The Institute hosts the UCL Integrated Academic Training Programme for Obstetrics and Gynaecology. We support training in research excellence at all four stages of the programme.
Academic Foundation Programme
The Academic Foundation Programme (AFP) is a 2 year programme with one Academic placement in the second year of training. These posts provide Foundation doctors with the opportunity to develop research, teaching and leadership / management skills in addition to the current basic clinical competencies outlined in the Foundation curriculum. They are intended to be beneficial to both trainees who plan to go into academic medicine as well as those who choose a different medical career.
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships are specialty training posts that incorporate academic training. NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs) spend 75% of their time undertaking specialist clinical training and 25% undertaking research or educationalist training. They are aimed at those who are at the early stages of their specialtytraining, show outstanding potential for a career in academic medicine or dentistry.
NIHR Clinical Lecturership
NIHR Clinical Lectureships are specialty training posts that incorporate academic training. NIHR Clinical Lecturers (CLs) spend 50% of their time undertaking specialist clinical training and 50% undertaking research or educationalist training. CLs are aimed at those who are advanced in their specialty training, have completed a research doctorate or equivalent and show outstanding potential for continuing a career in academic medicine or dentistry.
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
A Clinical Research Training Fellowship (CRTF) is a type of grant held by a clinician typically for the purpose of undertaking Out Of Programme Research experience (OOPR) leading to award of a PhD. UCL has over a hundred CRTFs at any one time who come from a wide variety of backgrounds including nurses, speech and language therapists and allied health professionals as well as doctors.
Further information about UCL Clinical Academic Training can be found on the UCAT website.
Current clinical academic trainees placed within the Institute
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship
Annette ThwaitesAnnette Thwaites is the first Academic Clinical Fellow in community sexual and reproductive health (CSRH) and is supervised by Professor Judith Stephenson. Her primary research interests are unplanned pregnancy and postnatal contraception. Having completed a clinical fellowship with Public Health England, in 2018, exploring views of women and health care professionals on the provision of immediate postnatal contraception, she is currently working towards her MD(Res) into the specific contraceptive needs of women after IVF. She is working with the global library of women’s medicine (GLOWM) to develop resources on postnatal contraception to be used in less-resourced and remote or rural settings. She has also co-authored the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health statement on contraception for women with eating disorders.
Stavroula Lila KastoraStavroula is an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, starting her ST1 in Obstetrics & Gynecology training in UCL in 2022. She received her BSc. in Genetics and MBChB from University of Aberdeen. Her PhD in Systems Biology focused in identifying novel regulators that control the adaptation of Candida albicans to combinations of host signals. Her main research interests at UCL lie in detangling the genome and proteome at interplay underlying poor ovarian response for women undergoing IVF, supervised by Dr. Mavrelos and Dr. Sen Gupta.
NIHR Clinical Lecturership
Adalina SaccoAdalina is a Clinical Lecturer and Sub-Specialty clinical trainee in Maternal and Fetal Medicine. Her primary research interest is in fetal therapy and treatment. She also has an interest in the use and potential harms of antenatal corticosteroid use. Her MD(Res) at UCL focused on the implementation of open fetal surgery for spina bifida, and this project led to the first operations of this kind being performed in the UK. Her current research, under the guidance of Prof. Anna David, is focused on the progression of fetal surgery techniques and the development of medical fetal therapies for prenatal conditions. She is co-lead of the Fetal Medicine and Perinatology module, which is undertaken by students sitting the Prenatal Genetics & Fetal Medicine MSc or Women’s Health MSc or Obstetric Ultrasound and Fetal Medicine MSc at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health. Research Gate Iris Profile
Rosalind AughwaneDr Rosalind Aughwane is an NIHR Clinical Lecturer and a Clinical Training Fellow in Maternal & Fetal Medicine.
Julia ZollnerJulia is an NIHR Clinical Lecturer and a Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She completed her PhD at Imperial College London where she explored the role of nitric oxide signalling in sepsis in pregnancy. Julia then completed a post-doctoral Academic Clinical Fellowship at St George’s University where she started to develop an interest in the genomic medicine specifically advanced bioinformatics. She collaborated with King’s College London and Queen Mary University London to explore the genetic suscpetibitly of intrahepatic cholestasis in pregnancy using a distinct south Asian cohort (Genes and Health). Julia is interested in the translational applications of OMICS technologies for the early detection and personalised management of women with gestational syndromes. She is interested in bridging the gap of ethnic disparity in genomic medicine. Her current research focusses on the developing a polygenic risk score for predicting gestational diabetes in early pregnancy in British Bangladeshi and Pakistani women.
Previous clinical academic trainees - where are they now?
Dr Zachary Nash is a clinical research fellow in Gynaecology at UCLH and is registered for a PhD at UCL. Prior to this he completed an NIHR academic clinical fellowship within the IfWH. His main research interest is reproductive endocrinology and infertility. He works on the NIHR HTA funded POISE and BLUSH trials which seek to find the optimum hormone treatment for premature ovarian insufficiency and the best non-hormonal pharmacological treatment for menopausal hot flushes.
Dr Emily Cornish is an obstetric registrar and PhD student whose main interest is in inflammatory placental disorders associated with recurrent pregnancy loss. During her NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (2017-2020) she developed new insights into the pathogenesis of chronic histiocytic intervillositis (CHI), supervised by Prof David Williams. This work led to the award of an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship in March 2021. During her PhD she will be spending 6 months at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and is establishing an international network of clinicians and academics working to understand the pathogenesis and treatment of CHI.