The Dunhill Medical Trust has partnered with the Association of British Neurologists to co-fund a three three-year Doctoral Training Fellowship to support talented clinicians with an interest in developing a research career.
The Association of British Neurologists has, for over 10 years, been organising a prestigious clinical research training fellowships scheme. These are awarded to trainees who want to study an aspect of clinical neuroscience in depth for three years and obtain an MD or PhD degree. The current recipient of this joint award is Dr Evan Edmond of the University of Oxford.
A deeper understanding of neurodegenerative processes is a necessary step for the development of treatments to change the outlook in these devastating conditions.
I am a clinical research fellow in Neurology with a research interest in the development of imaging biomarkers in motor neurone disease (MND). Through an intercalated degree in medical school and ongoing research alongside working as a junior doctor, I developed a skillset and interest in advanced medical imaging techniques.
MND is a progressive, fatal condition involving degeneration of the motor system in the brain and spinal cord, causing progressive weakness, speech, swallowing and breathing difficulties. At least 5000 people in the UK are living with MND, and many more bear the physical and emotional burden of their care.
My area of research is the application of cutting edge scanning techniques (magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography) to find the earliest signs of the disease in the brain and spinal cord. Prof. Martin Turner and Prof. Charlotte Stagg supervise this project at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford.
The support of the Dunhill Medical Trust through awarding a clinical research training fellowship in 2018 has allowed me to pursue this research.
Finding early signs of the disease process (biomarkers) would suggest targets for treatment. Sensitive biomarkers will also help to make clinical trials of new treatments more reliable, faster and cheaper to run. More broadly, understanding MND has wider implications for a range of neurodegenerative diseases often associated with aging. A deeper understanding of neurodegenerative processes is a necessary step for the development of treatments to change the outlook in these devastating conditions.