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2020 NIHR ACF PES KCL Platform Science and Bioinformatics 2



2020 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Priority Research Themes

HEE Local Office: South London
Medical School: King's College London
Research Theme: Platform Science and Bioinformatics
Specialty Options: Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Plain English Summary

This academic clinical fellow (ACF) post combines specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology with the opportunity to fuse research in the field of pregnancy metabolic disorders, with cutting edge Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) metabolomics and other 21st century analytical platforms.

As our pregnant population ages and becomes progressively overweight, metabolic disease in pregnancy, particularly diabetes, is becoming increasingly common. This has important consequences for women and their babies, the NHS, and the community at large. Yet despite a high prevalence, we lack detailed understanding of the causes, such that effective personalised intervention and prevention are not currently in our sights. Our department is at the forefront of exploring such research areas, with a particular focus on mechanism and pathophysiological pathways.

The post will be based in The Department of Women and Children’s Health at King’s College London. This prestigious academic department of women’s health in the UK is led by Professor Lucilla Poston. An ACF would join our wide ranging multi-disciplinary clinical and research team comprising expertise in obstetrics and gynaecology, midwifery, diabetology, metabolic disease, nutrition, physiology and clinical biochemistry, and incorporating multi-faceted knowledge in areas allied to women’s health. The department is currently leading in multiple studies in gestational diabetes, pregnancy hypertension, and preterm birth (Professors Poston, Williamson, Shennan, Magee, Tribe).

The ACF will work with the Centre for Biomolecular Spectroscopy utilising their state-of-the-art NMR facility, headed by Professor Sasi Conte (, to gain practical expertise in NMR methodology, analysis and interpretation of data. In addition, they will benefit from other analytic platforms on site, and academic and commercial analytical partners both nationally and internationally. They will also have access to our NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) bioinformaticians, who work with us in the analysis of large and complicated datasets.

The ACF will be able to choose a maternal metabolic area of interest and subsequently pursue this from a systems biology ‘omic’ perspective, analysing pathways for mechanistic insight. Joining our team would provide excellent clinical and academic training, with additional opportunities for skills development emphasising on ‘omics’ and bioinformatics, via internal and external training modules.