Teaching Faculty

Our training team is multi-disciplinary combining research and practice. Each trainer has at least 10 years of experience in public health, and includes the founding members of the programme.

Dr Raheelah Ahmad, Course Director, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London    
Co-developer of the programme and previously project lead on child obesity for the London Public Health Network September 2008-10. Raheelah is Health Management Programme Lead at Imperial College London, National Centre for Infection Prevention and Management and NIHR Fellow in Knowledge Mobilisation. She completed her doctorate in health management Imperial’s Business School. She also has a Masters in health services management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and over ten years experience of health services management in primary care in London. Raheelah also holds a postgraduate certificate in education from Kings College, London. Raheelah’s research experience includes qualitative approaches to consumer involvement and programme evaluation. Her recent work includes public consultation for reconfiguration of health services in London, impact of family medicine reforms in Turkey and Bosnia, and for her doctorate she developed an empirical model explaining health-seeking behaviour of women in urban and rural Pakistan during pregnancy. Raheelah is senior associate editor of the peer reviewed international journal, Public Health and a  a fellowof  the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Fiona Sim OBE, Co-developer of the programme
Fiona is Clinical Director for planned care and medicines optimisation at Luton CCG as well as a GP in the locality. Fiona is special advisor on obesity for the Royal Society of Public Health (and former Chair) and led the London Public Health Network from 2006-10. Her main professional and research interest is in building capacity and capability across all sectors, in order to deliver better health and to reduce health inequalities. She is joint Editor of Public Health and Registrar of the Public Health Register. She has honorary academic appointments at UCL and University of Beds. She is a QA visitor for medical education and a Fitness to Practise panellist for the General Medical Council. In addition to previous NHS posts as director of public health and Trust medical director, she was formerly associate Postgraduate Dean for London and Head of Public Health Development at the Department of Health.

Esmita Charani 
An Academic Research Pharmacist working at the National Centre for Infection Prevention and Management. She is currently an investigator in behavioural research project considering the Infection prevention and control practices (including antimicrobial prescribing) of health care providers. Additionally she is undertaking research into the infection and obesity syndemic with a particular focus on the prevalence of infection and antimicrobial dosing in obese patient populations. Esmita has an MPharm degree in Pharmacy and has practised clinical pharmacy for 8 years in various NHS hospitals and has extensive experience in clinical pharmacy practice specifically in Infectious Diseases. Esmita also has a postgraduate MSc in Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology from LSHTM and has worked with the Department of Health and the Health Protection Agency as part of a specialist advisory Committee in Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection. At Imperial Esmita is a lecturer and examiner in postgraduate MSc in Infection Management.

Brenda Donnelly
RGN in Belfast in 1983 and has worked in the UK and abroad in various health care settings. She completed a Masters in Primary Care Development from City University in 2003. She has been a partner in a general practice in Lambeth and is particularly interested in community development and working with families and children in deprived areas. She is currently a part-time Freelance Nurse Consultant with Kids Company and part-time nurse and independent prescriber in general practice.

Iris Fornefeld
Iris is a self-employed Registered Dietitian with an interest in health through diet and lifestyle and weight management. She is passionate about food and cooking, culture and community and thus enjoys the vibrancy and diversity of London. 

Prior to her degree at King’s College London as a mature student, she gained experience in numerous fields and sectors, including massage therapy, as a professional carer and in administration roles in private and public sector capacities.  She completed student placements at St George’s Hospital in Tooting and at Ealing Hospital. She is now working towards building a private practice as a dietitian, and is also interested in ad-hoc opportunities in a consultancy and training capacity for existing projects such as CHALK. She regularly attends dietetics-related workshops and events in order to maintain and build her knowledge and skill in the field of dietetics.

Leon Marshall
A part-time Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science at London South Bank University and the director of his own company called Fitness Trainer UK (FTUK) - a fitness education provider that delivers gym instructor courses and personal trainer courses at London South Bank University. Leon also works with young offenders who are disengaged from school, family life, society, and from the chance to succeed. With Leon's extensive knowledge in his field of Health & Fitness he trains, challenges and supports the young people to change the way they see themselves and change the way they behave. Leon graduated from University of Bedfordshire with a Bsc (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Science in 2001. Since then he has gained qualifications in Advanced Gym Instructing, Personal Training, Strength & Conditioning, Teaching, Sports Nutrition and Body Massage. He has supported over 1000 Fitness Professionals gain their relevant qualifications and has been one of the CHALK presenters from the start of the programme.

Dr Luke Moore
Luke has been a practicing medical doctor since 2003, and two subsequent Masters degrees, both with distinctions, in Clinical Microbiology in 2010 and in Public Heath in 2012. Luke has also attained Membership of the Royal College of Physicians and Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists. In 2013 he was awarded an NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre clinical research training fellowship for three years to read for a PhD investigating the role of rapid diagnostics in critical care and their impact on antimicrobial prescribing and bacterial resistance. Luke is particularly interested in understanding the impact of clinical decision pathways on diagnostics. Luke was recently awarded the Educator of the Year award for 2015 at Imperial College.

Shelley Michalska
Shelley is a former BBC journalist with a varied career in radio news and BBC Children’s Newsround.  She developed an interest in nutrition when she started a family and went on to qualify as a Nutritional Therapist at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in Richmond in 2009, after which she built a significant client base, largely focusing on weight management. Since then she has completed a Diploma in Obesity and Diabetes Management with the Weight Management Centre which delivers obesity services to adults and children across the UK on behalf of several health authorities. Her main areas of interest are tackling and preventing overweight and obesity in children and helping families become healthier through small but significant lifestyle changes. She is currently studying for a Masters degree in Obesity Science and Management with the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. She has been involved in the delivery of CHALK since 2013.

Sarah Percy
Sarah is a Registered Dietitian. She qualified from the University of Hertfordshire with an Honours Degree in Dietetics in 2012.

Sarah has a wide variety of experience working within several different health care settings. Sarah currently works as a Dietitian at a general practice in London where she runs a dietetic clinic for patients. Alongside this, Sarah also carries out the NHS Health Check which enables her to use her dietetic knowledge to carry out a holistic approach to preventing people from developing long term illnesses. Sarah enjoys educating patients on how eating well will help reduce their risk of developing metabolic complications such as heart disease.

Sarah also dedicates a lot of her time to volunteering as a Community Dietitian at The Food Chain, a charity that provides nutritional support to people living with HIV in London. Her role here involves conducting dietetic assessments ensuring service users have the appropriate care plan to meet their nutritional needs.

She has been involved in the delivery of CHALK training since October 2012.

Expert advisory

Professor Gary Frost 
Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Imperial College, qualified as a dietitian in 1982 and has always maintained a cli nical input throughout his career. His research work, cited widely includes the role of dietary carbohydrates on appetite regulation, insulin resistances and lipid metabolism in particular the glycaemic index as a model of the physiological effects of carbohydrates.  His work with Professor Bloom includes understanding the basic nutritional physiology involved in energy balance. More recently the research group have we have demonstrated the efficacy of an intensive weight management system based on behavioural change on long term weight loss.  

Dr Tim Lobstein 
Executive director of the non-profit organization The International Association for the Study of Obesity. Dr Lobstein is author of several books including Children's’ Food: The Good, The Bad and the Useless, and The Nursery Food Book: Guidelines for Under Fives Care Staff. He is an occasional consultant for the WHO Regional Office for Euro pe (Food and Nutrition Security Programme) and the Association for Schools of Public Health in the European Region (EPIC Assessment Programme). His current concerns include the development of tools for assessing the impact on nutrition of agriculture policies and the rising incidence of nutrition-related diseases in children.

Prof. David McCarthy
Professor of human nutrition in the Institute of Health Research and Policy at London Metropolitan University. He is involved in a number of projects relating to diet, nutrition and obesity, including a development of references for body composition in UK children, a study on Children's body fatness in regional and ethnic subgroups in the UK and markers of upper body fatness in children.