Queen's Tower on South Kensignton campus lit up at night in different colours

 Advancing gender equality, representation, progression and success for all.

Who we are

The Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction is actively working to increase and support development opportunities to all our staff. We champion initiatives to promote the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all. The Committee's success is reflected by the Department recently receiving its interim Athena SWAN Silver award. This committee is working towards a full Athena SWAN Silver award in 2024 by building on our previous successful application. The Committee is co-lead by Lesley Regan and Véronique Azuara, with support from Joanna Thompson (Department Manager) and Yasmin Abdi (administration support).

Priority areas and champions

The committee has a number of priority areas, and champions to support these activities:

  • Clinical Academic Pathway – Channa Jayasena and Lesley Regan
  • Communications and Website – Benjie Coleman and Ed Chambers
  • Early Career Development, Leadership and Academic Promotions – Liz Want and Véronique Azuara
  • Education – Kate Hardy and Kevin Murphy
  • Intersectionality and Diversity – Aaron Lett and Tanweer Beteil
  • Mentoring –  Jia Li and Olivia Barrett
  • Outreach – Viki Male and Toby Athersuch
  • PRDP – Inês Cebola and Alejandra Tomas
  • Recruitment, induction, and probation – Bryn Owen and Olivia Barrett
  • Support for PTO staff – Lynn Maslen and Leah Grey
  • Gender Pay Gap - Lesley Regan and Joanna Thompson

Please contact Veronique Azuara if you are interested in supporting the committee in any of the above areas.



Black Postdoc Network

The Black Postdoctoral Network, co-chaired by MDR's Tanweer Beleil, was established in November 2021 to support the College’s Black postdoctoral researchers – those professionally conducting research after the completion of their doctoral studies.

The Network has been successful in the bid for funding from UKRI Research England Funding via the PFDC to support improving access to and participation in research for people from currently underrepresented groups. The awarded funds will go towards a symposium that will take place in June 2022.

The Network hosted the first Black Researchers of Imperial Symposium in June. The one-day event was a great opportunity to promote achievements, meet with colleagues and hear about the research conducted by Black Researchers within the College. It included a panel on the Variety of Principle Investigator/Permanent Researcher positions, where we heard about the different structures and expectations of PIs and permanent researchers from a diversity of institutions.


Menopause Workplace Pledge

The Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction is proud to have signed up to the Menopause Workplace Pledge. In signing up, we commit to:

  1. Recognising that the menopause can be an issue in the workplace and women need our support 
  2. Talking openly, positively and respectfully about the menopause
  3. Committing to actively support and inform our employees affected by the menopause.

The Menopause Workplace Pledge was launched in 2021 by Wellbeing of Women in collaboration with Hello! Magazine and Bupa to call on employers to take positive action and support everyone going through the menopause. Employers who sign the pledge are committing to: recognising that the menopause is an issue in the workplace and women need support; to talk openly, positively and respectfully about the menopause; and to actively support and inform employees affected by the menopause.

In the UK, there are nearly 5 million women working aged between 50-64 years. The majority of these women will go through the menopause, which frequently coincides with the peak of their careers, a time when they are at their most successful and productive. Employers can play a key and important role in helping women to manage their health and wellbeing at this stage in life. By doing so, organisations can help to ensure a gender-equal working environment, support women to reach their potential and benefit from the enormous expertise and experience that they contribute to the workplace. When we get it right for women, everyone benefits, both in the workplace and beyond.

The college offers information and support for staff going through the Menopause

Support for PTO staff

Imperial Technicians' Network

The Imperial Technicians' Network is for all technical staff and aims to build links, explore areas of common ground and highlight opportunities for personal and professional development. It encourages an exchange of resources, knowledge, and experience through a regular newsletter and events for technical staff.

Find out more


The Department offers a mentoring scheme for all staff regardless of level.  Recently there was a drive to increase awareness of this scheme and going forward to increase the uptake by PTO level staff.  This also links in to supporting PTO staff in obtaining experience and gaining skills in other areas of the Department, Faculty, wider College and externally through secondments.

Find out more


The Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction works hard on outreach and public engagement by inspiring curiosity about science, connecting with society and providing opportunities for conversations, discussion and engagement between researchers and the public. We create projects, activities and events experimenting with new, creative ways of engaging with diverse audiences. 

Find out more

Black Lives Matter

The Department recently ran an event called Black Lives Matter in Science and Medicine led by Dr Stanley Andrisse, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins and Howard Universities. 

Watch a recording of the event


The Department offers a mentoring scheme for all staff regardless of level.  Recently there was a drive to increase awareness of this scheme and going forward to increase the uptake by PTO level staff.  This also links in to supporting PTO staff in obtaining experience and gaining skills in other areas of the Department, Faculty, wider College and externally through secondments.

Find out more

Support for PRDP

The MDR Culture Survey included questions specifically related to PRDP. Based on the feedback received, the PRDP champions along with other members of the People and Culture Committee have identified three major focus areas to improve the PRDP experience for all members of staff:

  • Training
  • Communication
  • Quality assessment

For training, we are working closely with the People and Organisational Development (POD) team to deliver tailored PRDP workshops to appraisers in the Department. These workshops were made available to all MDR appraisers for the first time in the last PRDP cycle and will now be offered at the beginning of every PRDP cycle after positive feedback from those who attended the workshops. Information on future workshops will be shared in the Department’s newsletter and is available here. There are still places available in the next sessions, which will be held online on 8/11/2023 and 5/12/2023. The registration form is available here.

For communication, we have implemented a strategy that will come into force this cycle, in which both appraisers and appraisees will receive specific email notifications about their PRDP status in the current cycle.

More globally, the PRDP champions are also engaging with representatives of different job families to understand where the PRDP experience can be improved, which will be coordinated with the ongoing Faculty-wide PRDP review. Our future activities will also include revision of the PRDP forms, working with focus groups to understand the current challenges and carry out longitudinal analysis of the PRDP uptake rates within our Department.

Support for promotion

The MDR Culture Survey included questions specifically related to the Department's promotion process and will be updating our processes accordingly. 

Health-based leadership programme for MDR postdocs and fellows

More information to follow.

Job family tailored induction packs

More information to follow.

Retaining female clinical academics

More information to follow. 

Launch of Values and Behaviours

More information to follow. 

Meet the Committee



Lesley Regan IRDB
Veronique Azuara IRDB
Joanna Thompson MDR Centre 
Mark Thursz  Hepatology & Gastroenterology 
Niamh Sayers IRDB
Rachel Richardson IRDB
Alejandra D D Tomas Catala Cell Biology and Functional Genomics
Elizabeth Want Bioanalytical Chemistry
Nick Woods FoM Centre
Charmaine Porter MDR Centre
Paula Phillips FoM Centre
Christopher Peters Surgery and Cancer
Bryn Owen Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine
Mariana Norton Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine
Kevin Murphy Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine
Lynn Maslen Bioanalytical Chemistry
Aldara Martin Alonso Research Postgraduate
Victoria Male IRDB
Jia Li Nutrition Research
Aaron Lett Nutrition Research
Rocio Lale-Montes IRDB
Hector Keun Surgery and Cancer
Channa Jayasena Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine
Kate Hardy IRDB
Leah Grey MDR Centre
Stephen Franks IRDB
Larissa Franklin Revill Research Postgraduate
Liz Elvidge HR
Liliane El Eid Research Postgraduate
Waljit Dhillo Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine
Wei Cui IRDB
Benjie Coleman MDR Centre
Edward Chambers Nutrition Research
Ines Cebola Genetics & Genomics
Daniela Bultoc HR
Rob Bell FoM Centre
Tanweer Beleil IRDB
Tammy Barrett MDR Centre
Olivia Barrett MDR Centre
Suzanne Barr Nutrition Research
Toby Athersuch Biomolecular Medicine
Yasmin Abdi MDR Centre
Anne Majumdar Nutrition Research