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Leadership Programme Cohort 6

Research Fellow

My main research interests are primary care oncology, health related quality of life research, symptoms research, women’s health and patient’s experiences of health care. I have experience of conducting qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research.

I have been working in primary care cancer research since 2006. I have been the lead co-ordinating researcher on a five year programme of work directed at improving outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer. I currently hold a Chief Scientist Office Postdoctoral Fellowship, which focuses on identifying risk factors and symptoms indicative of recurrent disease in patients who have had potentially curative treatment for colorectal cancer.

My PhD (completed in 2008) focussed on the psychological and psychosocial distress associated with low-grade abnormal cervical smear results, conducted within the context of the TOMBOLA trial. I retain an active and ongoing interest in women’s health research emanating from my PhD and I continue to collaborate with colleagues locally and internationally.

Leadership Programme Cohort 6

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General Practitioner / Post-doctoral Researcher

Otto Maarsingh was born in 1970 (Groningen, the Netherlands). From 2000 to 2003, he attended the vocational training at the Department of General Practice of the University of Utrecht. From 2003 to 2007, he worked as a general practitioner in the central part of the Netherlands and from 2007 to the present as a general practitioner and staff member at the VU University Medical Center’s General Practice in Amsterdam. In November 2004, he started as a PhD student at the Department of General Practice and the EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, which resulted in the thesis ‘Dizziness in older patients in general practice: a diagnostic challenge’ (2010). In 2011, he received an individual grant from the Stichting Beroepsopleiding Huisartsen (SBOH) for 4 years and started as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of General Practice & Elderly Care Medicine and the EMGO+ Institute/VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam. In 2013, he completed his education in epidemiology and obtained his registration as Epidemiologist B. July 2013, he obtained a grant from ZonMw/SBOH for six years for his research project ‘Improving the diagnosis of dizzy elderly: a three-arm validation and intervention study in general practice’. His research specialties are search strategies in large databases, consensus procedures (e.g. Delphi techniques and panel diagnosis), diagnostic systematic reviews, and prediction rules. His main areas of interest are dizziness, older patients, diagnostic research, and especially - as a practising GP - translating theory into practice.


Leadership Programme Cohort 6

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NIHR Walport Clinical Lecturer in General Practice 

After graduating from Edinburgh in 1997, I completed my basic medical training and MRCP in South-East Scotland, before commencing a Clinical Research Fellowship and PhD in the Clinical Pharmacology Unit in Edinburgh in 2002. I later obtained a Clinical Lecturer post (honorary SpR) in Edinburgh, in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and General Medicine. With the increasing management of chronic disease and general medical problems by GPs, and the fact that the majority of medicine use takes place in primary care, I felt that there was an excellent opportunity to combine clinical pharmacology with an academic career in general practice.

I therefore made a decision in 2007, supported by the deanery and both Royal Colleges, to switch from general medicine to general practice, whilst continuing academic and clinical pharmacology training. I completed training in both specialities in July 2010. I have since taken up the post of NIHR Walport Clinical Lecturer in General Practice, based in the GP and Primary Care Research Unit in Cambridge.

My research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, hypertension and cardiovascular risk, and the use of electronic health records and routine datasets. I am conducting a number of projects using routine clinical data, in the field of cardiovascular disease and the rational and safe prescribing of medicines. I have various teaching commitments, and continue to do one day a week in clinical general practice, as well as part-time out-patient work as a consultant in clinical pharmacology.


Leadership Programme Cohort 6

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NIHR Clinical Trials Fellow

I graduated from Birmingham, undertook my GP training in Exeter and Bristol and have worked at the University of Bristol since 2002. I joined as an Academic GP Registrar and subsequently obtained an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship. In 2009 I was appointed to an NIHR Clinical Lecturership.

My research interests fall into two broad areas.  First, the core values of general practice, in particular continuity of patient care and patient-doctor relationships.  Second, the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems commonly diagnosed and managed in primary care.

My main teaching commitment is consultations skills.  I am responsible the organisation and delivery of medical undergraduate communication skills teaching in the third year at Bristol Medical School.

I continue to work three sessions per week as a GP in Portishead, North Somerset.


Leadership Programme Cohort 6

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Senior Researcher

Marienke van Middelkoop studied Human Movement Sciences at the VU medical University in Amsterdam. She received her PhD on running injuries in 2008 at the Erasmus MC Medical University in Rotterdam the Netherlands. As a postgraduate she completed a series of systematic reviews on chronic low back pain and neck pain. She is currently employed as an assistant professor at the Department of General Practice at the Erasmus MC Medical University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has published 41 international peer reviewed articles and was the applicant of several successful grant applications. In 2011 she received an EUR fellowship for her grant application on patellofemoral pain. Her research is mainly focused on (sport related) musculoskeletal complaints and physical activity and obesity in adults and children.

She is currently supervising 8 PhD students on projects involving patellofemoral pain, ankle sprains, foot complaints, running injuries and overweight in children in primary care. Since 2012 she is the coordinator of the osteoarthritis (OA) trial bank, which will be used to analyze the subgroup effects of different treatments in OA patients.


Leadership Programme Cohort 6

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Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care 

I started my academic career with an academic training fellow post for newly qualified GPs at University College London (UCL) and have stayed at UCL in a variety of roles ever since. My career progressed initially in Medical Education as a Clinical Lecturer in Community Based Teaching, with a particular interest in Primary Care Mental Health. During this time I co-authored a book on teaching, completed a Masters in Medical Education and developed an interest in educational research. This led to 'switching camps' to research and I was awarded an MRC Research Training Fellowship in Health Services Research. During this fellowship I gained an MSc in Epidemiology and conducted a cohort study on Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder in primary care, which formed the basis for my PhD.

From there I became a NIHR (Walport) Clinical Lecturer and shortly after was promoted to Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care & Epidemiology at UCL. In this post I have been working on a number of epidemiological studies using primary care databases (GPRD and THIN), qualitative studies and RCTs of complex interventions in primary care as part of PRIMENT Clinical Trials Unit. My main research interests are in disease risk/prevention, mental health, older people and health inequalities. I have maintained an interest in medical education and teaching undergraduates and postgraduates at UCL.

Throughout my career I have continued to work part-time as a General Practitioner in North London.


Leadership Programme Cohort 6

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Senior Research Fellow

Tania completed her PhD, examining osteoporosis prevention in premenopausal women and children, in 2006. She has over 60 peer-reviewed publications including two first author papers in the BMJ. In 2007, she received the Australian and New Zealand Bone Mineral Society (ANZBMS)’s Kaye Ibbertson Award for the best 5 papers in the field of metabolic bone disease in the last 5 years. Her competitive funding totals over $3 million and she has been lead investigator on 12 successful competitive grant applications. She regularly presents at key primary care and bone conferences (25 orals and 12 posters since 2003). Highlights include being invited speaker on Nutrition and bone in children at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis and Bone Meeting (2011) and successfully competing for oral presentations at both triennial WONCA World Conferences of Family Doctors she has attended (2007, 2010).

Tania is member and Fellow of the RACGP and a member of the Australian Association for Academic Primary Care, ANZBMS and ASBMR. For the ANZBMS, she sits on the Professional Affairs, theResearch and the Therapeutics Committees. She is Deputy Chair of the RACGP National Standing Committee Research. She is osteoporosis editor of the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group and on the editorial boards of the Australian Family Physician and BMC Family Medicine.