Meet the Brunel Medical School Team
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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 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.
Chief Operating Officer
John leads the non-academic operations and the Professional Services Staff teams as well as contributing to overall strategy and development. Previously, for nine years he was a member of the leadership team that started the first medical school in Cyprus, in partnership with St George’s, University of London. He was involved in that venture from its conception and led marketing/communications, student recruitment, admissions and student services.
Prior to entering the higher education sector, John was a global marketing director with Synovate, a top-5 market research company. He began his career with the US Government’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service, serving in management and editorial roles in Nicosia, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Panama City as well as in Washington, DC.
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 K 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.
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
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
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 of the delivery of clinical examination and procedural skills and ensuring students achieve the GMC outcomes by the time of their graduation.
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.
TBL Facilitator and Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Shafeena has16 years of experience in Higher Education in academia and professional services
and is a Doctoral Researcher.
Dr John Vogel
Visiting Professor (Acute Physiology)
Until very recently John was Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia at Ealing Hospital, London. His 41 year career has taken him from Bart’s in London to: university hospitals in Glasgow, Paris, Geneva, Seattle and back to London. John’s medical interests have included ITU data management, infectious diseases in ITU, and especially the understanding of physiology as applied at the bedside with an emphasis on teaching.
At Brunel Medical School John will be involved in the development of the cardiorespiratory Year 1 curriculum.
Professor Peter Abrahams
Peter is a National Teaching Fellow and Life Fellow, Girton College, Cambridge.
Senior lecturer - Lead for Student Support and Lead for SSC
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.
Curriculum Development team Education Fellow
Manja’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.
Deputy Curriculum Development Lead
Anshuni was previously a medical fellow at Imperial College London within Collaborative Partnerships Office and Medical Ethics and Law. Currently she is StR 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
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
Professor Olwyn Westwood
Professor of Medical Education, Director of Postgraduate Education
Olwyn was a Ph.D (immunology) at Kings College London then moved into pedagogic practice and research leading to academic leadership roles. She is an Editorial Board member and Reviewer for medical and healthcare education journals, Principal Fellow of Advance HE, assessment advisor for National Prescribing Safety Assessment, a Royal College membership examinations and International advisor on medical curriculum development.
At Brunel Medical School, Olwyn is in involved in the development and facilitation of faculty development and an advisor on curriculum and assessment development and governance.
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.
Lead for Primary Care Projects
Previously Camille was a GP, Academic tutor at Imperial College School of Medicine, Education Lead at RCGP NW London faculty, GP appraiser and a Clinical Associate at Primary Care International.
Camille values medicine practiced holistically, which comes not from a particular single system but through interest in people and critical engagement with knowledge. This is the approach she hopes to maintain in her work at Brunel Medical School.
In the School she create opportunities for students to creatively integrate their learning across the curriculum in authentic projects that impact patients, staff, society, and themselves.
Medical Education Fellow
Sophie was previously a Trust Grade SHO Elderly Care at Hillingdon Hospital.
At Brunel School Sophie is working as a Medical Education Fellow within the Curriculum Development Team.
Dr Sophie Billington
Lead for Clinical Communication Brunel Medical School
Lead for Endocrinology
Dr Aaron James Sharma Hewitt
Medical Education Fellow
Professor Roger Neighbour, OBE
Visiting Professor of Medical Education
Roger Is a retired 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 is the author of The Inner Consultation, The Inner Apprentice, The Inner Physician and Consulting in a Nutshell.
Professional Services & Technical teams
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.