CL in Neurology
Dr George Tofaris (2009)
Pathway to a Clinical Lectureship
George became interested in the molecular basis of disease during his undergraduate years, particularly with respect to the challenges of biomedical research in the mechanisms of neurological disease. These diseases are among the least understood, whilst accounting for a high proportion of chronic disease in the western world.
George’s first research experience came as a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, investigating the inflammatory response in nerve injury. George found this early stage research both fun and rewarding, reinforcing his interest in neuroscience research. During his third undergraduate year, George took a neurobiology course and continued his research on peripheral nerve tissue.
Following this period, George was able to combine his research with clinical studies as part of an MB/PhD course in Cambridge, where he began to focus on neurodegradation. George investigated the mechanisms involved in the protein accumulation in brain cells that causes Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Upon completion of his general medicine training at the National Hospital for Neurology, the Hammersmith, Royal Brompton and Royal Free hospitals, George spent one year as a Neurology Registrar at the Austin hospital in Melbourne, Australia. During this time George was fortunate to work with some exceptional clinician-scientists, and this experience further propelled his interest in clinical academic medicine.
What does the work involve?
George applied for an NIHR Clinical Lectureship in order to continue specialist neurology training and, with a fellowship from Harvard Medical School, continue his research into neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently in clinical training whilst starting his own laboratory based research in the Neurology Department of the John Radcliffe Hospital. George finds treating patients in parallel with trying to understand the disease pathology is both a privilege and a challenge. His finds his role as a Clinical Lecturer requires a high level of commitment.
Oxford University Medical School is an exceptional centre for biomedical research and thus an ideal place for George to pursue both clinical training and research. George finds the prospect of using his training and knowledge to help cure his patient’s disease, makes the effort all the more worthwhile.