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Meet the Brunel Medical School Team

 

Leadership team 

Professor Naomi Low-Beer
Professor Naomi Low-Beer
Dean, Brunel Medical School
As Dean, Naomi provides academic and professional leadership, shaping and leading the development of Brunel’s undergraduate medical programme. Naomi brings to the School over 30 years of experience in clinical practice, research, education and leadership – most recently as Vice-Dean of Education and Professor of Medical Education at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) in Singapore, a partnership between Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Professor Michael Ferenczi
Professor Michael Ferenczi
Professor of Medical Sciences, Director of Academic Affairs and Academic Lead for Admissions
Michael is leading the Admissions selection process in the new Medical School, and also recruits academic and clinician educators. He joined Brunel Medical School in November 2020 when he returned to the UK after eight years in Singapore where he contributed to the development of the new Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University, in partnership with Imperial College London. Michael trained in physiology at University College London and developed a life-long interest in the study of the mechanism of muscle contraction. He spent three years at the University of Pennsylvania before taking up a research position at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London. He was appointed Professor of Physiological Sciences at Imperial College London in where he took on leadership responsibilities in medical education, prior to moving to Singapore in 2012.
Bridget Boylan
Bridget Boylan
Director of Operations
Professor Abbas Khakoo
Professor Abbas Khakoo
Director of Clinical Affairs
Abbas achieved a Law degree at Cambridge and went on to complete his Medical degree (BMBCh) at Oxford. His expertise and interests are in Paediatrics and clinically led service improvements. He has been a Consultant in Paediatrics since 1996 working at The Hillingdon Hospitals (THH) NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and between 2013-2019 was Executive Medical Director at THH, and is currently the Clinical lead for the new Hospital build. In his current role, Abbas is the lead for developing strong clinical partnerships with local health education providers to ensure high quality clinical placements, and that senior clinicians are involved to help shape the development and delivery of the MBBS curriculum.

 

Academic & Clinical team 

Dr Margaret Gatumu
Dr Margaret Gatumu
Lead for Anatomy
Prior to joining Brunel Medical School, Margaret was the inaugural Head of Anatomy at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) Medical School. At ARU Margaret led and taught anatomy and histology using full-body dissection of Thiel-embalmed cadaveric specimens and virtual microscopy. Before that, Margaret taught medical, dental and veterinary students anatomy, histology, oral biology and physiology at University of Bristol for a number of years. Margaret trained in dentistry, has a PhD in immunology and is a senior fellow of AdvanceHE. As Lead for Anatomy, Margaret has overall responsibility for anatomy, working with clinicians and scientists in the development and delivery of Brunel Medical School’s innovative curriculum.
Natalie Parnis
Natalie Parnis
Lecturer (Education) Team Based Learning Facilitator
Natalie joined Brunel in 2006 as a Digital Education Adviser supporting best use of digital tools in teaching. She has been actively involved in Brunel funded and externally funded projects such as JISC and Erasmus+, disseminating project outcomes at Brunel symposia, UK and International HE Conferences. She has also worked as a Programme Development Officer, supporting the implementation of the Brunel’s Learning and Teaching Strategy in the areas of Programme Design and Delivery and Support for Student Study.
Dr Preman Rajalingam
Dr Preman Rajalingam
Team-Based Learning (TBL) Consultant
Preman in an educational scholar and expert in active, blended and collaborative approaches in higher education. As TBL consultant at Brunel Medical School, he will support the setup and faculty development for this pedagogical approach. He was previously assistant Dean for Educational Development at the Lee Kong Chian school of Medicine in Singapore, a partnership between Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University. Here he was responsible for setting up TBL across the whole institution. Currently he is head of the Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy Division at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Dr Dilshani Hunukumbure
Dr Dilshani Hunukumbure
Lead for Clinical Skills
Dilshani is a clinician and a medical educator and she has worked in the NHS for nearly 20 years. Her previous roles involved teaching and overseeing the delivery of clinical skills and clinical examinations to medical students of Imperial College London during their clinical placements at Hillingdon Hospital. Dilshani also played a lead role in the development of multiple simulation courses and has conducted numerous medical educational research studies. As the Lead for Clinical Skills Dilshani has the overall responsibility for the delivery of clinical examination and procedural skills and ensuring students achieve the GMC outcomes by the time of their graduation.
Dr Pritti Vaghani
Dr Pritti Vaghani
Head of Primary Care
As member of Brunel Medical School’s education leadership team, Pritti contributes to the educational strategy of the School. Responsible for leading the development and delivery of MBBS primary care curriculum; working closely with local GP practices, ensuring MBBS students have primary care placements throughout the programme. Pritti is a Physician Associate, Lecturer at Brunel University London, responsible for teaching and placements. Also, a Portfolio GP providing clinical support and delivering service improvements and previously within my roles as a Macmillan GP, Named GP Safeguarding Adults & Children, Training Hub Programme Manager, and Chair Safeguarding Children Partnership Board.
Shafeena Anas
Shafeena Anas
TBL Facilitator and ​Lead for Equality, Diversity ​and Inclusion​
Shafeena has 16 years of experience in Higher Education in academia and professional services and is a Doctoral Researcher.
Professor Peter Abrahams
Professor Peter Abrahams
Visiting Professor
Peter is a National Teaching Fellow and Life Fellow, Girton College, Cambridge. He is also Professor 'Emeritus' of Clinical Anatomy at Warwick Medical School and a visiting professor at LKC School of Medicine NTU Singapore. Peter's publication - Weir and Abrahams 'imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy, 6th edition' was the winner in basic and clinical research books at the BMA awards 2021. 900 medical texts were submitted for 14 different prizes in all aspects of medicine. At Brunel Medical School Peter is a visiting professor.
Katherine Smith
Katherine Smith
Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead for Student Support
Katherine completed her PhD in Respiratory Medicine, in University College Dublin (UCD), investigating the role of hypoxia and hypercapnia in the setting of chronic lung diseases such as COPD. Following a post-doctoral research fellow position, Katherine was appointed lecturer in Medicine, specialising in Cardiorespiratory Physiology. She became Head of Teaching and Learning and Director of the Physiology programme at the School of Medicine, UCD. At Brunel Medical School, Katherine is Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead for Student Support, adopting a pro-active approach to student support and well-being in the School. She is also Academic Lead for the SSC Module (Student Selected Components) and will be teaching Blood, Circulation and Respiratory TBL sessions.
Dr Yan-Ling Wong
Dr Yan-Ling Wong
Medical Education Fellow
Prior to joining Brunel Medical School, Ling worked in Curriculum Development at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore. Since returning to the UK, Ling works as a GP in London and holds additional roles as part of the curriculum editing team at the Royal College of General Practitioners and in assessments for St Georges University and the General Medical Council. As Medical Education Fellow in Curriculum development, Ling has a developed an interest in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and student-centred education. Her role is to work collaboratively with content experts to produce a curriculum that represents the innovative vision of Brunel Medical School.
Dr Manraj Gill
Dr Manraj Gill
Medical Education Fellow
Manraj’s previous experience is in medical school teaching and assessments. She currently works as a GP within the North West London area. At Brunel Medical School she is actively involved in planning, development and review of educational material throughout the MBBS course. She also works and liaises with the medical school team and facilitators.
Dr Anshuni Kaneria
Dr Anshuni Kaneria
Deputy Curriculum Development Lead
Anshuni was previously a medical fellow at Imperial College London. Currently she is doing a Specialty Training Programme in Palliative Medicine in London NW Deanery. At Brunel Medical School Anshuni develops and builds the curriculum across all Years, integrates across the curriculum teams as well as embeds the School’s principles of interprofessional learning and equality, diversity and inclusion.
Dr Meera Rajah
Dr Meera Rajah
Lead for Community Placement
Previously Meera was Course Leader at Imperial College London. At Brunel medical School she works in the Primary Care team to help develop the primary care curriculum
Charlotte Rhodes
Charlotte Rhodes
Head of Assessment
Charlotte was previously Academic Lead for PG Diploma in International Medical Science (Phase 1 of MD Degree) at UCLAN, and Director of Semester One and Associate Professor & Course Director of Anatomy, American University of the Caribbean (AUC). Her role at Brunel Medical School as Head of Assessment is to lead the development, delivery and evaluation of the medical education assessment programme for the Medical School to ensure that MBBS students achieve at least the minimum level of competence (knowledge, skills and professional attributes) required by the General Medical Council (GMC) at point of graduation and be eligible for provisional registration to practice as a Foundation Year 1 (FY1) doctor.
Dr Camille Gajria
Dr Camille Gajria
Lead for Primary Care Projects
Camille is a GP and an academic tutor at Imperial College School of Medicine. She is also Education Lead for RCGP NW London faculty, and a clinical associate at Primary Care International. Camille values medicine practiced holistically, which comes not from a particular single system but just through interest in people and critical engagement with knowledge. This is the approach she hopes to maintain in her role at Brunel. This involves creating opportunities for students to creatively integrate their learning across the curriculum in authentic projects that impact patients, staff, society, and themselves.
Dr Sophie Taylor
Dr Sophie Taylor
Medical Education Fellow
Sophie was previously a Trust Grade Senior House Officer, Elderly Care at Hillingdon Hospital. At Brunel School Sophie is working as a Medical Education Fellow within the Curriculum Development Team.
Dr Sophie Billington
Dr Sophie Billington
Lead for Clinical Communication Skills
Sophie is a UK trained GP with over 25 years’ experience in clinical practice and education. She has worked in a variety of settings and specialities including the NHS, Royal Air Force, non-profit organisations and at the University of Cape Town medical school as a facilitator in problem-based learning and lead for second year clinical skills. As lead for Clinical Communication at Brunel medical school Sophie is responsible for supporting students in developing their communication and consulting skills across the 5-year curriculum, integrating medical knowledge with effective communication. Embedding the core professional values of kindness, empathy, compassionate curiosity, trustworthiness, respect and humility into the curriculum, Sophie hopes to shape the kind of doctors that Brunel medical students will ultimately become, whilst also ensuring students achieve the GMC professional skills outcomes by the time of their graduation.
Dr Aaron James Sharma Hewitt
Dr Aaron James Sharma Hewitt
Medical Education Fellow
Aaron graduated from Bristol Medical School and has started his Specialty Training in Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS), Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine. At Brunel, Aaron is a Medical Education Fellow.
Professor Roger Neighbour, OBE
Professor Roger Neighbour, OBE
Visiting Professor of Medical Education
Roger has had a long career as a general practitioner, GP trainer and Chief Examiner for the MRCGP. He was President of the Royal College of General Practitioners from 2003 to 2006. He has written a number of influential books on medical consultation theory and practice, including 'The Inner Consultation', 'The Inner Apprentice', 'The Inner Physician' and 'Consulting in a Nutshell'.
Elizabeth Prabhakar
Elizabeth Prabhakar
Academic Head of MBBS Phase 1
Elizabeth is an experienced educator with lead roles at previous medical and dental schools, Barts and The London, Malta Campus and Plymouth University. She has co-edited and co-authored a textbook, Essentials of Physiology for Dental Students. Recently, she has collaborated with a fellow scientist to pioneer the use of simulation based teaching in early years medical and science education. As Academic Head of Phase 1 Elizabeth has a student facing role with student engagement in teaching and learning at the heart of her interests. The integration of science and technology in advancing healthcare education is another aspect that she is involved in developing. Elizabeth’s research area focuses on evidence based medical education.
Dr Hameed Khan
Dr Hameed Khan
Medical Education Fellow
Hameed has previously worked as a Senior House Officer in various hospitals across London. He is currently working at Brunel as a Medical Education Fellow within the Curriculum Development Team and plans to pursue a clinical career with medical education alongside.
Mark Packer
Mark Packer
Academic Head of Digital Education
Prior to joining Brunel Medical School, Mark was the Information and Communications Technology Lead at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) before its opening in 2003, creating and developing the many innovative IT and AV systems throughout BSMS’ until 2021. Before that, Mark worked at Guy's, King's and St Thomas' Medical School at King’s College London from 1991. As Academic Head of Digital Education Mark has overall responsibility for the digital ecosystem of technologies and tools which underpin and enable the delivery of learning and teaching within Brunel Medical School’s innovative curriculum.
Dr Senita Mountjoy
Dr Senita Mountjoy
Head of Curriculum Development
Dr Chinedu Agwu
Dr Chinedu Agwu
Lecturer (Education) in Biosciences
Chinedu completed her PhD in Women’s health in Manchester University, investigating the acute and chronic effects of statins on vascular function in Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy, with a major focus on Pre-eclampsia. Following this, she spent some time working as an associate medical writer for a private healthcare communications company where she created oncology related scientific content for pharmaceutical companies such as MSD and Incyte. In 2021, Chinedu returned to Academia and worked part-time as a Teaching Fellow in Biosciences and Admissions Tutor at the University of Hertfordshire and part-time as a Scientist TBL Educator creating curriculum content for the new medical school at Brunel University London. At Brunel Medical School, Chinedu is a Lecturer (Education) in Biosciences, Lead for the Data interpretation MMI station and a House tutor, she will also be teaching in "Introduction to Medical Sciences" and "Reproduction, Growth and Ageing" TBL Sessions.

 

Professional Services & Technical teams

Chris Holloway
Chris Holloway
Marketing Manager
Chris's career in marketing began over 10 years ago; he has worked in various marketing positions across private and public sectors. Chris’s area of expertise lies in building brands, digital and content marketing and launching new educational programmes. Chris was heavily involved in the successful launch and development of Queen Mary’s new Medical School in Malta which welcomes its third cohort of students this year. As the Marketing Manager at Brunel Medical School, Chris has overall responsibility of writing and implementing the recruitment strategy. The main goal - to recruit a cohort of international students onto Brunel's new Medicine MBBS programme.
Emily Griffiths
Emily Griffiths
Recruitment and Selection Manager
Emily has worked in education for seven years. She has worked in areas from accommodation, immigration, admissions, to helping large international school groups book education trips to the UK; so she understands the student experience! Emily has enjoyed travelling all over the world meeting potential and previous students from the schools she has worked for. As Recruitment and Selection Manager at Brunel Medical School Emily is responsible for helping applicants apply, get through the interview process and ultimately enrol onto the MBBS programme.
Alison Russell
Alison Russell
Recruitment and Selection Administrator
Alison’s background with Brunel goes back to 1995 when she joined as Assistant to the Head of Public Relations. She later joined the Events team co-ordinating graduation ceremonies and the 40th and 50th anniversary celebrations. In 2008 Alison joined the Development and Alumni Relations Office where she raised over £1million for scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since joining Brunel Medical School in March 2021, Alison helps co-ordinate the applicant journey from initial enquiry through to enrolment.
Lillian DeSouza-Vastani
Lillian DeSouza-Vastani
Department Assistant Administrator
Previously Lillian was a Student Programmes Administrator with specific duties relating to the Division of Psychology at Brunel University. This was a student facing role and she was the first point of contact for students studying Psychology for Level 6. As a Department Assistant Administrator, Lillian works alongside the Department Administrator to manage the department as a whole. Her main responsibilities are diary and administrative support to the Core Leadership Team who include the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Academic Affairs. She is also involved in Human Resources processes, supporting the set up of the new Medical School, liaising with internal and external stakeholders, budget management and events.
Nick Fisher
Nick Fisher
Specialist in Digital Healthcare Education
Nick joined Brunel Medical School in 2021 from the University of West London where he was employed as a Designer of Digital Education. He has spent over a decade working in a variety of technology-enhanced learning settings primarily in the fields of medical education. These include roles as Lead Instructional Designer in the NHS and postgraduate education settings internationally. Nick’s responsibilities in his current role include supporting staff and students on the digital tools used in teaching and learning. He is also involved in the design and development of digital learning initiatives that will underpin the Brunel Medical School curriculum.
Paminder Midha
Paminder Midha
Placement Partnership Manager
Prior to joining Brunel, Pam worked with various NHS partners for over 15 years supporting workstreams and NHS frameworks across the UK. In addition she managed the very first Master Vendor contracts in the UK supporting Trusts across NWL, SEL and Mid-Essex for the provision of Doctors, Nursing staff and Allied Health Professionals. As part of the Brunel Medical School team her role includes engagement with primary and secondary care providers, to support the placement of students commencing 2022.
Areena Sayers
Areena Sayers
Curriculum and Placement Administrator, Years 1 & 2
Areena’s initial focus is to support the Curriculum Development Team in the development of the curriculum and ensure that all working group deadlines are met, establishing effective workstreams and processes, facilitating the production of course materials and documentation and provide minute-taking duties for governance meetings.
Helen Lewis
Helen Lewis
Education Quality Manager
Helen has worked in medical education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Prior to joining Brunel Medical School, she worked at UCL for more than 5 years. For the majority of that time, she was the Quality Assurance Manager at UCL Medical School, but also undertook a one-year’s secondment at the Eastman Dental Institute. Before that, she was the Quality Assurance Manager at the Royal College of Surgeons. As Education Quality Manager, Helen leads the team responsible for promoting high standards and good practice across all the teaching, learning and assessment activities for the MBBS programme.
Kaisa Hutchinson
Kaisa Hutchinson
Clinical and Communication Skills Support Administrator
Prior to joining Brunel Medical School, Kaisa worked extensively in the charity and not for profit sector, and also provided administrative support for Postgraduate GP Training. As the Clinical and Communication Skills Support Administrator, she is responsible for the recruitment and management of simulated patients and Patient Educators for clinical and communication skills teaching within the medical school, and managing the database of simulated patients’ information. She also organises and oversees the administrative processes needed for the day-to-day delivery of clinical and communication skills teaching, as well as other work across the Taught Programmes Office. She has a special interest in disability and LGBTQ+ inclusion and community engagement.
Tom Howes
Tom Howes
Principal Technical Manager
Tom joined Brunel Medical School in June 2021 having previously held the role of Chief Technician (Physiology) within the College of Health, Medical & Life Sciences here at Brunel. Before moving to Brunel in 2016, Tom also worked as a Technical Lead at the University of Brighton. Tom is responsible for the provision of technical support for teaching and learning activities across the School including the management, care and maintenance of all physical resources and facilities. Tom also plays an active role in maintaining health and safety standards within the School and the management of human tissue and anatomical specimen.
Jas Dhillon
Jas Dhillon
Senior Student Programmes Manager
Before taking up the post for Senior Student Programmes Manager, Jas was the Project Officer for the Medical School, coordinating the early stages of the GMC approvals process. Prior to this, Jas worked at St George’s University London, managing the central exams team within Registry, primarily focussed on their medical assessments. As Senior Student Programmes Manager, Jas will manage the Taught Programmes Office, which will coordinate the Curriculum, Placements and Examinations and Assessments for the Medical School. This is a student facing role and the team will be the first point of contact for students in the school.
Hemma Dowlutta
Hemma Dowlutta
Department Administrator
Hemma has worked in Office Management/PA/Executive Assistant roles for over nine years. The majority of her experience lies in the areas of Higher Education and Corporate offices. Hemma joined Brunel in 2019 as the Department Administrator for Brunel Medical School. Now, with one assistant the team supports Brunel Medical School and particularly the Dean of the Medical School, Chief Operating officer and Director of Academic Affairs. Hemma is also the Chair of the Social Committee for the College of Health Medicine and Life Sciences.
Debbie Dyson
Debbie Dyson
Student Support Manager
I have a real passion in helping students with all aspects of university life, including welfare, wellbeing and student experience. I pride myself on the support I provide to students, enhancing the student experience, helping them achieve their potential. I have previously been involved in opening the West London Assessment Centre (WLAC) as a Disabled Students Allowance - Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG) registered Assessment Centre. My role at Brunel Medical School is Student Support Manager. I have worked at Brunel for 18 years and have extensive experience in student support, working with students in areas around Homesickness, Disabilities, Medical Conditions, Mental Health, Pregnancy, Homelessness, Crimes, Harassment/Bullying, Underrepresented Groups, Well-being and Safeguarding. I have worked closely with International Students over the years from students arriving on campus throughout their journey on their course.