Overview

Chain-Florey Fellows, Lecturers and FY2 Trainees with Mark Ungless, Director of Postgraduate Studies.

The translation of scientific discoveries into new therapies is an enduring challenge for medical sciences.

To facilitate the translation of basic science for clinical benefit the Chain-Florey Clinical Research scheme was established in 2009. The scheme provides clinicians with the opportunity to do basic science research in the outstanding laboratories of the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) based at Hammersmith Hospital in West London.

The aim of clinical academic training is to provide clearly structured research and academic opportunities at various stages during clinical training. Through the Chain-Florey scheme research opportunities are available for clinicians from the Foundation Year 2 (FY2) level through specialist training (ST) to academic positions. We offer the following schemes:

Celebrating 10 years of the Chain-Florey scheme

2019 marked the 10 year anniversary of the Chain-Florey scheme. This was marked with the annual workshop, which you can read more about here, as well as interviews with the first ever Chain-Florey fellow 10 years on.

 

Funders

The translational training scheme is jointly funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC is part of UK Research and Innovation) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through the Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.

 

Origin of the scheme

The Chain-Florey scheme is named in celebration one of the greatest collaborations between medicine and science: Howard Florey, a clinically trained pathologist, and Ernst Chain, a biochemist, who shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alexander Fleming for their work in discovering, developing and producing the first antibiotic: penicillin.

Further information

To read more about the scheme its sponsors and advocates you can download the Chain-Florey Scheme brochures.

 

Latest News

Chain-Florey Clinical Research Scheme Workshops

Every year we organise a workshop for our Chain-Florey trainees, fellows and lecturers. 2019 marked the tenth anniversary of the scheme.

Write-ups from previous events are linked to below:

 

Examples of people and projects we’ve funded before

Andrew Innes, Haematologist, Chain Florey Clinical Research Fellow, 2012-2016.

Link: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/a.innes

The Chain Florey PhD program afforded me the chance to immerse myself in a basic science environment to develop the laboratory skills and a scientific approach that I could apply to clinical and translational research.”

Andrew did his Chain Florey PhD in cellular senescence between 2012-2016 in Jesus Gil’s group in the LMS. Following on from that he undertook specialist training in bone marrow transplantation, and was awarded an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer post from 2017-2020, where he developed more translational aspects to his research in senescence and haematological malignancies. During the COVID pandemic Andrew worked in patient-facing clinical service in the myeloid malignancy team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHNT), and became a principle investigator on several early and late phase clinical trials. He now leads collaborative whole genome sequencing for acute leukaemia in ICHNT. He is a co-investigator on an MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (MRC-DPFS) multicentre phase 2 clinical trial studying outcomes of intestinal microbiome transplantation prior to allogeneic bone marrow transplant. In collaboration with Jesus Gil in the cellular senescence group, he continues to work on the role of senescence in myeloid malignancies.

“The Chain Florey PhD program afforded me the chance to immerse myself in a basic science environment to develop the laboratory skills and a scientific approach that I could apply to clinical and translational research.”


Harry Leitch, Clinical Geneticist, Chain Florey Clinical Research Fellow & Clinical Lecturer.

Link: https://lms.mrc.ac.uk/research-group/germline-and-pluripotency/

The bespoke support offered by the LMS has enable me to navigate a path to scientific independence while progressing through the early stages of clinical training.”

Harry did a PhD early as part of the MB/PhD programme at the University of Cambridge. He initially joined the LMS as part of the (currently paused) Chain Florey Academic Foundation Program. He subsequently secured a Chain Florey Clinical Fellowship in Paediatrics, and, during this time, secured external funding to start his own lab. He has since moved on to become a Chain Florey Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Genetics and lead the Germline & Pluripotency lab at the LMS.

“The bespoke support offered by the LMS has enable me to navigate a path to scientific independence while progressing through the early stages of clinical training. Now I am close to CCT and my lab is starting to find answers to some of the basic questions in germline biology that have always fascinated me. In addition, we have developed a more translational focus with projects relevant to human infertility and paediatric germ cell tumorigenesis.”


Antonio de Marvao, Cardiologist, Chain Florey Clinical Research Fellow & Clinical Lecturer.

Link: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/antonio.de-marvao

“The multidisciplinary, translational academic training I received at the LMS is invaluable as I develop my research programme characterising the biological pathways that lead to healthy cardiovascular adaptation in pregnancy or to pathological remodelling.”

In 2012, Antonio was awarded a Chain Florey Fellowship at the start of his clinical training in Cardiology. Antonio did his PhD examining genetic and physiological mechanisms underlying cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction in deeply phenotyped patients with cardiomyopathies. Embedded in a team of clinicians, bioinformaticians and computer scientists he developed artificial intelligence algorithms for cardiac MR imaging analysis and computational methods for integrative analysis of imaging, genetic and environmental data. After his PhD Antonio was awarded a Chain Florey Lectureship to apply machine learning to define the role of common and rare genetic variants in cardiovascular disease using the UK Biobank. Having completed his clinical training in Cardiology, Antonio is currently a Fellow in Obstetric Medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, where his clinical and research interests are inherited cardiovascular conditions and medical disorders in pregnancy.

“The multidisciplinary, translational academic training I received at the LMS is invaluable as I develop my research programme characterising the biological pathways that lead to healthy cardiovascular adaptation in pregnancy or to pathological remodelling.”


Will Scott, Endocrinologist, Chain Florey Clinical Lecturer, 2018-2020.

Link: https://lms.mrc.ac.uk/research-group/genomics-of-obesity/ 

“My Chain Florey Lectureship gave me the time, space and help to develop new skills, generate my own ideas and preliminary data, and write a successful intermediate fellowship proposal.”

Will leads a clinical and experimental lab investigating obesity mechanisms and treatments at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Imperial College. Will did an academic clinical fellowship in obesity and bariatric medicine at UCL with Prof Rachel Batterham, and an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship in population genetics with Profs Jaspal Kooner and John Chambers at Imperial College. In 2018, he obtained a Chain Florey lectureship to advance his basic research repertoire. This led to a recent award of a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship (11/2020) to set up his research group investigating epigenetic and molecular mechanisms underlying human obesity and diabetes.

“A Chain Florey Lectureship was exactly what I needed after I finished my PhD. I had a good foundation in obesity medicine and genomics. I wanted to build on these strengths but at the same time broaden my expertise in experimental research. As a Chain Florey lecturer, I had access to a cutting-edge experimental research environment and specialist facilities, a research budget and post-doctoral research support. This gave me the time, space and help to develop new skills, generate my own ideas and preliminary data, and write a successful intermediate fellowship proposal.”


 

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