UCL and our clinical teaching venues. We have almost 2,000 students across the MBBS, integrated BSc and MBPhD programmes and hundreds of contributing teachers.
Applied Medical Sciences: Dave Spratt
Professor of Microbial Ecology
I co-developed the Applied Medical Sciences BSc/MSc to explore the foundations of medicine and how science helps us to understand and treat various diseases with medicine. We use modern flipped teaching and problem-based learning techniques to foster invention and teamwork.
I am a microbial ecologist working in human body systems to understand how our resident microbiota maintains health and how it sometimes causes disease. I use in vitro models to understand how ecologically driven population shifts in our commensal microbiota initiate and progress common oral diseases like caries and gum disease.
More recently, I have investigated human microbiota in the gut, lung, and bladder and how the microbial communities can influence local and systemic diseases.
I am Director of Education at the Eastman Dental Institute, where I oversee the postgraduate courses, and Vice-Head of the UCL Doctoral School.
Medical Sciences and Engineering: Alvena Kureshi
Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Bioengineering
I am one of the Programme Directors for the Medical Sciences and Engineering BSc/MSc. My role primarily involves organisation and management of the programme and I also teach across some of the medical science modules.
As a Lecturer in UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, my research expertise is in Bioengineering, particularly three-dimensional collagen tissue equivalents for clinical use. Currently, I am focused on the development of a novel biocompatible surgical mesh for use in abdominal wall repair.
I am also the BME Attainment Faculty Lead for Medical Sciences. In this role, I am leading improvements across the faculty to promote and facilitate inclusion and diversity to ensure student success.
Medical Sciences and Engineering: Darren Player
Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Bioengineering
After studying Sport Science, Darren completed a PhD in Muscle Cellular and Molecular Physiology (skeletal muscle tissue engineering). Prior to joining UCL, he was Senior Research Associate at Loughborough University and Visiting Research Fellow at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).
Darren’s research is based in the Department of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore. He is investigating skeletal muscle regeneration in several orthopaedic and related conditions using in silico, in vitro (monolayer cell culture), tissue engineered and in vivo (human) models. His current work on the response of skeletal muscle to peripheral nerve damage requires a multidisciplinary approach involving basic and applied scientists, clinicians, and engineers.
Darren has published papers in the areas of skeletal muscle and tissue engineering and has presented at many national and international conferences.
Nutrition and Medical Sciences BSc: Nathan Davies
Reader in Biochemistry
I have taught on the UCL Nutrition programmes for over ten years and have been course director since 2015. Many of our graduates are now service leaders and key opinion makers around the world.
As a registered nutritionist and research scientist working in liver disease and digestive health, I have insight into the importance of nutrition and metabolism in both health and disease. My work examines what how other organs and systems are affected when the liver fails.
Our links with clinicians in the UCL teaching hospitals (UCLH and the Royal Free) provide samples from patients for study. These have facilitated the development of new treatments for patients with life-threatening liver dysfunction, including a dialysis system that is currently undergoing clinical trials in hospitals throughout Europe.
Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics
I am a Senior Specialist Weight Management and Bariatric dietitian with 15 years of clinical experience and a PhD in Medicine from Imperial College London.
My research interests include obesity, type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery, weight stigma and the use of formula-based diets in different patient populations. My recent work investigates the impact of COVID-19 on people living with obesity. I have also designed innovative group sessions for patients within a Tier-3 service.
I am Vice Chair of the Specialist Obesity Group for the British Dietetic Association and an Honorary Academic for the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. I sit on the advisory board for Obesity Empowerment Network, the strategic council for APPG on Obesity, and the scientific council of the British Nutrition Foundation.
I am keen to increase diversity within the dietetic profession, recognising that ethnic minorities and men are underrepresented within the dietetic profession.
Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences: Bhavesh Kumar
Consultant in Sport & Exercise Medicine
Dr Kumar has over ten years' experience treating orthopaedic musculoskeletal conditions. He is trained in surgery, high performance sports medicine and General Practice, with special expertise and qualifications in diagnostic ultrasound imaging of orthopaedic complaints.
He is based at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health in Bloomsbury, where he supports students in specialist areas including tendinopathy and athlete health and performance. He leads a specialist tendinopathy clinic as part of the National Tendinopathy Centre, treating patients and leading collaborative research into the field.
Dr Kumar is Chief Medical Officer at Reading Football Club and AFC Wimbledon, and a consultant to elite able-bodied, disabled and youth athletes across professional sports, including British Athletics. He has worked at Olympic and Commonwealth Games and at the English Institute of Sport, West Ham United, the English Football Association, the English Cricket Board, and Saracens Rugby.
Cancer Biomedicine BSc: Christina Thirlwell
Senior Lecturer and Consultant Medical Oncologist
I teach on the BSc Cancer Biomedicine and MSc Cancer and supervise PhD students. As a clinician scientist, I share my time between research and looking after cancer patients at the Royal Free Hospital in London. I’m in a unique position to take some of the ideas about improving patient care from the clinic directly into the lab, and vice versa.
My research group investigates the genomic landscape and circulating biomarkers in the management of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). Our understanding of cancer at a cellular level is providing new insight into how the disease develops, adapts, and progresses.
Our group has identified molecularly distinct sub-groups of NETs which have poorer clinical outcomes and isolated and sequenced DNA from NET cells that are circulating in the bloodstream. This will help to target therapies to individual patients to ensure they receive the most suitable treatment.
Aesthetics, MS: Afshin (Ash) Mosahebi
Honorary Professor of Surgery
Ash is involved in pioneering research work on regenerating new tissues through new biomaterials and tissue engineering as well as clinical trials in innovative techniques in wound healing.
His roles include the editorial board of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (ASJ), honorary secretary of the British Association of Plastic Aesthetic Surgeons (BAAPS) and former president of the Royal Society of Medicine (plastic surgery). He has also been on the advisory panel for Health Education England (HEE), consulting on regulation for non-invasive aesthetic treatments.
"The future belongs to our students. I hope to get you curious about the topic and help you push the frontiers of aesthetic and regenerative medicine and surgery. I always learn by teaching and interaction with students, which is a bonus. There is so much to look forward to every day, from treating patients with unexpected findings to trainees coming up with unusual scenarios."
Advanced Minimally-Invasive Surgery: Manish Chand
Clinical Senior Lecturer
I am a surgeon scientist combining roles as a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon specialising in robotic surgery and an academic researching novel surgical technology to improve patient care.
I co-developed the Advance Minimally-Invasive Surgery programme to democratise cutting-edge surgical education and allow trainees from across the world to access the highest level of training. Our new distance-learning degree incorporating virtual reality based lectures and interactive surgery sessions is one of the world's first.
As a clinician, I strive to use the latest evidence-based techniques to offer my patients optimal care in colorectal cancer. This includes the use of robotic surgery, near infrared and multispectral imaging, and multidisciplinary care. I am actively involved in several international learning societies and part of many ongoing global research collaborations.