Academic clinical fellowships in the Academic Unit of Gastroenterology

The Academic Unit of Gastroenterology is headed by Professor David Sanders. The clinical staff (honorary academic staff) includes Professor Alan Lobo, Professor Dermot Gleeson & Professor Mark McAlindon. In addition, there are two senior lecturers in Gastroenterology Dr Matt Kurien and Dr Imran Aziz. Finally we have a Wellcome Fellow Dr Hugo Penny who will shortly start a clinical lecturer post having completed his Wellcome training fellowship. There have been 15 sequential fellows all of whom have had MD’s or PhD’s successfully awarded at the University of Sheffield (each individual published between 5 to 20 peer reviewed publications). The publication and funding track record of the department is >£5 million pounds worth of funding over the ten year period (a third of which was portfolio) and >400 publications over a ten year period of which more than 50% are original research papers with novel data.

The areas of clinical research interest are inflammatory bowel disease, small bowel endoscopy, coeliac disease, pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding, irritable bowel syndrome, microscopic colitis and gastrointestinal bleeding. Although the unit’s strengths have been in clinical research there have been continued and sustained links with basic science collaborators depending on which research project is undertaken.

The department has been recognised both nationally and internationally. The GI Department have been the recipients of 5 National and 2 International Research Awards as well as 9 National Clinical Service Awards in the last decade. Researchers and clinicians within the department have received the European Rising Star Award in GI research (2010), the UK Nutrition Society Cuthbertson Medal (2011), Julie Wallace Award 2016 & Silver Medal 2017. From the British Society of Gastroenterology there have been two separate areas of endoscopic excellence resulting in the Hopkins Endoscopy Research Award in both 2012 & 2017. Finally the Swedish Bengt Ihre Award was bestowed in 2017.

The clinical services are integrated with research programmes and have been equally recognised with the Coeliac UK Healthcare Award (2010) and the inaugural British Society of Gastroenterology National GI Care awards (2011) and the Medipex Award (2013) for the Sheffield Small Bowel Endoscopy Service. In 2012 the PEG team won both Health Service Journal primary care and integrated clinical care awards. The Coeliac Service was awarded the Complete Nutrition Coeliac Health Care Award in 2013 & 2016. The PEG team also won the Complete Nutrition enteral care award in 2016. As a result of the Coeliac Services Provided in Sheffield Prof Sanders was awarded Nutrition Health Care Professional of the Year in 2017.

There is a highly successful clinical research fellow network. Currently there are seven clinical fellows spread amongst the NHS consultants. These individuals undertake clinical sessions for the Trust in a flexible manner whilst also doing their research.

The unit has strong links to the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease and also The Sheffield Institute of Gluten-Related Disorders (SIGReD) which involves pioneering work into coeliac disease.

Sheffield Clinical Research Fellowship programme: a transferable model for UK gastroenterology

Abstract: Out of programme (OOP) opportunities are to be encouraged. This article gives an insightful view of the Sheffield Clinical Research Fellowship Programme. Unique trainee feedback is provided. The take home message is clear - trainees should grab OOP experiences with both hands! For consultants the logistics described are potentially transferrable to their own regions.

Academic lead: Professor David S Sanders

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