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Dr Daniel Foran

Academic Foundation Doctor (2023)


I was introduced to research through my endocrinology BSc, during which I developed an interest in inflammatory pathways in the context of male infertility. My research on hormone therapy efficacy, combined with my clinical interest in cardiology, launched my journey in translational cardiovascular research and novel therapeutic development. 

I was attracted to the Academic Foundation Programme as it offered the opportunity to continue academic training alongside my clinical work. It would allow me to develop the wet-lab experimental techniques needed to continue further research in my field of interest. Finally, the Programme would allow time to undertake formal medical student teaching. 


My post comprises academic day-release over three of my six rotations, rather than one four-month block. As most projects take more than four months to complete, this has worked to my advantage as it has allowed me to undertake research over a much longer period of time. Also, I designed my projects so achievable lab work could be completed in discrete days. 

For instance, my main project (the ceramide project) involves collecting samples of myocardium and arterial/venous vasculature from patients undergoing CABG surgery, followed by ex-vivo mechanistic experiments using the tissue. All of this is possible in one day. This project has provided abundant experiential learning of wet-lab experimental techniques. 

I also deliver collegiate and university teaching. I provide weekly bedside teaching for clinical students at Green Templeton College as well as simulation and gamified teaching for all 4th and final year students. 

Overall, I have benefitted extensively from my Academic Foundation post:

  • I have gained abundant experience in wet-lab and cardiometabolic research.
  • OUCAGS funding has allowed me to present data at national and international conferences.
  • My academic time has allowed me to publish two systematic literature reviews, lead multiple regional and local education programmes, and pass my MRCP exams parts 1&2.

WHy Oxford?

I chose Oxford primarily for its reputation as a world-renowned academic centre, both generally and for cardiometabolic research. Oxford also has an abundance of valuable skills training courses and generous academic funding for Academic Foundation trainees. 

Clinically, I was keen to have a range of training experiences in both district general hospitals and tertiary centres, which Oxford offered. I was also specifically looking for clinical placements in anaesthetics and chemical pathology, a combination unique to the Oxford Academic Foundation Programme. 

Finally, the collegiate system at Oxford offers more abundant opportunities to teach students at preclinical, clinical and postgraduate level than other institutions.

WHat’s next?

Having enjoyed the time spent on my project throughout the Academic Foundation Programme, I will now continue my research with the Antoniades Group: I now embark upon a DPhil in Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford funded by a cardiovascular clinical research fellowship.


July 2023