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National Clinical Leads appointed in key specialties

National Clinical Leads appointed in key specialties

2nd December 2015

National clinical leads have been appointed to Hepatology, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Oral and Dental, and Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders.

These roles provide national leadership in the development of clinical research activity in Scotland and ensure the effective delivery of research projects within the specialty including increasing the number of patients enrolled into trials.

Hepatology - Professor John Dillon, University of Dundee

Professor John Dillon is Professor of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, in the School of Medicine, Ninewells Hospital, University of Dundee, as well as being an honorary consultant with NHS Tayside, leading a busy general hepatology service and a research group. He is also clinical lead for Blood Borne Viruses in Tayside. He was a NHS consultant Physician, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist in Tayside for over 10 years, prior to his move to the University of Dundee.

Gastrointestinal Disorders - Dr Charlie Lees, NHS Lothian / University of Edinburgh

Dr Charlie Lees is a consultant gastroenterologist at the Western General Hospital, and honorary senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. He trained at UCL and subsequently in Edinburgh, with doctoral studies in the Satsangi lab. He was awarded the highly prestigious ASNEMGE (now United European Gastroenterology) European Rising Star in Gastroenterology Award in 2009. His major clinical, research and teaching interest is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  He has a large, busy clinical and endoscopic practice in luminal gastroenterology with a major focus on complex Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. He has been a committee member of EduCom at ECCO since 2009, and now chairs the Scottish Society of Gastroenterology advisory group on IBD and sits on the British Society of Gastroenterology IBD Clinical Research Group. 

Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders - Professor Graham Leese, University of Dundee   

Professor Leese (BMSC (hnrs), MBChB, MD, FRCP, FRCPE) is a Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Dundee University, and was previous Lecturer at the University of Liverpool.   He has a track record into research of the diabetic eye, diabetic foot and endocrine epidemiology, amongst other topics and has led the development and validation of the National clinical foot risk stratification system, which is now being rolled out across Scotland.   Work is now being undertaken assessing the impact of this intervention.  Professor Leese is Chairman of the Scottish Diabetes Research Network and chairman of the Scottish Diabetes Group Foot Action Group.  He is involved in research into diabetic retinal screening, which helped underpin the Diabetes Retinal Screening programmes.   Professor Leese has participated in research projects involving retinal imaging and genetics of diabetic retinopathy; integrating both foot and retinal screening into the national electronic diabetes health record.  He has previously been involved in research into muscle carbohydrate metabolism, and the impact of exercise in diabetes.  He chaired the visual impairment subcommittee of the Diabetes SIGN guideline in 2001 and 2010. 

Oral & Dental - Professor Jan Clarkson, University of Dundee and Professor David Conway, University of Glasgow

Professor Jan Clarkson graduated in dentistry from Newcastle University in 1984 and in 1994 she completed a PhD, entitled Development of a Classification and Index of Dental Treatment Experience, at Manchester University. She is Director of Effective Dental Practice Programme and with Professor Ruth Freeman is Co-Director of the Dental Health Services Research Unit at the University of Dundee. Her remit is to conduct high quality research and promote the implementation of research evidence in dental primary care. Her research has included several clinical trials involving over 300 dentists and 10,000 patients. Jan is a founding member of the Cochrane Oral Health Group and is Joint Co-ordinating Editor. She is currently Director of the Scottish Clinical Effectiveness Programme and the Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network and is NES lead at Dundee Dental Education Centre.

Professor David Conway graduated from University of Glasgow BDS in 1996. Following brief periods in general dental practice, hospital dentistry in Bristol and Edinburgh, and SHO posts in oral and maxillofacial surgery at St John’s in Livingston, he attained FDS RCS (England) in 1999. He returned to Glasgow in 2000 for a clinical lectureship in dental public health combined with a specialist registrar training post based in NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Argyll and Clyde Health Boards. He completed the MPH at University of Glasgow in 2002 and attained the certificate of completion of specialist training in dental public health in 2005 (FDS DPH RCS, and FFPH). He was awarded a PhD in 2008 for research on the epidemiology of oral cancer from a socioeconomic perspective. In 2008 David took up the position of Senior Clinical Lecturer in Dental Public Health at the University of Glasgow. Since 2005 David has held the position of Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health with NHS National Services Scotland Information Services Division where he is the dental clinical lead and research strategy lead.

NRS Specialty Groups cover 14 specialties which, together with the 7 Topic Research Networks and 3 Research Champions, provide the coordinated support and advice required to deliver clinical research in Scotland. Each Specialty Group is responsible for overseeing research activity at a national level within the clinical area, and identifying and resolving recruitment issues in collaboration with the NHS R&D offices within each node. Specialty Groups are also instrumental in developing links between researchers across Scotland, in order to ensure that studies are supported as widely and effectively as possible. Each Specialty Group also works within the broader UK Clinical Research network, including the NIHR CRN, and equivalent structures in Wales (NISCHR) and Northern Ireland (NICRN).


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