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Have you thought of a career in Medical Research?

NDORMS is hosting a series of online talks/conversations with scientists from NDORMS and other University of Oxford Medical Science departments for Y12/13 students. These will be a mix of information about both the scientists careers and their research work with plenty of time for Q&As on either.

These talks are a joint initiative between two departments in the Oxford University Medical Sciences Division (NDORMS and NDS) 

Talks will be run as a zoom webinar and each session with three researchers takes 45-60minutes.  If you would like to attend the talks please sign up using the links below.  A link to the recording of the talks will be posted here after it happens


Upcoming Talks 2023/2024

All talks are on Wednesdays from 4-5pm online via Zoom

March 6 2024 - International Women's Day Panel

Jessica ScaifeLoren Kell and Kim Midwood will reflect on their careers and International Women's Day 

March 2024 Registration link


May 8 - Speakers TBC

May 2024 Registration link


June 12 - Speakers TBC

June 2024 Registration link




Have You Thought of a Career in Medical Research June 14th - Registration link

Philip Drennan - Choose your own adventure

I went to medical school in New Zealand, and later moved to Australia to further my training, before coming to the UK about 3 years ago. I specialise in two fields: Clinical Pharmacology, which relates to how we can use medicines most effectively, and Infectious Diseases, which relates to the diagnosis and treatment of bugs such viruses and bacteria. In addition to caring for patients, I do medical research which investigates how our immune systems respond to vaccines, and how this might help us develop more effective treatments for a range of conditions in the future. My career has allowed me to travel extensively, from New Zealand, to Australia, and then the UK, with some time in Cambodia and the South Pacific along the way.

George Adigbli

At school I had to chose between pursuing a career in professional football or focussing on my academic studies.  Now I am combining being a surgeon with immunology research. I am passionate about examining the inequities in science and medicine. By exploring its impact on our wider societies, my research in this area aims to help find  solutions that can close the health gap.



Jolet Mimpen 

Even when I was at school I was intrigued by how drugs and medicines work so I took a chance and applied for a brand new degree course in Pharmaceutical sciences. Since then I have been encouraged to take chances and that has helped lead me to where I am today researching Osteoarthritis drugs.

Dimitrios Koutoukidis 

I am a dietitian and my research focuses on testing how behavioural science can change dietary intake and improve outcomes for patients with obesity-related diseases. 

James Dunford

A reflection on a career in academic research when you love practical work in the lab, including the career paths that can open up by making connections with people and the trials of trying to write grant applications to fund your research.    

You can register in advance for the following talk.  At each talk 3 different speakers will talk about their experience of working in medical research and their career path to date.  More speaker details will be added closer to the date of the talk.




Sarah Davidson - From art to clinical research: It's ok to change your mind

At school my two favourite subjects were always art and biology. During my A-levels I decided to pursue a career in Art and Design, enrolling in an art foundation course, with the intention of applying for a degree in fine art at University. However, after undertaking 2 weeks of art foundation classes, I realised a future in Art wasn't for me. As I had always been interested in biology, I dropped out of the art foundation course and applied for Biochemistry at University. Here, I undertook a "year in industry", between my second and third year, in which you conduct a research project at a university institute or pharmaceutical company. During this year, I caught the "research bug" and decided to pursue a career in clinical research. Thus, I conducted a PhD in cancer biology and now work as postdoctoral researcher, investigating inflammatory arthritis. 

James Fullerton - Making and managing medicines

I am a doctor at the John Radcliffe Hospital and a researcher at Oxford University. My main academic interest is in how to best develop and test potential new medicines, focusing on when we first give them to humans. At the hospital, as well as looking after acutely un-well medical patients, I Chair our Medicines Management and Therapeutics Committee, helping decide what drugs are available to different patient groups. I will talk about my journey to this point, reflecting on the different paths I could have taken, key things I’ve learnt (and can hopefully impart) and opportunities I’ve had. I’m hopeful my slightly winding route through psychology, air ambulances, No. 10, Australia and major pharmaceutical companies will be of interest. 

Daniele Cotton 

I am currently a PhD student researching cancer and will be talking about the various decisions I made that lead me to where I am today.



Susan Morris - Becoming a research nurse

I currently work as a research nurse for the NHS and the University of Oxford, based at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. I always knew that I would work in healthcare, helping people and delivering evidenced based care makes me happy, I started a Nursing Degree at 19, dropped out and worked in other health fields and finally completed my Nursing Degree at 40. My early education didn’t define my career choices, my life experiences did!

Stephanie Dakin - From horse to humans: A journey in the musculoskeletal sciences

Growing up I loved animals and science, so it made sense to study to become a vet. I worked as a horse vet for over a decade, however the challenges I experienced as an equine vet caused me to become more curious about how and why horses develop injuries to their limbs and understand why they are so difficult to treat. This provided the incentive for me to go back to vet school and study for a PhD. Having completely got the bug for science enjoying the freedom to pursue the research questions I was interested in; I moved to Oxford University to advance and translate my research on horses into humans. Turns out we are not so different to horses after all! I currently work as an Associate Professor, leading a research group where we investigate the underlying cause of common musculoskeletal diseases with the aim of finding better treatments for patients affected by conditions affecting their tendons and ligaments.

Lucy Starling 

I have always felt the need to help others but being a doctor or nurse never directly appealed to me. When I was at university, I realised that I could help people through clinical research. Since graduating I have worked as a research assistant at the University of Oxford, working on a range of projects involving things like vision, stroke rehabilitation, virtual reality, and exercise – all with an ultimate aim of improving healthcare.  

A video of this talk is available here 



Dr Ruth Tunn: A meandering path to medical research

I’ve never had a clear career plan, but following my interests has led me (with various detours) to my current role as a research fellow at the University of Oxford. My work focuses on how researchers report clinical trials, and on ways to prevent research being wasted. For medical research to be useful to patients, doctors, and other researchers, we need to make sure all the important details are included when it is published. I’m currently working on identifying what counts as “important”, and developing tools and training to make sure researchers don’t miss out any critical information.

Jennie Astley: Mathematician to geneticist?

Maths was always my favourite subject at school. I didn’t study biology at A-level and failed to get into Cambridge for maths and physics. After a maths degree (plus two years of being confused) and a few years as a software engineer, I applied to Oxford for a master’s degree in infectious disease modelling. I’m now doing a PhD in statistical genetics, surrounded by people from lots of different academic backgrounds, and I’m contributing to medical research through my favourite subject, even though it isn’t medicine!

Gurdeep Mannu


 Follow the links for talk descriptions and link to talk videos 

March 8 2021 International Women's Day 

March 15 2021 

April 21 2021 

May 19 2021 

July 7 2021 

July 8 2021 

October 21 2021

November 18 2021

December 1 2021

Feb 2 2022 

March 8 2022

April 6 2022

May 11 2022

June 8 2022

October 12 2022

November 9 2022

December 14 2022

Any Questions?

Please email


Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS)

NDORMS is a multidisciplinary medical research department within the University of Oxford that brings together researchers, statisticians, engineers, imaging specialists, clinicians and patients in order to undertake the highest quality research in musculoskeletal and inflammatory conditions to deliver new treatments, which improve people's lives.


Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS)

NDS hosts a multidisciplinary team of senior clinical academic surgeons, senior scientists, junior clinicians and scientists in training. We comprise of major surgical specialties, including gastro-intestinal, transplantation, vascular, paediatric, plastic, ear, nose and throat (ENT), neurosurgery, and urology.