Dr Ronald Finn Fellowships to boost collaborative clinical research

The University of Liverpool and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) have joined forces to launch the Dr Ronald Finn Fellowships, an initiative designed to empower senior clinical staff, both medical and non-medical, to spearhead transformative clinical research.

Named after Dr Ronald Finn (1930-2004), a former consultant physician at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and an alumnus of the University’s School of Medicine, the fellowships pay tribute to his remarkable legacy and the spirit of collaboration between the two institutions.

In the 1960s, Dr Finn worked with Sir Cyril Clarke, who was then leading the University’s Department of Medicine, on groundbreaking research aimed at preventing rhesus-induced haemolytic disease of the newborn. The pair went on to be honoured with the prestigious Lasker Clinical Research Award (second only to the Noble Prize in medicine) in 1980 in recognition of this work, which has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.

The new fellowship initiative attracted a large number of excellent applications, showcasing the wealth of talent within LUHFT. After a rigorous selection process, five winners were chosen:

  • Hassan Burhan, Consultant Respiratory Physician
  • Andrew Davison, Consultant Clinical Scientist in Clinical Biochemistry
  • Yamini Krishna, Consultant Ophthalmic Pathologist
  • Ned Gilbert-Kawai, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia
  • Rishi Mukherjee, Consultant Surgeon

Based in different departments across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, the fellows will embark on independent research projects that reflect their clinical specialities. They will begin their part-time roles in April 2024, for a period of up to five years.

Professor Tom Walley, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Clinical Research, said: “This new initiative is all part of supporting a culture of research embedded in clinical practice, which will improve the quality of our care for patients and improve clinical outcomes.

“Our collaborative effort sets the stage for a dynamic exchange of ideas and expertise between academia and healthcare, reinforcing Liverpool’s position as a hub for cutting-edge medical research and practice.”

Professor Terry Jones, Director of Research and Innovation at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) said: “We are delighted to enter into this exciting collaboration with the University of Liverpool with the aim of providing the correct academic environment for highly-promising researchers to fulfil their own academic potential and in doing so, strengthen the research impact in clinical areas of strategic importance to both organisations.

“These posts are critical in driving the agenda for LUHFT to become a nationally leading research active NHS organisation.”

The University and LUFHT have further strengthened their partnership by recently signing a Memorandum of Understanding to advance plans for an Academic Health Sciences Campus on the site of the former Royal Liverpool University Hospital.