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UHNM Neurologist secures Clinical Research Scholarship Award

A neurologist from University Hospitals of North Midlands has been awarded a Clinical Research Network West Midlands Health & Care Research Scholarship Award to maximise access to research across the West Midlands.

Dr Seema Kalra, UHNM Neurology Consultant, secured the competitive award after developing her application in conjunction with the Academic Development Team in the Research and Innovation Directorate of UHNM.

The two-year funded programme will ensure Dr Kalra is able to further develop her knowledge and understanding of research processes and prepare research proposals, resulting in improved care for patients locally and nationally.

Dr Kalra said: “I am really happy I have successfully obtained a CRN research scholarship award as I am passionate about research. My work will continue to focus on investigating reasons which influence the outcome of multiple sclerosis and other neuroinflammatory conditions.

“Over the next two to three years I will bring my research skill-set together to build my research group and capacity. I wish to train future generations of researchers working in neurological conditions and neuroscience.”

UHNM has supported many research scholars since joining the scheme in 2018. Many of these have become Chief Investigators or Co-Investigators and have secured research grants, meaning their research can go ahead, to the benefit of patients.

Dr Simon Lea, Academic Research and Innovation Development Officer, said: “Dr Kalra has a lot of passion and enthusiasm for research in multiple sclerosis and has already been Chief Investigator on a large, successful research project. Dr Kalra will now work with ourselves and Keele University Clinical Trials Unit to develop further research applications which will hopefully benefit many patients locally and nationally and help her become a research leader of the future.”

Dr Soni Soumian, Deputy Director of R&I, said: “Dr Kalra is already generating a substantial portfolio of research and has learned a lot through her experience as a Chief Investigator. I believe she is an ideal recipient for a scholarship from the CRN which will be used to develop her further as a researcher. The R&I directorate will help and support anyone with such aspirations. Please contact the R&I academic development team for more information.”

Professor Matthew Brookes, Clinical Director of the NIHR CRN West Midlands said: “We are delighted to support Dr Kalra and we very much look forward to seeing the results of her research.  These scholarships are a valuable part of our activity to support researchers in the region.”