Esteem factors and academic progression of previous and current academic trainees at Sheffield


Johnathan Cooper-Knock, CL Neurology from 2015.  Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship 2020

Johnathan Cooper-Knock, former ACF and CL, now holds an Intermediate Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship and is an Honorary Consultant in Neurology.  He is working on the discovery of novel genetic risk factors for motor neuron disease (MND) at SITraN. His PhD by publication was funded by an MRC-MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson PhD Fellowship during the time between ACF and CL appointments. He gained a Wellcome Fellowship (£438,088, commenced July 2020) to identify changes in the non-coding genome that alter risk of MND which has already led to the first identification of a risk factor for MND located within a gene-enhancer and was published in Cell Reports. He is leader of the ‘Non-Coding Genome’ Working Group within Project MinE which is the largest disease-specific whole genome sequencing consortium for any disease. Key collaborations are with Stanford University, USA and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. He gained an ENCALS Young Investigator award 2018.  He frequently publishes in high impact journals including Neuron, Cell Reports, Molecular Cell and Brain; h-index 24.

Thomas Darton, CL Infectious Diseases - Florey Advanced Clinical Fellowship 2018

Tom Darton, former ACF and CL, is now a Florey Advanced Fellow and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases. His active grants support work investigating novel diagnostic signatures for patients presenting with fever in low-resource settings (£1.1m BMGF, PI),  assessing the impact of typhoid conjugate vaccination antimicrobial resistance in Zimbabwe (£400K WT, PI), developing new treatment strategies for patients with typhoid in Asia (£3.4m MRC JGHT, co-I), exploring the transmission of a virulent PVL-MRSA clone in Sri Lanka (£40k GCRF, PI), developing new vaccine candidates to prevent Staphylococcal infection (£160k GSK, PI) in addition to a recent NIHR AMR capital infrastructure award (£1.4m NIHR). During the COVID pandemic Tom has been PI on several COVID19 vaccine (COV002, ENSEMBLE2) and treatment trials (Remdesivir Severe, AGILE) and has worked to develop vaccine research infrastructure in the region. Tom has contributed to WHO guidance on the bioethical use of human challenge studies in vaccine evaluation, surveillance of vaccine-preventable disease and measuring the impact of vaccines on antimicrobial resistant infection. Recent research publications include work published in Science, BMJ and the Lancet.

James Alix, CL Neurophysiology - Senior Clinical Lectureship 2018

James Alix, CL Neurophysiology 2015 -2018., is now a Senior Clinical Lecturer. His research interests concern new diagnostic techniques for nerve and muscle disorders, with a particular focus on motor neurone disease. He conducted the first trial of 3-dimensional electrical impedance myography, winning the Lord Adrian Prize from the British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology and the Clinical Research Poster Prize at the 29th International Symposium on ALS/MND. His funding as PI include two MRC Confidence in Concept awards for the development of new diagnostic techniques for neuromuscular diseases (combined total £106,000); a Motor Neurone Disease Association grant for phenotype prediction modelling in a mouse model of motor neurone disease (£220,000), EPSRC PhD DTP c£60,000 on advanced data analysis for impedance spectroscopy. He has submitted one patent. Publications include those in Brain, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Clinical Neurophysiology, and ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

Paul Morris, CL Cardiology, - Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship 2018

Paul Morris, CL Cardiology 2016 - 2020, is now a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow. Grants (all focused on developing novel computational technologies to quantify coronary blood flow): EPSRC PhD DTP, £60000 2021; UKRI NPIF QR £35000. 2021; University of Sheffield /EPSRC KE award £20000 2021; EPSRC. Knowledge Exchange Grant, £54,910, 2020; University of Sheffield Public Engagement Fund, £6000, 2020; EPSRC. PhD Scholarship, 2019, c£60,000; Saudi Cultural Bureau, PhD Scholarship, 2019, £53,450; Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship. Personal Fellowship. £570,730, August 20192023; British Heart Foundation Translational award, £297,253, 2019; Medical Research Council, Confidence in Concept award, £72,565, 2018, Principal Investigator. Paul has two patent applications: GuideGlide; a novel catheter guiding device and virtu-Q - a method for determining volumetric blood flow. He was awarded best eHealth and digital health technology for virtuQ at the ESC World Congress of Cardiology, Paris, France, 2019. He is Director for Clinical Translation at Insigneo Institute for In Silico Medicine.

Significant papers

Charlotte Elder, CL Paediatrics - Senior Clinical Lectureship in Paediatric Endocrinology 2018

Charlotte Elder, CL in Paediatrics 2015-2018, is now a Senior Clinical Lecturer. Her principal research focus is the development of a novel, non-invasive diagnostic test for adrenal insufficiency (Nasacthin Test). A patent application for Nasacthin has been filed in seven international territories. She has been awarded £387,000 in grant funding as lead or sole applicant. MRC Confidence in Concepts recipient 2016 (£84,988) and 2018 (£83,730). Other grants include Academy of Medical Science starter grant for CL 2016 (£30,000) and annual British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes research prize 2015 (£15,000). Publications 30, 26 as first or senior author. Key publications: 

  • Elder CJ, Vilela R, Johnson TN, Taylor RN, Kemp EH, Keevil BG, Cross AS, Ross RJ, Wright NP. Pharmacodynamic studies of nasal tetracosactide with salivary glucocorticoids for a non-invasive Short Synacthen Test. JCEM 2020; 105(8): 2692-2703. (selected for commentary)
  • Elder CJ, Harrison RH, Cross AS, Vilela R, Keevil BG, Wright NP, Ross RJ. Use of salivary cortisol and cortisone in the high- and low-dose Synacthen test. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf.) 2018,88:772-778 (DOI: 10.1111/cen.13509) (selected for commentary)
  • Cross AS, Kemp EH, White A, Walker L, Meredith S, Sachdev P, Krone NP, Ross RJ, Wright NP, Elder CJ. International survey on high- and low-dose synacthen test and assessment of accuracy in preparing low-dose synacthen. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf.) 2018;88:744-751 (selected as Editor’s choice).

She was appointed Senior CL paediatric Endocrinology in 2018 (part time, initially 1 day per week, then 1.5 days) and was recently awarded the UKRI Biomedical Sciences Innovations Scholars Secondment (start date TBC) for three years to support work to develop and commercialise Nasacthin Test for use in children on steroid medication. 

Alex Rothman, CL Cardiology 2016 - Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow 2017-2023 (dyslexic)

Alex Rothman, SCL Cardiology from 2016, now holds a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Stage 1 Fellowship 2017-2022, £52460K. The Phase IIb, MRC ILA Heart   study  was the first randomised trial to demonstrate the therapeutic tractability of Interleukin-1 signalling in coronary artery disease with findings published in the European Heart Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was validated by   CANTOS, a phase III study of over 10,000 patients published in the New England Journal of   Medicine citing his  work,  and latterly  by COLCOT and LoDoCo2, also published in the  New   England Journal of Medicine. He has taken one drug from discovery to phase IIb clinical study with a major pharmaceutical company. He developed a pulmonary artery denervation catheter and procedure which has successfully completed a multicentre first in human study resulting in FDA breakthrough device designation and forthcoming FDA approval study (VC funded $66.3m). He developed a novel pulmonary artery pressure monitor and heart failure management system which has also successfully completed a multicentre first in human study and is now in an FDA approval study (VC and strategic investment $150m). Multiple patents underpin funding for both projects and the work underpinning the development of the pulmonary artery pressure monitor and heart failure management system was returned by The University of Sheffield as an Impact Case in REF 2021. Additionally, IP derived from Alex’s research was licenced to form Cardian (WT Grant with a £1.5m investment from IP Group / Imperial Innovations). Grants include MRC Confidence in Concepts, (OptiMUS-HF), £57,679 (PI), in-kind contribution £170,302 (Endotronix) 2019, and MRC Confidence in Concepts, The Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (FIT-PH), £65,610 (PI), in-kind contribution £100,000 (Abbott) 2019.  BHF, Pericardial Left Ventricular Assist Device, £250K (Co-I). Medtronic Inc. Non-invasive phenotyping of arrhythmias in pulmonary arterial hypertension, £200K. Awards: Royal College of Physicians Quincentennial Lecture, American Heart Association Young Investigator Award, British Society of Cardiology Young Investigator Award, British Thoracic Society Young Investigator Award, ESC Digital Health Technology Award, Trans-catheter Therapeutics Innovation Award.

Significant papers

Andrew Swift, CL Radiology 2014, Stage II Wellcome Trust Clinical Career Development Fellow (2017-2022)

Andrew Swift is now a Wellcome Trust Stage 2 Clinical Career development fellow £828K (2017) undertaking artificial intelligence in cardiothoracic imaging research. He is PI on a Wellcome Trust Digital innovator award £627K (2019), and PI on a NIHR AI in health and care award £836K (2020), utilising IP developed in Sheffield. He holds a patent for a tensor-based machine learning approach to improve diagnosis and prognostication in cardiac disease. He is the principal supervisor for a 4Ward North PhD Fellowship for a Radiologist ACF candidate, £250K (2020), and another ACF who is now on a Wellcome research PhD connected to the digital innovator award (2019). He is also the primary supervisor of an ACL in Radiology. He is the founder of the pulmonary vascular research institute imaging work group and member of the NIHR TRC PH research strategy group. His current team includes 5 PhD students (3 Radiologists, 1 Medical Physicist and 1 junior medic), 1 post-doctoral researcher, 1 research associate, 1 MSc student and 1 BSc student.

Thushan de Silva MBECL Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (2013 - 2016) - Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship 2016-2021 between Imperial College, MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM and The University of Sheffield; Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases, The University of Sheffield, 2021-

Thushan holds a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship evaluating immunogenicity of intranasal influenza vaccine (LAIV) and viral-bacterial interactions in Gambian children (£1.3 million) and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) award for $449K (2019-2022) to look at the induction of broadly cross-reactive antibodies to conserved influenza antigens following LAIV. His first main output from the Wellcome Trust fellowship is a senior author paper in The Lancet Resp Med (2019). He has had significant involvement in COVID-19 research since return to Sheffield as SCL: 1) Sheffield PI in COVID-19 Genomics Consortium UK (COG-UK), contributing to national effort to sequence SARSCoV2 (£530K), including co-authorship on papers in Cell, Cell, Host and Microbe and others; 2) COVID19 T-cell immunology studies as part of the ISARIC4C consortium, Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (CIC) and Sheffield PI for DHSC-funded PITCH consortium (total £520K). He continues to be a PI in the Vaccines and Immunity Theme at MRC Gambia, with additional awards from BMGF for ~$250K and co-investigator on MRC award for £1.2 million on household transmission of respiratory viruses. He is the co-supervisor on three Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD fellowships in Global Health.

We are delighted that Thushan has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his team’s spearheading research to help progress the fight against Covid-19. Since the start of the pandemic in the UK, Dr de Silva has been leading the Sheffield Covid-19 Genomics group, which was formed in March 2020 as part of the national Covid-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium to track the spread and evolution of the virus.

Pankaj Garg, CL Cardiology - Associate professor, University of East Anglia

Pankaj Garg, CL Cardiology.  Pankaj has successfully attained a Wellcome Trust Clinical Career Development Fellowship and has been made fellow of the European Society of Cardiology. 

Pankaj is a co-applicant on Wellcome trust digital innovator award (£627K) and NIHR AI in health and care (£836K) awards.

Gordon Fuller, CL Emergency Medicine, currently holding an NIHR Research Methods Fellowship

Gordon is an Emergency Medicine consultant working at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust and also holds an NIHR Research Methods Fellowship. He was CI for the ACUTE trial while undertaking his Clinical Lectureship. He completed an NIHR ACF, an MPH specialising in Global Health, and an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship before coming to Sheffield where he undertook an NIHR Clinical Trials Fellowship and NIHR Clinical Lectureship prior to his current academic role. He is twice-winner of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Rod Little prize for research. Research grants as CI have included: NIHR HTA Major Trauma Triage Study (£612K); NIHR HTA ACUTE: Ambulance CPAP: Use, Treatment effect and Economics randomised controlled trial (£420,000). Research grants as co-CI have included: NIHR HTA. DIPEP: Diagnosis and investigation of PE in Pregnancy; NIHR HTA. The Head Injury Transportation Straight to Neurosurgery (HITSNS) Trial; NIHR HTA; Packman study: RCT - prehospital ketamine v morphine for traumatic pain; NIHR HTA. TIME: Take home naloxone Intervention Multicentre Emergency setting feasibility trial; NIHR HTA. PHEWS - Prehospital sepsis screening tools. Head of research for World Rugby’s Head Injury Assessment Project.

Significant papers

Matt Lee, CL General Surgery

Matt is PI on two NIHR RfPB grants: Atrial Fibrillation After Resection (AFAR): A PROGRESS III Study (£350K), & Patient Reported Outcomes in Gastrointestinal Recovery (PRO-DIGI) (£113K). He is co-investigator on HTA funded studies: Radio Frequency ablation for Haemorrhoids (CI Prof Steve Brown,ORION) - March 2021 (£830K), Treatment options for steroid resistant ulcerative colitis (POPSter) – HTA Jun 2018 (CI Prof Alan Lobo, £150K), Pilonidal sinus: Studying The Options (PITSTOP) – HTA April 2018 (CI Prof Steve Brown, £600k), and A pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled trial to assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of negative pressure wound therapy versus usual care for surgical wounds healing by secondary intention (SWHSI-2) May 2018 (CI Prof I Chetter, £1.6m). His current h-index 14, with publication strengths in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and emergency surgery. Publications in higher impact journals in relevant fields include Gut & Annals of Surgery. He undertakes peer review work for several journals, and acts as social media assistant for BJS Open, and serves as a member of the Associate Editorial board for Colorectal disease. IBD-related work has been used to support national guidelines from specialty associations and supported additional grant development. Emergency surgery related work has been referenced in guidelines on appendicitis and small bowel obstruction. Matt has participated in specialist advisory group into intestinal obstruction. Work on national committees includes as the collaborative research representative to the Association of Surgeons in Training, associate Surgical Specialty Lead for Coloproctology with the Royal College of Surgeons Trials Initiative, and roles on research committees with the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland. He is completing a two-year term as a member of the medical research panel for Crohn’s & Colitis UK. Research supervision includes 5x BMedSci, 2x MSc, and one current MD student.

Significant papers

Simon Bell, CL Neurology

Simon is a former Sheffield ACF and gained a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Fellowship (£265K). He is a member of the European Academy of Neurology’s specialist committee for cognitive disorders, and is lead for ARUKs deep phenotyping in dementia for Yorkshire. He is co-author on a Lancet paper on Fluoxetine in stroke therapy.

Nick Weatherley, CL Respiratory Medicine 

Nick was awarded a research grant of £250K by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2019 to extend a study in use of multinuclear magnetic resonance imaging as a biomarker in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He developed the original proposal and investment was made by Boehringer on the strength of conference presentations, linked to his PhD, culminating in a seminal paper: Weatherley ND, Stewart NJ, Chan H-F, et al. Thorax Epub ahead of print: doi:10.1136/ thoraxjnl-2018-211851. Thorax: first published as 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-211851 on 2 November 2018.

Ruth Payne, CL Infectious Diseases and Microbiology 2018

Ruth Payne, Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Specialist registrar in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. Research interests include the development of vaccines and vaccine immunology. Ruth is co-applicant on an MRC DPFS grant for the Phase 1a clinical trial of a novel malaria vaccine (£1.8m). She has also been awarded several grants throughout the HEE SuppoRTT bid process to evaluate potential barriers and co-design solutions for improving transitions between clinical work and academia for academic trainees. During the pandemic she has been co-investigator on several COVID vaccine and drug trials since April 2020, and is PI on the ComCoV-2 trial in Sheffield which commenced recruitment in April 2021. Ruth contributed to the Academy of Medical Sciences project ‘Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/21’, which gained high levels of support from senior government officials, including the Government Chief Scientific advisor, and has been invited to contribute to an update to this for the next winter. She has also been a member of the British Society of Immunology and COVID-19 Taskforce, contributing to several reports over the past year aimed at policymakers in the UK.

Jenna Morgan, CL in General Surgery 

Co-CI on an NIHR Programme Development Grant for £150 000 in 2020 to integrate quality of life outcomes into the Age Gap online decision tool and also awarded an Association of Breast Surgery research development grant for £6000 to undertake collaborative analysis of breast cancer outcome data with University of Leiden in the Netherlands.  She has also co-authored 24 papers, including 6 in the British Journal Surgery and 2 in the European Journal of cancer, 8 of which were first authorships.  

Sarah Mitchell 

NIHR DRF Warwick appointed to a 5 year Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) Senior GP fellowship: Winston Churchill International fellowship award 2020 Fellows: Palliative and end of life care | Winston Churchill Memorial Trust ( , Dr Sarah Mitchell – Yvonne Carter Award for Outstanding Early Career Researcher – Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health News (

Roslyn Simms, CL Renal Medicine

Roslyn gained an MRC Confidence in Concept grant 2016 and completed an NIHR Clinical Trials Fellowship in 2018. She was appointed as consultant nephrologist at Sheffield in 2019. She is the current chair of the National Clinical Study Group for Cystic Diseases.

Other Successes 

Matthew Kurien, previous CL Gastroenterology - gained a Senior Clinical Lectureship 2017; Wael Sumaya, previous CL Cardiology - is now Assistant Professor in Interventional Cardiology, Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada); Marcus Cumberbatch, CL Urology - obtained a one year Melbourne genitourinary oncology robotic fellowship at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Australia.

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