We deliver a comprehensive annual programme of events to support the development of clinical academics/researchers. Please click on the relevant section for further details about recent session(s).

Previous event highlights

CATO Masterclass: Broadening participation in clinical research (a South African perspective)

On Monday 13 March 2023, Prof Levy and the CATO team were delighted to host a ‘special’ Masterclass on the topic of Broadening participation in clinical research (a South African perspective).

Our special guest speaker was Professor Priscilla Reddy, a visiting Professor to Imperial College, who shared her personal experience of broadening participation in research and the challenges faced by clinical academics in South Africa.

Prof Reddy’s presentation covered fascinating topics including the decolonisation and transformation of health research post-apartheid and the significant work involved in moving data and evidence into policy and legislation. The talk also included reflections on Prof Reddy’s own research experiences / case studies, innovative ways of enhancing participation in research and in influencing the national research agenda in South Africa.

A notable 50+ colleagues, coming from various clinical professions across all Imperial College AHSC organisations, joined the Masterclass to hear our guest speaker talk on this topic.

You can catch up with what was covered by watching the recording of the session online.

CATO Masterclass - Using large data sets: tips, successes and challenges: 6 December 2022

Big data is a term we are used to using. It can encompass everything from genomic data and single cell RNA analysis right the way through to population data from GP surgeries, public health records and hospitals.

The aim of this masterclass was to share approaches to big data analysis and to learn the pitfalls and approaches for success, with help from two fantastic keynote speakers.

To open the session, we were delighted to have Professor Alex Bottle, Professor of Medical Statistics. Alex spoke to us about his work using - CPRD (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) and WSIC (Whole Systems Integrated Care).

We then heard Dr Melanie Chan, currently a Renal Specialist Registrar at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, but who recently completed a very successful Kidney Research UK Doctoral fellowship using computational biology in rare kidney disorders, having never before undertaken any sort of complex statistics or handling of large data sets when she started her PhD as a renal registrar. She spoke to the challenges and tips for success as a clinician starting out tackling such problems, and again handling large data sets (in her case genome wide data in almost 24,000 people).

An impressive 100+ colleagues, coming from various clinical professions across all Imperial College AHSC organisations, joined the Masterclass to hear our presenters talk on this topic.

You can catch up with what was covered by watching the recording of the session online.

Making a clinical academic career work, in person panel event: 14 November 2022

On Monday 14 November 2022, we held our brand-new CATO in person panel event ‘Making a clinical academic career work’, aimed at CLs (clinical lecturers), other post-doc clinical fellows and final year clinical PhD fellows who have a strong desire to continue their academic career.

We welcomed over 20 attendees to the Translation & Innovation Hub (I-HUB) White City Campus for an afternoon of career exploration and networking.

The panel comprised of;

The session introduced the attendees to some of the most senior Imperial colleagues who have developed highly successful clinical academic careers. The attendees asked insightful questions and learned from the panel’s experiences. Overall, the event was a great success with attendees agreeing that they were glad they attended the session and great to have face to face networking.

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the attendees. Some key comments included:

“I really like the approachability and honesty from the panel members. I learnt that resilience is key and to have an interesting question”.

“The breadth of the panel was incredible”.

“The most valuable takeaway for me were to make connections, look widely for support and find mentor/s”.

“I learnt about alternative funding options for clinicians.”

“What I like the most about the event – face to face, very human experiences and practical advice”.

North West London Research Symposium for NMAHPPs: 22 September 2022

We were so pleased to welcome over 100 of you back to the Skempton Building for our 2022 North West London Research Symposium for NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied health professionals, Healthcare scientists, Pharmacy staff and Psychologists).

The event, our first in-person annual symposium since 2019, took place on Thursday 22 September and was a real celebration of all the fantastic research being undertaken by NMAHPPs across North West London.

We were delighted to be joined by Professor Jane Coad who captivated the audience, discussing the importance of balancing our ‘Capacity Cups’ whilst developing a clinical academic career.

After Jane, we heard from Dr Huw Woodbridge and Dr Susanne Cruickshank who both shared their research journey to now, inspiring others to picture themselves in their shoes.

To conclude the first half of the afternoon, we heard from Shahd Abdelaziz and Rhia Saggu who presented their research, as winners of the abstract competition.

During lunch and refreshment breaks, attendees got the chance to speak to exhibitors from the research community and to see over 30 research posters which were submitted to the event and to cast their votes for their ‘People’s choice poster’ award.

A huge congratulations to all our abstract submitters, but in particular to:

  • Shahd Abdelaziz – Joint highest scoring abstract
  • Rhia Saggu – Joint highest scoring abstract
  • Marie-Clare Johnson – Winner of the inclusivity award
  • Calandra Feather – Winner of the people’s choice poster award

In the afternoon delegates had the choice of four workshops to attend which were as follows:

  • Acing interviews - Delivered by Katie Dallison
  • Research or Improvement? How to answer the questions you need answered on the ground - Delivered by Dr Rowan Myron
  • Outcome Measurement in Clinical Research; Getting it Right - Delivered by Dr Donna Kennedy
  • A workshop on designing contemporary clinical trials - Delivered by Dr Victoria Cornelius & Jack Elkes

All workshops were well attended and reviewed and we are really grateful to everyone who came along.

You can see all the buzz from the day by looking at our hashtag - #NWLResearch22 and included below are presentation materials from the keynote talks and from the workshops.

Keynote Talk - Jane Coad - Capacity Cups (PDF)

Workshop A - Acing Interviews by Katie Dallison (PDF) 


Workshop B - Research or Improvement by Dr Rowan Myron (PDF)

Workshop C - Outcome Measurement in Clinical Research by Dr Donna Kennedy (PDF)

Workshop D - A workshop on designing contemporary clinical trials by The Imperial Clinical Trials Unit (PDF) 

Getting the most out of your clinical PhD/MD(Res): 1 July 2022

On Friday 1 July 2022 Prof Laki Buluwela provided an informative session on “Following the Imperial College PhD timeline” which was well received by approx. 30 Clinical PhD/MD(Res) Fellows across the Imperial College AHSC.

The next session specifically for Clinical PhD/MD(Res) fellows will take place in the Autumn term, more information will be available closer to the time. Details will be distributed by your research degree managers and other Imperial AHSC Colleagues*.

* Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals (Affiliate)

CATO Research Symposium: 29 June 2022

The 2022 CATO Research Symposium took place virtually on Wednesday 29 June.

The event was very well attended with over 70 delegates including Doctors and NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists) from a range of different clinical academic pathways. The event kicked off with oral presentations, chosen from the best of the abstracts submitted and we heard from:

  • Benedict Turner (Academic Foundation Programme Trainee):  Systematic review and meta-analysis of the additional benefit of pharmacological thromboprophylaxis after endovenous varicose vein intervention
  • Melanie Jensen (Academic Clinical Fellow): Multisystem screening reveals SARS-CoV-2 in neurons of the myenteric plexus and in megakaryocytes
  • Hew Torrance (Academic Clinical Fellow): A transcriptomic-led approach to understand individual patient susceptibility to post-operative pneumonia following major abdominal surgery
  • Laura Monje-Garcia (Healthcare Professional, clinical academic / nurse practitioner): Psychological well-being of people living with a colorectal cancer predisposition syndrome: evidence from a systematic review
  • Claire Broderick (Clinical Research Training Fellow): Systemic Influenza Infection Impairs Whole Blood Control of Mycobacteria in a Human Challenge Study
  • Thomas Edwards (Clinical Research Training Fellow): Collaborative team training in virtual reality is superior to individual learning for performing complex open surgery: a randomised controlled trial

The delegates attended two fantastic masterclasses: ‘Interview skills’ with Katie Dallison from Imperial College London Careers Service, and ‘Innovation session: How to spinout a multimillion-pound medtech company during a busy medical take’ with Dr Paul Bentley, Clinical Director of the Imperial College Network of Excellence in Rehabilitation Technology, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Neurologist.

We have included the presentation materials below from the Interview skills workshop and Inclusivity in Research presentation.

Interview session Katie Dallison - June 2022

Inclusivity in research Prof Levy - June 2022


 Feedback from the event has been very positive with 100% of delegates rating the event as excellent or good. Key comments included:

‘All the presenters were very knowledgeable and passionate about their topic’

'Excellent organisation and I particularly liked the masterclasses’

‘Really engaging and a diverse range of interesting topics’

Setting the scene, exploring options and opportunities as a Clinical Research Practitioner: 22 June 2022

On the Wednesday 22 June 2022 we held our inaugural event for Clinical Research Practitioners (CRPs) ‘Setting the scene, exploring options and opportunities as a Clinical Research Practitioner’.

We welcomed over 40 attendees, from a broad spectrum of Clinical Research roles, to the Wolfson Education Centre for an afternoon of learning, engaging and networking.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Christine Adamson, Lead Research Nurse, C&W
  • Rhian Bull, Clinical Research Practitioner, C&W
  • Helen Jones, Lead Nurse for Clinical Research Workforce, ICHT
  • Janice Patterson, Workforce Strategy Lead, NIHR
  • Lillie Shahabi, Neuro-oncology Network Relationship Manager, ICHT
  • Mary Wells, Deputy Director of Nursing – Research, ICHT

Attendees also had the chance to join breakout groups to discuss their own research ideas and plans.

All in all the event was a great success with 100% of attendees agreeing that they were glad they attended the course and that it would aid their future development.

To find out more about future courses for CRPs and NMAHPPs please sign up to our CATO mailing list: CATO@imperial.ac.uk

CATO Masterclass: ‘AI for Healthcare’:  Friday 27 May 2022

Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers a real opportunity in healthcare, not only to automate some of the problem-solving carried out by doctors and other healthcare professionals, but also to make quicker and better decisions and apply problem-solving techniques that humans alone could not. This CATO Masterclass, Chaired by Prof Jeremy Levy, was an excellent opportunity to hear about a wide variety of current AI research projects focussing on healthcare issues.

The aim of the session was to share with a wider clinical audience of research active and interested clinicians (at any stage of training and from any profession), the range of AI work being done at Imperial, mostly in non-clinical departments, to encourage future collaborations outside clinical departments, and to allow the non-clinical PhD fellows to engage with a clinical audience so we can better use AI tools in healthcare settings. 

We were delighted to have Professor Aldo Faisal introduce the session, Professor of AI and Neuroscience from the Departments of Computing and Bioengineering, who runs the prestigious AI4H (artificial intelligence for healthcare) doctoral training programme at Imperial. Following Prof Faisal’s introduction a number of current AI4H PhD fellows (clinical and non-clinical) provided brief overviews of their research, to give a flavour of the huge array of environments in which AI tools are being used.

  • Asem Alaa, Research PhD: ICE-NODE: Integration of Clinical Embeddings with Neural Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Myura Nagendran, Clinical PhD Fellow: Impact of explainable AI on the prescriptions of ICU doctors
  • Sumeet Hindocha, Clinical Research Fellow: CT Radiomics Prognostication and Risk Stratification following Curative-Intent Radiotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Aizaan Anwar, Clinician/ Research PhD: The BrainApp Study: Using near-patient sensing through a mobile app & machine learning in brain tumour patients
  • Paul Festor, Research PhD: AI for sepsis treatment: assuring the safety of a treatment recommendation engine
  • Joshua Southern, Research PhD: Tailored De Novo Protein Design with Deep Neural Networks
  • James Howard, Clinical Lecturer: Clinical AI, and how I accidentally became a computer scientist

 An impressive 110+ colleagues, coming from various clinical professions across all Imperial College AHSC organisations, joined the Masterclass to hear our presenters talk about their innovative and exciting projects.

 [Note:  This session was delivered online and was not recorded]