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Cambridge Clinical Research Fellowships Scheme

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Mr Keval Patel, Research fellowship recipientWe live in a time when advances in molecular biology, imaging science, biomedical computing and bioengineering mean that there is promise of great transformation in medical care.

However, there is a potential gap between research discoveries and improvements in medical care. 

Key to bridging this ‘translational gap’ is the development of a clinical academic workforce – namely people who directly care for patients and are also active in research. 

Clinical academics with their clinical training, contact with patients and experience of healthcare delivery have a true understanding of the nature of medical problems and, coupled with the acquisition of research skills and knowledge, are best placed to transform research into tangible healthcare benefits for patients.

Since 2007, the Cambridge Clinical Research Fellowships Scheme has supported the training of clinical academics at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie, fuelling the pipeline and supporting the entry of high calibre, aspirational young doctors into this pathway.   

An independent evaluation highlighted the strategic value of the scheme in fostering the next generation of clinical academics by providing fellows with short-term support (one year or less) and access to experienced mentorship and supervision. Fellows have used this opportunity as a springboard to secure follow-on and more substantial funding from schemes of national importance such as those operated by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

For patients, the benefits of the scheme are that young doctors are being trained to carry out and evaluate research and to relate and apply findings to their clinical practice. Specifically, the research our fellows have performed during their fellowships have made contributions to, among other things:

  • Better understanding of disease mechanisms
  • Developing new methodologies and analytical techniques to diagnose cancers, assess responsiveness to treatment and predict prognosis
  • Tailoring existing therapies for individual patients to optimise the balance between desirable therapeutic effect and unwanted side effects.

 

We are now seeking philanthropic support to ensure that the fellowship programme can be sustained and expanded in the future.

If you would like to know more about supporting these fellowships and fostering the future leaders of clinical research, please contact Samantha Sherratt, ACT's Acting Director of Fundraising, on 01223 217757 or by emailing samantha.sherratt@act4addenbrookes.org.uk.

 

Watch Dr Nick Grigoropoulos, Research Fellow 2011, talk about his fellowship: