University and LUHFT celebrate launch of Dr Ronald Finn Fellowships

The scholarship awardees with members of Ronald Finn's family

A special event was held this week (24 June 2024) to officially launch the Dr Ronald Finn Fellowships, an initiative by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT).

Hosted at the Liverpool Medical Institution, the event celebrated the legacy of Dr Ronald Finn (1930-2004) and introduced the first cohort of fellows selected for their potential to make significant contributions to clinical research.

Dr Ronald Finn was a consultant physician at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and an alumnus of the University’s School of Medicine, who made significant contributions to medical science. His award-winning work with Sir Cyril Clarke in the 1960s on preventing rhesus-induced haemolytic disease in newborn babies has saved the lives of countless children worldwide, making the fellowships a fitting tribute to his legacy.

Dr Finn’s family attended the event where the five inaugural fellows presented their independent research projects. The fellows are based part-time in different departments within the University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. Over the course of five years, their projects, which reflect their diverse areas of clinical expertise, aim to enhance patient care and contribute to significant clinical outcomes.

  • Hassan Burhan, Consultant Respiratory Physician – ‘Dynamic Digital Radiography and Airways Disease’
  • Andrew Davison, Consultant Clinical Scientist in Clinical Biochemistry – ‘Assessing the clinical utility of the vaginal tampon as a biospecimen to study the metabolome across the life course of women’
  • Yamini Krishna, Consultant Ophthalmic Pathologist – ‘Spatial multi-omics profiling in conjunctival melanoma and its precursor lesions’
  • Ned Gilbert-Kawai, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia – ‘Blood pressure management in the critically ill’
  • Rishi Mukherjee, Consultant Surgeon – ‘Transforming Acute Pancreatitis Treatment: Developing Mitochondrial Protective Strategies Across the Lifespan’

Speaking at the event, Professor Tom Walley, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Clinical Research, said: “The creation of these fellowships and the investment required is evidence of the strength of the collaboration with the NHS in general and with LUHFT in particular. It’s great that we can use this to honour one of our most eminent clinical scientists from Liverpool in the past hundred years. His example illustrates how working together, we can bring such great benefits for our patients and populations”.

Professor Terry Jones, Director of Research and Innovation at LUHFT added: “The celebration event at the Liverpool Medical Institute, attended by Dr Finn`s family, was hugely enjoyable. Not only were we able to celebrate Dr Finn`s outstanding contribution to medicine, we heard some impressive talks to reassure us that the future of academic medicine in Liverpool is safe in the hands of individuals such as the Finn Fellows. That LUHFT, despite enormous financial pressures, agreed to fund the Fellowships provides great reassurance of the Trust`s commitment to clinical research, a commitment that is essential if we are to improve the healthcare of our population – the most important and urgent task for us all.”

The event also highlighted the strong partnership between the University and LUHFT, including collaborative plans to develop an Academic Health Sciences Campus on the former Royal Liverpool University Hospital site.