Winners of the 2015 Faculty of Medicine Dean's Prizes.

  • Roser González Franco - Translational Medicine
  • Zhiling Chan - Human Nutrition

Winners of the 2014 Faculty of Medicine Dean's Prizes. 

  • Adam Buckley - Translational Medicine
  • Tim Hoogenboom - Clinical Research Design and Management
  • Julia Steele - Cellular Pathology
  • Kevin Walsh - Human Nutrition

Winners of the 2013 Faculty of Medicine Dean's Prizes.

  • Stavros Athanasopoulos - Translational Medicine
  • Nicola Rose - Clinical Research Design and Management 
  • Athanasios Koulis - Cellular Pathology
  • Nathalie Gharibeh - Human Nutrition

Expand the categories below to read student testimonials from each of the MRes Clinical Research pathways

Student testimonials

Clinical Research Design and Management

Examples of next steps taken by students after completing the programme (CRDM Pathway) include

  • Clinical Research Associate for King's College London
  • Senior Associate (study management) at Amgen, Clinical Study Specialist at Allergan and Clinical Trials Coordinator at Mount Vernon Hospital
  • Medical school
  • Research Nurse - Imperial College
  • Senior Research Nurse: Neurology Portfolio at National Institute of Health Research
  • Nurse Consultant in critical care
  • Continuation/promotion in NHS employment

Student testimonials

Stephanie Wakefield

Clinical Research Design and Management (CRDM pathway, 2009-11)

I very much enjoyed the challenge of doing the MRes, it certainly was hard work and being a mature student it took me time to get my brain back into study mode. The lecturers were excellent and I have kept many of the notes to help support me in future with research. It really helped me home in to what were my then haphazard research skills; the practice of searching and pulling papers (and the Imperial College access) was fantastic.

The process of critically appraising so many papers and writing a Thesis was invaluable; I am certainly a lot speedier at doing this now than I was prior to starting the course. Although initially terrified by the thought of analysing my data by attending an extra couple of courses this was possible and has helped my understanding of stats in published papers an area that previously was beyond me. 

I had excellent support from my supervisors, a good combination of encouragement and constructive feedback which although tough at times allowed me to achieve the grade. The research project I carried out has been useful in making recommendations to our patient group (upper gastrointestinal cancer patients following surgery) in terms of their nutritional needs. This was the first research project of such a magnitude and we hope to publish our results in the near future. We also hope to set up other nutritional projects in this patient group.

Caroline Stephens

Clinical Research Design and Management (CRDM pathway, 2009-11)

The Masters of Research in Clinical Research Design and Management (MRes CRDM) appealed to me as it offered the exciting opportunity to study the fundamentals in clinical research methodology whilst combining a practical thread. Broad teaching topics covered everything from Good Clinical Practice (GCP), to critical pathways for drug development, statistics and diagnostic tests used in clinical research.

I found that a large emphasis of the course was placed on understanding practical techniques and diagnostics used in clinical research which similar MRes courses do not appear to include. Therefore I felt that I was learning clinically relevant material in addition to theoretical aspects such as study design, critical appraisal and statistical analysis. I particularly enjoyed the practical sessions that demonstrated varied techniques used in clinical research, which helped consolidate understanding of the theoretical teaching. The opportunity to meet clinicians and patients involved in clinical research trials produced a multi-faceted appreciation of the intricacy involved in conducting clinical research.

Following taught sessions on the theoretical aspects of designing and managing a clinical research project we were expected to lead our own research project with the aim of innovating an area of clinical practice within our work place. As I undertook the Masters part-time, I found it tough to coordinate the research project and meet other demands of the course whilst working full-time. However, the challenges faced and experience gained from independently managing my own research project, with relevant support from my supervisors, has not only provided me with fundamental skills and knowledge to confidently apply to my daily duties as a nurse, but it has also broadened my career options for the future. Since completing the course I have disseminated the findings of my project locally in the emergency department, at an Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust nursing conference, a national emergency care conference and will also present at an International Advanced Nursing Practice conference later this year.

There are few Masters courses that recognise the need for nurses and allied health professionals to be taught in the principles and concepts of clinical research, although their daily clinical role often demands knowledge in this field. Although my professional background in research and emergency nursing provided a good basis for the course, I still found the masters very demanding and enjoyed the intellectual challenge.

The opportunity to study research methodology taught by speciality experts in a world-leading clinical research environment has been hugely rewarding. I would recommend the course to ambitious nurses and allied health professionals who are interested in undertaking clinical research within their current clinical area, or looking to pursue a career in clinical research. I would like to thank Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Clinical Academic Fellowship Scheme, in association with the Imperial College Healthcare Charity for funding my place on the MRes CRDM.

Diabetes and Obesity

Examples of next steps taken by students after completing the programme (DO Pathway) include 

  • Phd Studentship, University College of Dublin.
  • Research Technician - Department of Medicine, Imperial College.

(Please note: the first cohort was 2014-15)

Student testimonials

Yurgita Varaeva
Diabetes and Obesity (DO Pathway, 2015-16)

2 years ago I decided to change my professional career development. I was successful within my clinical practise as an endocrinologist but I realised I wanted to increase my research knowledge and skills. This programme was ideal for my professional growth, even more, during just 1 year I acquired detailed knowledge and an impressive amount of practical skills within clinical research.

This programme covered such organisational aspects such as how to conduct a study from A to Z including types of approvals, laws, important documents, etc. Before I undertook the course, such areas were difficult for me, however now I’m able to do it without any problem! Also, I was unsure at the beginning about my lab skills, now I am as comfortable in the lab as I am at home! Finally, stats have become much clear and familiar to me now!

Regarding the taught element of the programme, it was stunning! It was an honour for me to attend lectures of world leading scientists and to be able to discuss important research issues with people devoted their life to research.

I would like to thank our pathway lead Professor Gary Frost, our course administrator – Fiona Bibby and our tutor advisor – Amir Hakim. I would also like to mention the student relationship during our cohort – which was like one huge family. 

Natasha Kapoor
Diabetes and Obesity (DO Pathway, 2014-15)

As a Clinical Research Masters student on the Diabetes and Obesity pathway I had the opportunity to work on a clinical trial involving humans. The project gave me a holistic experience in recruiting, conducting and interpreting a clinical trial whilst adhering to Good Clinical Practice. I was fortunate to work at the Clinical Research Facility at Hammersmith Hospital, which has an excellent working environment and provides great support and care for volunteers. I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation for the continual motivation and guidance provided by one and all in the Department of Medicine. This has gone a long way in assisting me during the course of my study. After finishing my Masters I am now pursuing a Phd at University College of Dublin.

Human Nutrition

Examples of next steps taken by students after completing the programme (HN Pathway) include

  • PhD Fellowship – Imperial x 3, Cambridge, Institute of Food Research, Norwich.
  • Research Officer for the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre under the Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences.
  • Clinical Trials Manager, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne.
  • Clinical Research Associate, Quintiles.
  • NPD Administration Assistant, Greencore.
  • Trial Coordinator at UCL CTC.
  • Research Governance Assistant at Addenbrokes Hospital, Cambridge.
  • Dietician, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
  • Community  Dietician, Luton and Dunstable hospital.
  • Dietetic Intern at University Medical Center - Rizk Hospital.
  • PhD studentship, McGill University, Canada.

Student testimonials

Nathalie Gharibeh

Human Nutrition (HN Pathway, 2012-13)

The greatest aspect about the Masters in Clinical Research – Human Nutrition at Imperial College London  is not only do you learn about the theoretical concepts of how to conduct a clinical research project in the field of nutrition, but you actually bring one to execution yourself! Working with participants on a project, allowed me to contribute to its design, and analyzing and interpreting the data collected was a very good learning experience that shaped my research skills.

One aspect to comprehend whilst conducting the research project is that research is challenging and requires, aside from a good nutritional background, some familiarity with the basics of medical governance and medical statistics, a good exposure to the most cutting edge technology in research as well as having good critical appraisal skills. The course is well structured and organized in a way to ensure that all of these topics are covered within the taught element, which is completed alongside your research project! In addition, supervisors are always reachable and ready to provide you with support and guidance.

Now that I have graduated from Imperial College London, my MRes degree has given me the opportunity to apply for teaching positions at esteemed universities in my home country Lebanon with the hope of pursuing a PhD in Nutrition in the few years to come…

Nathalie is now starting a PhD with focus on Human Nutrition at McGill University, Canada (2016).

Jessica Ayling
Human Nutrition (HN Pathway, 2014-15)

Before attending Imperial College London for an MRes in Human Nutrition I had completed a Bsc Hons in Biochemistry at Cardiff University. For my undergraduate dissertation I spent time in the laboratory isolating an insecticidal protein, which had the potential to be used in agriculture; as opposed to using chemicals. As I thoroughly enjoyed this project I wanted to continue with research and so applied for the MRes. I specialized in human nutrition as I had worked part-time as a chef since the age of sixteen and wanted to combine my food and scientific research interests. 

My MRes project focused on testing garden peas that were engineered to harbor a greater resistant starch content, which was believed to lower blood sugar and hence may be beneficial to type two diabetic individuals. My favourite part of the project was being able to carry out research independently, performing clinical trials at Hammersmith Hospital. I learnt how to ensure participant safety during these trials, as well as a variety of computational skills in order to analyse the data. There was the potential for a PhD and publication with further research. However, I wanted to explore my passion for food further. After completing the MRes I applied for a new product development position at Greencore. I currently work on developing food products for high end retailers. A long term project I will focus on is the development of free from products to provide for those with intolerances and allergies. 

I feel the MRes helped build my confidence in terms of what I was capable of achieving. I was given a lot of support during my MRes, even employment for a brief period of time before gaining a position at Greencore. This enabled me to add a number of skills to my CV, which will only help with my future career. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Imperial and would highly recommend the MRes to any hardworking individual."

Adesola Bello
Human Nutrition (HN Pathway, 2014-15)

I received my Bachelors in Biochemistry back home in Nigeria and enrolled on the MRes in Clinical Research at Imperial because I had always wanted to be a researcher. My fascination with food and interest in exploring the interface between diet and health made me choose to specialise in Human Nutrition.

Coming from a basic science background with no history in nutrition, I wondered whether I would experience some difficulty; however a slight relief for me was finding out that within our pathway group for the 2014 year, none of us had come from a Nutrition background and we didn’t have to worry; the MRes lectures provided the necessary fundamentals for understanding and conducting excellent nutrition research at lab-based, clinical and epidemiological levels. Coupled with the practical aspect, I think the MRes course as a whole was and is great both as an initiation into (as in my case) or continuing professional development in the world of research in academia, industry or government (regulatory bodies).

I would say that the beauty of doing the MRes in the department of Medicine at Imperial is the opportunity of being exposed to different types of research. For instance, my MRes thesis reported on the effect of diet-induced weight loss on anorectic gut hormones in participants recruited on a big EU-funded clinical trial called NutriTech; I was mainly involved in lab-based and statistical analyses. I also got to gain experience in practical clinical research by assisting in an ongoing clinical trial at the time. Some of my classmates were involved in pre-clinical research type projects while some got on epidemiological studies, and some others did projects that involved collaboration with other departments, thus increasing the breadth of skills and knowledge to be acquired. 

Although at times I may have felt slightly overwhelmed, with the benefit of hindsight, I can say my time on the MRes course challenged me to become better professionally and even personally. Now that I am doing a PhD, I better appreciate the skills and experience I gained while doing the MRes. 

I have continued on to a PhD on the same programme under the supervision of Prof Gary Frost and Dr Jonathan Swann. For my PhD research, I am investigating the mechanism(s) by which soluble viscous fibres lower blood LDL- and total cholesterol. My project would have me drawing knowledge from my training in basic biochemistry as well as introducing me to advanced techniques in the field (metabolomics tools and techniques), and I would also be gaining practical experience in the fields of molecular biology, microbiology and of course nutrition – very exciting!

Jessica Preston 
Human Nutrition (HN Pathway, 2015-16)

I enrolled in the MRes in clinical research on the human nutrition pathway at Imperial College London directly after completing a BS in Nutrition at a university in the US.  Overall, the course was very research focused, spending full time on my research project, with only four weeks of course classes dispersed throughout the one-year period.  I thoroughly enjoyed my year at Imperial based on the high quality of research that I was able to immerse myself in.  I knew what type of research I was interested in getting involved with prior to the course, and was lucky to find a supervisor who’s interests were very much aligned with my own.  My project focused on the use of dietary interventions in management of brain cancer, with a specific focus on the epigenetic changes involved in dietary therapy efficacy for brain cancer patients.  My project was based in the wet lab, working with cutting edge cell culture and genetic research techniques.  I was also able to present my research at an academic conference, and collaborate with patient advocates to bring awareness to the current state of brain cancer research.  

After completing the course, I am going on to work as a biotechnology specialist at an international patent law firm specializing in scientific and medical related patents based in Japan.  Overall, I got a lot out of the course because I put a lot in.  I would recommend this course to other students who are self-motivated, and have a passion for conducting clinical research.

Translational Medicine

Examples of next steps taken by students after completing the programme (TM Pathway) include

  • PhD Fellowship – Imperial x 2, University of Lincoln, Oxford x2, Hong Kong.
  • Marie Curie PhD Fellowship (France).
  • PhD candidate under the Department of Medicine at Imperial College, attached to Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi, with a research interest in iron status, gut hormone profile and insulin resistance.
  • Joint PhD studentship with Imperial College and Hong Kong University.
  • Post doc position - Harvard University.
  • Research fellow (Imperial College Diabetes Centre, Abu Dhabi).
  • Clinical Research Fellow at Imperial College.
  • Research Technician, Department of Investigative Medicine, Imperial College.
  • Clinical Trials Administrator, Imperial CRF, NIHR/Wellcome Trust Imperial Clinical Research Facility.
  • Clinical Researcher, Saving Faces – Facial Surgery Research Foundation.
  • Medical School, Cornell – USA, Malta, Swansea.
  • Dentistry.
  • House Officer (New York).
  • Researcher and acting lab manager at a cancer research start-up company.
  • Data Assistant (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine).
  • IMED Graduate Programme – AstraZeneca.
  • Consultant at Cerner Corporation.
  • Management Consultant.

Student testimonials

Dimitrios Doultsinos
Translational Medicine (TM Pathway, 2014-15)

My name is Dimitrios Doultsinos and I undertook the 1 year, full time course on the Translational Medicine pathway of the Clinical Research MRes. I was also the academic representative of this pathway. I chose to do this course because it brought clinical perspective and basic science together. Having a background both in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, it was great to be able to learn through the taught component more about innovative therapeutics and clinical trial design, implementation and troubleshooting.

I really enjoyed the fact that at the interview level there was discussion on what I wanted to pursue and had the freedom to choose my year-long project myself. The administrative part of the course was very efficiently run and this went a long way towards me having an enjoyable experience throughout the year with minimal levels of stress. 

I did my project on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Genetics with Professor Jacqueline de Belleroche at the Division of Brain Sciences and the length of the project allowed me to not only get significant results but also experience a project from inception and design to completion rather than only participate in someone else’s project for a short period of time. This meant that was I was able to integrate more with the team and build a lot of fantastic connections with some very talented co-workers. 

Wanting to continue down the path of bringing science to the clinic I continued working as an honorary Research Fellow at the Division of Brain sciences until March 2016 and now am an ITN Marie Curie Research Fellow in the OSS CLCC Rennes, France after being awarded a 3.5 year fellowship to obtain a PhD by the European Commission.

Stavros Athanasopoulos
Translational Medicine (TM Pathway 2012-13)

I joined the MRes programme in Translational Medicine wishing to gain research experience in the field of medicine and neuroscience at an institution with a reputation for excellence in research. I chose the specific programme as it combined, in the best way for a medical doctor, the laboratory component with the clinical field.

While attending the taught modules of the course I came across biomedical knowledge and scientific methodology that not only enabled me to perform well while managing my research project, but also to have a clearer understanding and critical appraising of several trials that I come across at medical journals. While working for the research project, I divided my time between Imperial CRF in Hammersmith Campus where I was part of an enthusiastic team of scientists, managers, nurses and doctors, and MRC Gene Regulation Lab where I collaborated with visionary scientists that helped me enhance my insights in the laboratory techniques.

Overall, the ability to monitor the effects of a drug from bench to bedside and vice versa, having an holistic view of the effects to the human, was the best part of the experience. Specifically, I worked at a clinical trial studying the epigenetic and clinical effects of a drug on patients with a genetic neurodegenerative disease. It has been a hard yet joyful work and the results have been published at a high impact factor journal.

After finishing the MRes course, I continued working as a clinical research fellow in a project studying the potential use of novel technologies as biomarkers for the monitoring of neurodegenerative diseases progression. This project has brought together scientists from medicine and engineering. Currently, I am back to clinical practice as a medical specialty trainee, but this MRes has given me several skills needed to work in clinical research settings as well as a strong experience in research and academic medicine.

Pavlina Petrova
Translational Medicine (TM Pathway 2011-12)

Following my BSc in Biomedical Sciences, I pursued an MRes in Translational Medicine. The highlights of this course included comprehensive exposure to a high variety of fields for both clinical and basic science.

As a basic scientist, I thoroughly enjoined learning about clinical research and the complexity of developing a scientific concept into clinical practice. The taught components were well structured and very informative regarding all aspects of clinical trials. By the end of the course I had gained comprehensive understanding regarding preclinical research, different clinical trial phases, quality control and the major concerns involved with research using human subjects. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to interact with world class professionals, involved in cutting edge clinical research.

The research component of this course gave me the opportunity to attain numerous advanced lab techniques and develop my analytical skills during a highly stimulating and challenging project. I explored the interaction between Src, Focal Adhesion Kinase and the integrin cell surface receptors during carcinogenesis and metastasis and whether this interaction could be exploited therapeutically by developing PET screening probes for the early detection of metastasis. As metastasis is the major cause of cancer mortality, developing a diagnostic tool for its early stages is highly desirable. This project was ideal in demonstrating the value of Translational Medicine by combining hard scientific research with focus towards clinical benefit.

Overall, I would recommend this course to anyone interested in the interface between basic science and clinical research. I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to develop my knowledge and scientific skills during this MRes, which lead me to obtain a highly competitive Joint PhD studentship with Imperial College and Hong Kong University.  My PhD project is focused on modelling and optimising therapeutic gene correction in mouse embryonic and adult stem cells. The focus of this work is to develop a safe and efficient treatment for patients suffering from monogenic inherited disorders, such as Sickle Cell Anaemia, where haematopoietic stem cells from the patient are corrected ex vivoand then these normal functioning cells are reintroduced into the patient.

Olivia Cai
Translational Medicine (TM Pathway, 2010-11)

In March, I started working as a management consultant after finishing the MRes programme last September.  I wish to say how useful the course has been for me!

As a management consultant, I do not necessarily focus on R&D anymore, however the company I joined, like many other consultancy firms have quite a large focus on the pharma industry. The knowledge of clinical trial governance, in particular has demonstrated my understanding of many of the consulting projects we do with pharma and healthcare. On top of that, the drug discovery process and related material taught in TM are so cutting edge that many of the consulting projects happening here are tailored around those trends/technologies!

David Pinato
Translational Medicine (TM Pathway, 2009-10)

I joined the MRes in Translational Medicine at Imperial College London as an international student with the aim of gaining further experience in the field of basic and clinical oncology. As a clinician, I enjoyed being exposed to a wide range of challenging and instructive taught modules and practical sessions focusing on the interface between basic research and their applications to the diagnosis, prognostication and management of human disease across various disciplines.

As part of my MRes project I had the opportunity of working with an experienced and dynamic team of academics and gained many skills during my own research time. The MRes programme provided me with the opportunity of exploring molecular prognostic traits in a wide series of human cancers. As part of my project I have qualified novel cancer biomarkers that can now be used in the clinic to better understand and predict the course of malignant disease. The results of my work have been published in high impact peer-reviewed journals.

Joining Imperial College means being part of a strong and dynamic scientific community. Overall, this has been a fantastic experience, from which I have benefited both professionally and personally.  The MRes in Clinical Research is an ideal route for those wishing to embark on a career in research, be it in academia or industry.