UCL FACULTY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES
UCL MBPhD programme | 1
THE UCL
MBPHD
PROGRAMME
UCL MBPhD programme | 2
Introduction
Established in 1994, the UCL MBPhD programme
continues to offer ambitious medical students the
highest quality clinical and research training.
The graduate will emerge with not only excellent bedside
skills of diagnosis, investigation and patient management,
but with a repertoire of practical scientific skills, including
an understanding of the rigor and discipline of translational
science and a track record in the publication of robust
translational research. By equipping students with
these skills, they will be the future leaders in
clinical research.
UCL MBPhD programme | 3
The Course
In the course, the PhD is sandwiched between the first and latter two years of
clinical training. An introduction to clinical medicine is essential, as it focuses thoughts
on potential translational benefits. Students will enter the clinical part of the MBBS
programme (Year 4: Integrated Clinical Care) with their contemporaries, following their
iBSc. After completion of MBBS Year 4, MBPhD students will divert to research studies
for a period of three or four years. During the PhD, a regular clinical teaching programme
keeps students’ clinical skills and knowledge up-to-date. Re-entry into the MBBS for the
two remaining years is contingent on submission of the PhD.
The PhD research can be undertaken either within UCL (which includes many world-class
institutes including the Institute of Child Health, the Institute of Neurology at Queen Square
and the Institute of Ophthalmology at Moorfields), or alternatively students can choose
projects at the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill or the London Research
Institute of Cancer Research UK. The latter two will soon be combined to form the Francis
Crick Institute, led by Sir Professor Paul Nurse. This new institute will provide world-class
scientific training, second to none.
Year
Stage
1
MBBS Year 1: Fundamentals of Clinical Sciences
2
MBBS Year 2: Fundamentals of Clinical Sciences
3
MBBS Year 3: Scientific Method in Depth – iBSc
4
➜ Entry Point: UCL MBBS Year 4: Integrated Clinical Care
5
PhD Year 1
6
PhD Year 2
7
PhD Year 3
* Students have the option of submitting at this point and returning to MBBS Year 5
8
Continuing Research Student status (CRS)
8*/9
UCL MBBS Year 5: Life Cycle
9*/10
UCL MBBS Year 6: Preparation for Practice
UCL MBPhD programme | 4
The Benefits
The UCL MBPhD programme provides an ideal base
for students wishing to combine clinical and research
trainings. The Programme provides funding for the PhD.
The Programme offers layers of mentorship for the
student during one of the most challenging yet exciting
courses at UCL. There are formal and informal contacts
with multiple clinical and non-clinical academics during
teaching sessions, on the wards, at programme meetings
and at the regular social events. Numerous collaborations
and friendships have arisen from the Programme and will
undoubtedly continue to do so, from what has now
become a community itself.
The MBPhD can serve as an excellent start to a clinical
academic career. By being appointed to the course
and completing it, the student throws down a marker
of dedication and ambition to a research-based career.
Establishing an early track record is key, and such a
programme can serve to catapult the individual into
research fellowships later on in their careers, once the
postgraduate clinical training is advanced. The marriage
of science and clinical medical practice is eternal: without
one, the other will cease to exist. The UCL MBPhD
Programme seeks to uphold this by training doctors the
rigors of science so that they can continue to address
the human condition.
Eligibility
The programme is only available to students who are
currently undertaking a Primary Medical Qualification
(MBBS, MBChB or equivalent) at a UK Medical School.
At the point of entry, successful applicants will have
completed the first two years of a full 5 years’ primary
medical qualification; and achieved an upper second or
first class honours degree (or iBSc). The candidate must
satisfy the general regulations for transfer to Year 4 of the
UCL MBBS clinical course.
(www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/mbbs-admissions/
entry-requirements/).
UCL MBPhD programme | 5
Applicants who entered a 5 or 6 year
at Mill Hill and Cancer Research UK for
MBBS course as a graduate may request
making studentships available in their
exemption from UCL’s iBSc requirement if
institutions. The A*STAR fund in Singapore
their degree is in a relevant field.
has contributed more than its fair share to
this programme. Glaxo-Smith-Kline made
Students who are following an accelerated
a very generous contribution some years
graduate medical programme are not
ago. Other PhDs are supported by grants
eligible to transfer to UCL’s MBPhD
directly made to the supervisors.
programme.
There are typically about 8 studentships
Entry to the MBPhD programme is
available annually for PhD study.
conditional on achieving an upper second
Studentships are ordinarily for 3 years,
or first class honours degree.
and include a roughly £15,000 stipend,
Oxford and Cambridge applicants must
also apply to UCL Medical School under
the Oxbridge clinical transfer scheme
(MOCAG).
At present, College regulations preclude
transfers from institutions outside the
United Kingdom. Students should normally
apply during their IBSc year, or for graduate
entrants with exemption from the IBSc,
during the second year of the medical
degree programme.
Funding
The clinical element of the course is
funded by standard Student Loan and
NHS bursary arrangements, as for regular
medical students. The PhDs are funded
from different sources: an allocation from
the MRC DTG fund to UCL, a generous
grant from the UCLH/UCL NIHR Biomedical
Research Centre. We are grateful for
charitable donations from different bodies,
including The Astor Foundation, the
Rosetrees Trust, The Sackler Fund and
The International Journal of Experimental
Pathology. We are very grateful to the
National Institute for Medical Research
UCL home level fees, plus a contribution to
laboratory costs. Students do not pay fees
during CRS registration.
Students
Over the years, we have enrolled 125
students (approx. 6–10 per year).
Most students have previously studied for
their BScs at UCL, but we have welcomed
students from other medical schools
including the other London Schools,
Nottingham, Brighton and Sussex,
Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh.
The student group is highly international.
We have representatives from all
continents, except Australasia.
UCL MBPhD programme | 6
Subject Areas Studied
PhD topics have varied very widely.
Neuroscience is popular, reflecting one
of the major strengths of UCL. There has
been an emphasis on the lifestyle of the
lymphocyte, but projects have ranged
widely from psychiatry in Palestine to
Crohn’s disease. The topics under study
by the present students are shown in
Table 1 (pages 8–9).
Outcomes
Table 2 (pages 10-11) shows the current
career status of the graduates. The most
senior students (who graduated in 1999 or
2000) are now in or approaching consultant
grade and some of these are now at
Principal Investigator level. We have two
professors, one appointed at the age of 33.
The more junior graduates are well placed
to be appointed to the new Academic
Foundation Posts and Academic Clinical
Fellowships. Of those who have entered
speciality training, nine are in surgical
specialities. Two are in plastic surgery.
The Cordwainers’ Prize
Each year the Worshipful Society of
Cordwainers donates a generous sum
awarded to the student submitting the best
MBPhD thesis. These are judged by a panel
of professors, and the award is made at
the annual Marsden Lecture at the Royal
Free Hospital.
Cordwainers’ Prize former winners:
2008 Abhishek Das
Constraints on T Cell responsiveness
in Chronic Hepatitis B Virus infection
Supervisor: Dr Mala Maini
2009 Catherine Hyams
The role of the Streptococcus
pneumoniae capsule in interactions
with Coaplement and Phagocytes
Supervisor: Dr Jeremy Brown
Panagiotis Kyrtatos
Cell Targeting and Imaging using
Magnetic Nanoparticles
Supervisor: Dr Mark Lythgoe
2010 Alex Rossdeutsch
The Role of Thymosin B4 in
Vascular Development
Supervisor: Dr Paul Riley
2011 Sean B Knight
Lentiviral Vectors for Gene Therapy
Supervisor: Prof Mary Collins
Alvin J X Lee
An Investigation of Chromosomal
Instability Survival Mechanisms
in Cancer
Supervisor: Prof Charles Swanton
2012 Anna M Rose
Transcriptional regulation of PRPF31:
the role of variable gene expression
in determining phenotype in
retinitis pigmentosa
Supervisor: Prof Shomi Bhattacharya
2013 Christopher A McKinnon
The role of the ubiquitin-proteasome
system in prion disease pathogenesis
Supervisor: Prof Sarah Tabrizi
2014 Adam P Levine
The genetics of inflammatory bowel
disease in extended multiplex
Ashkenazi Jewish kindreds.
Supervisor: Prof Anthony W Segal
UCL MBPhD programme | 7
Extracurricular Activities
The intensive nature of the course does not
allow major time-consuming involvement
in extracurricular activity, but the students
can excel in a number of outside areas
including music, photography, rowing
and ceilidh dancing.
Mentoring, Supervision, Follow up
Recruitment Open Day
Interested candidates are invited to the
The intensive nature of this course demands
MBPhD Recruitment Open Day which takes
that supervision be close. We have constant
place annually. The Open Day provides an
staff-student interactions, both formal and
opportunity for prospective students to
informal. These interactions can continue
interact with not only members of faculty
long after graduation.
staff but also present and past students to
Management & Administration
There is a management committee
with representation from academics,
administrators and students, which meets
once a term. The day-to-day running of the
programme is shared between Gordon
Stewart and Susan Beesley.
Achievements
A number of major scientific discoveries
have arisen from research undertaken
by UCL MBPhD students. Some very
productive collaborations between bright
ambitious young doctors and excellent
supervisors have grown up, many of which
have developed into enduring post-doctoral
partnerships, which can be immensely
valuable to both parties.
find out more about the programme and to
understand more about life as an MBPhD
student. Please contact the Programme
Administrator for further details and to
register attendance.
MBPhD Annual Symposium
In January each year, the programme hosts
its annual Symposium, where present
MBPhD students give a series of scientific
talks with short talks by senior UCL
academics and MBPhD Alumni.
Attendees include current and former
students, prospective students, supervisors,
senior UCL academics, and representatives
of funding bodies. Please contact the
Programme Administrator for further details
and to register attendance.
Publication
There is a published report on the progress
of the programme. Stewart GW, An MBPhD
Programme in the UK: the UCL Experience.
Clinical Medicine 2012, 12, 1–4.
UCL MBPhD programme | 8
Table 1. Projects and Funding of Currently-enrolled UCL MBPhD Students.
Column labels: A Entry Year, B Stage, C Location of PhD, D Supervisor, E Topic, F Funding
Abbreviations: Astor, Astort Trust; BRC/CBRC, Comprehensive Biomedical Research Fund (UCL/UCLH);
CRUK, Cancer Research UK; ICH, Institute of Child Health; IoN, Institute of Neurology; MRC, Medical Research
Council; MIT, Massachussetts Institute of Technology; NIMR, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill;
Rosetrees, Rosetrees Trust.
A
C
D
E
F
NIMR/ION
Dr F Guillmot
Cortical dysplasia
ICH/NIMR
CRUK
Pr C Swanton MBPhD
Spindle assembly
CRUK
83
ICH
Dr Audrey Prost
Maternal Health Nepal
MRC-DTA
84
Developmental Biology
Pr Maria Fitzgerald
Chronic pain and plasticity
in juvenile RA
MRC DTA
85
IoN
Pr Sarah Tabrizi
Prions and the proteasome
CBRC
86
NIMR
Dr Alex Gould
Developmental neurobiology NIMR
88
Haematology RFH
Pr K Srai
von Willebrands
CBRC, IJEP
90
NIMR
Dr Benedict Seddon
T-cell homeostasis.
NIMR
91
Medicine
Dr Sam Janes
siRNA-loaded nanoparticles Saudi Ministry
of Higher
Education
92
Neuroimaging, IoN
Pr Eleanor Maguire
Retrosplenial Cortex
CBRC
93
Molecular Virology
Dr Maddy Noursadeghi
T cell modulation of
macrophages
MRC DTA
94
NIMR
Dr Troy Margrie
Molecular neurobiology
NIMR
95
Rheumatology
Pr Mike Ehrenstein
Induction of Human
CD8+FoxP3+ Tregs
CBRC
96
Medicine
Pr Tony Segal
Crohns Disease
Irwin Joffe
Memorial
Fllwshp
97
UCL Cancer Institute, MIT Prfs S Beck/R Jaenisch
Epigenetics
MIT funds
99
Paediatric Surgery, ICH
Dr. Paolo de Coppi
Tissue engineering
MRC-DTA
100
Cancer Centre, UCL
Pr Mary Collins
Cancer vaccines
Rosetrees,
MRC
101
IoN
Dr T Foltynie
Deep Brain Stimulation
Astor,
Rosetrees
102
CRUK
Pr Jesper Svejstrup
Chromatin remodelling
CRUK
103
Advanced Imaging, UCL
Dr Alexander Gourine
Cardiac Optogenetics
MRC,
Rosetrees
2007
74
2008
77
2009
2010
2011
UCL MBPhD programme | 9
2011 cont’d
104
Sobell Inst, IoN
Dr Simon Farmer
Decision making
Rosetrees, Astor,
CBRC
105
Physiology
Pr David Atwell
Coronary pericytes
Rosetrees, MRC
106
NIMR
Dr Anne O'Garra
Cytokine response to MTB
MRC
107
Surgery
Pr Alex Seifalian
Tissue engineering
Rosetrees, MRC
108
CRUK
Pr Adrian Hayday
Regulating and Maintaining
Beneficial AutoImmunogenicity
CRUK/MRC-DTA
109
IoN
Pr Sarah Tabrizi
‘Immune and HTT biology in
Huntingdon's disease
MRC-DTA,
Rosetrees
110
NIMR
Dr James Turner
MBPhD
The X chromosome in growth
regulation
NIMR, Rosetrees
110
Sobell, IoN
Pr Nick Ward
Neural networks
MRC DTG
111
CRUK LRI
Dr Caetano Reis e
Sousa
Immunobiology
CRUK
112
Rheumatology, Rayne
Pr Arne Akbar
Mechanisms that regulate
immune senescence in
humans
BRC
113
NIMR
Dr Kate Bishop
The location, kinetics and
mechanism of HIV capsid
uncoating
NIMR
114
LRI
Sir Paul Nurse PRS
115
Immunity
Transplantation RFH
Dr Siobhan Burns
The role of dendritic cells
(DCs) in common variable
immunodeficiency (CVID)
BRC
116
ICH
Dr Torsten Baldeweg
Cortical morphology and
folding in children with
epilepsy
Rosetrees
117
Medicine, Rayne
Pr D Gilroy
Lipid mediators in Immunity
BRC
118
Cell Dev Biol
Dr Jason Rihel
Zebrafish neural models
MRC DTG
119
IoN
Pr Nick Wood
Genetics of movement
disorders
IJEP
120
Medicine Cruc
Pr Mervyn Singer
Renal function in infection
121
(To start PhD Sept ‘15)
122
LRI/Crick
Pr C Swanton MBPhD Big Data Interpretation
CRUK
123
IoN
Dr Sven Bestmann
BRC
2012
2013
CRUK
2014
MBPhD Astor
(pending)
Control of Variability in
Motor Tasks
UCL MBPhD programme | 10
Table 2 – Career Destinations of UCL MBPhD Graduates, October 2014
Column labels: A Year of Entry, student number, B Present Position, C Speciality, D Location
E Research-active now?, F Completed PhD in 4 years?
Abbreviations: ACF, academic clinical fellow; CMT, core medical training; CRUK, Cancer Research UK; FY,
foundation year; IoN. Institute of Neurology, Queen Square; NCTFS, North Central Thames Foundation School;
SpR, specialist registrar; ST, speciality training registrar grade. ‘Research-active’ means actively pursuing a
line of research right now (also U-unwell).
A
B
C
D
E
F
1994
1
Consultant
Ophthalmology
Epsom
Y
Y
2
SpR
Immunology
KCL
Y
N
3
Consultant
Radiology
NSW, Australia
N
Y
4
Professor
Oncology
UCL/CRUK
Y
Y
5
Consultant
Plastic Surgery
Adelaide
Y
Y
1995
6
Consultant
Infectious Disease
Kircaldy
Y
Y
7
Consultant
Pathology
Cologne, Germany
Y
Y
8
Consultant
Neurosurgery
Cambridge, UK
Y
Y
9
Consultant
Cardiac Electrophysiology
St Thomas' London
Y
Y
1996
10
Consultant
Neurology
Chichester
11
Consultant
Child Psychiatry
Dubai
Y
Y
Y
12
Wellcome MBPhD Fellow
Nephrology
Royal Free
Y
Y
13
Programme Leader
Epigenetics
NIMR
Y
Y
14
Wellcome MBPhD Fellow
Infectious Disease
Liverpool
Y
Y
Y
Y
1997
15
ST
Plastic Surgery
Plymouth, UK
16
Post-doc
Cell Biol/ITU Med
NIH, Bethesda
Y
17
Lecturer
Child adolescent psychiatry
Maudsley Hospital
Y
18
ST
Plastic Surgery
Cambridge, UK
Y
19
Professor
Neurology
Madrid
Y
Y
20
Consultant
Gastroenterology
Bristol
Y
N
Y
1998
21
ST
Neurology
London
22
Consultant
Neurology
Liverpoool
23
ACF
Clinical Genetics
Guys
Y
Y
Y
24
Consultant
Max-Fax Surgery
Barnet
25
ST
Anaesthetics
North London
Y
Y
26
ST
Surgery
Kings
Y
1999
27
ST
Hep-bil Surgery
Birmingham
28
ST
Neurology
London
Y
Y
Y
Y
29
Post-doc
Research
Portugal
30
CMT
Medicine
London
N
N
31
ST
Neurosurgery
Queen Square
Y
UCL MBPhD programme | 11
2000
32
Registrar
Clinical Genetics
Cambridge
Y
Y
33
SpR
Acute Medicine
NCTFS
Y
N
34
Senior Clinical Training Fellow
Infection
Infection and Public Health, UCL
Y
Y
35
Wellcome MBPhD Fellow
Microbiology
UCL
Y
Y
Y
36
ACF
Psychiatry
North Thames
37
Wellcome MBPhD Fellow
Neurology
IoN
Y
Y
Y
2001
38
CMT
Medicine
NCTFS (UCH)
39
Registrar
Medicine
Singapore
Y
N
40
SpR
Haematology
NW Thames
Y
Y
41
Post doc
Pediatrics
San Francisco
Y
Y
42
Wellcome MBPhD Fellow
Medicine
UCL
Y
Y
43
Clinical Lecturer
Neurology
Oxford
Y
Y
44
ACF
Paediatrics/neuro
GOSH/ICH
Y
Y
45
Wellcome MBPhD Fellow
Paediatric Surgery
North Thames
Y
Y
46
CMT
Medicine
London
N
Y
47
CMT
London
NC Thames
N
N
48
SpR
Neurology
Dundee
Y
Y
49
Senior Research Fellow
Psychiatry
Zurich
Y
Y
50
SpR
Dermatology
NC Thames
Y
Y
51
ACF
Radiology
Cambridge, UK
Y
N
Y
2002
2003
2004
52
ACF
Medicine
NC Thames
53
FY2
Foundation
UCL Clinical
54
F1
Foundation
NC Thames
55
CMT
Plastic Surgery
Plymouth
56
Post-doc
Regenerative
Pharmacology
Imperial
Y
Y
U
N
Y
Y
N
57
Teaching Fellow
Pathology
Cambridge
Y
Y
58
CMT
Foundation
NW Thames
Y
Y
59
F2
Foundation
NC Thames
N
60
(DNF)
2005
Y
U
61
SpR
Obstetrics
NC Thames
N
Y
62
CMT
Foundation
NE Thames
Y
Y
63
CMT
Medicine
NE Thames
Y
Y
2006
64
Trainee Pharm Cons
Novartis
Copenhagen
Y
Y
65
CT2
Medicine
Barts
Y
Y
66
(DNF)
67
SpR
Neurosurgery
Sheffield
Y
Y
68
Graduate
Psychiatry
Singapore
Y
Y
Continued overleaf
N
UCL MBPhD programme | 12
Table 2 – cont’d
Column labels: A Year of Entry, student number, B Present Position, C Speciality, D Location
E Research-active now?, F Completed PhD in 4 years?
2007
69
Research Fellow
Medicine
Leeds
70
F2
Foundation
NE Thames
N
Y
Y
71
F2
Foundation
Cambridge
Y
Y
72
Academic F2
Foundation
Oxford
Y
Y
73
F2
Foundation
Norwich-Ipswich
75
F2
Foundation
S London
N
N
Y
76
Academic F2
Foundation
Cambridge
Y
Y
79
F2
Foundation
Singapore
Y
Y
80
F2
Foundation
Cambridge
Y
Y
81
Academic F2
Foundation
NC Thames
Y
Y
2008
82
Acad F1
Foundation
Cambridge
Y
Y
78
Acad F1
Foundation
Wessex
Y
N
87
Acad F1
Foundation
Cambridge
Y
Y
98
Acad F1
Foundation
West London
Y
Y
89
F1
Foundation
East London
N
Y
Abbreviations: ACF, academic clinical fellow; CMT, core medical training; CRUK, Cancer Research UK; FY,
foundation year; IoN. Institute of Neurology, Queen Square; NCTFS, North Central Thames Foundation School;
SpR, specialist registrar; ST, speciality training registrar grade. ‘Research-active’ means actively pursuing a
line of research right now (also U-unwell).
UCL front quad with UCLH in the background
UCL MBPhD programme | 13
Publications
Examples of publications by past and present students:
UCL MBPhD programme | 14
UCL MBPhD programme | 15
Further Information
Ms Susan Beesley
Information on areas of research can be
MBPhD Programme Administrator
found on the UCL School of Life & Medical
Faculty of Medical Sciences
Sciences website: www.ucl.ac.uk/slms/
The Medical School Building
research-themes or via the MBPhD
University College London
Programme website: www.ucl.ac.uk/
Gower Street
mbphd/researchprojects
London WC1E 6BT
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0886
For further information regarding the
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 0897
programme and application forms, please
Email: [email protected]
contact the programme administrator, or
alternatively download the application
Prof Raymond MacAllister
pack from: www.ucl.ac.uk/mbphd/
MBPhD Programme Director
applying
Department of Medicine
Rayne Building
University College London
Gower Street
Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/mbphd
London WC1E 6BT
A distinguished visitor!
Prof Barry Marshall, joint Nobel Prize Winner 2005 for discovery of Helicobacter pylori
with MBPhD students
UCL MBPhD programme | 16
University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 2000 Copyright © 2013 UCL
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THE UCL MBPHD PROGRAMME UCL FACULTY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES