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Catherine Swales


Consultant Rheumatologist and Director Undergraduate Studies, NDORMS

Background: Dr Swales started her medical training at University College London in 1991. Following an intercalated BSc and PhD in Neurosciences, she moved to pursue her clinical training in Oxford, and qualified in 2000. She completed her postgraduate training in Nottingham before returning to Oxford to take up a Clinical Lectureship in Rheumatology in 2003. During this period of specialist training she developed a research interest in inflammatory arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, and medical education. She was appointed as Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in 2012, and divides her time between clinical work, research on the NIHR clinical trials unit and student teaching/supervision.

Teaching: Dr Swales has been teaching and training Oxford University medical students and postgraduates since 2003, initially as Clinical Lecturer and since 2011 as Director of Undergraduate Studies at NDORMS. In 2012 she was elected as a Senior Fellow in the Higher Education Academy. In 2014 she was appointed as Associate Director of Clinical Studies for the University of Oxford Medical School. Alongside teaching medical students throughout their clinical training, she has a special interest in helping students foster and maintain research interests, and developing early aspirations for clinical academic careers. Dr Swales works closely with the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School (OUCAGS) to identify and address barriers or challenges for students gaining research experience; she is the University’s INSPIRE lead for the Academy of Medical Sciences. As part of the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team in NDORMS, she also takes particular responsibility for encouraging and supporting women in their training and careers progression in the department. Dr Swales is Fellow in Clinical Medicine at St Hilda's College. 

Research: Dr Swales has a broad experience of laboratory techniques/experimental design, but her current research interests focus on clinical trial delivery on the the NIHR Clinical Trials Unit at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. She supports a portfolio of academic-led and experimental medicine studies, as well as later phase clinical trials in collaboration with partners from the pharmaceutical industry. Her particular interest is the developing field of stratified medicine and novel therapeutic options/approaches in rheumatic disease. 

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