New National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) Oxford Senior Research Fellows named

Researchers from a wide range of disciplines have been appointed to be the next cohort of NIHR Oxford Senior Research Fellows – seven mid-career researchers identified as having the potential to become future translational research leaders.

New National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) Oxford Senior Research Fellows named

As in previous years, the selection process was a coordinated effort by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and its partners in the NIHR Oxford Health BRC and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for Oxford and the Thames Valley.

This is the fourth cohort of Senior Research Fellows to be appointed since the scheme was launched in 2019.

The successful candidates were:

  • Dr Ludovica Griffanti, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN). Her research focuses on neuroimaging methods applied to ageing, dementia and neurodegeneration (Oxford Health BRC Dementia Theme).
  • Dr Lucy Foulkes is a Prudence Trust Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology. She specialises in adolescent mental health research (Oxford Health BRC Mental Health in Development Theme)
  • Dr Jiedi Lei is a Paul Foundation Clinical Research Fellow and clinical psychologist whose research is focused on autism and child and adolescent mental health (Oxford Health BRC Mental Health in Development Theme)
  • Dr Katy Vincent, Associate Professor in the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, and consultant gynaecologist. She leads the Pain in Women group, which looks at the mechanisms that cause pain in women, for example relating to endometriosis and period pain (Oxford BRC Surgery Theme and Oxford Health BRC Pain Theme).
  • Dr Nicola Curry, Associate Professor of Haematology in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine and a consultant at the Oxford Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre, where she leads the clinical research team (Oxford BRC).
  • Dr Matthias Friedrich, Group leader in the Nuffield Department of Medicine’s Experimental Medicine Division, where he investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammation and fibrosis (Oxford BRC Inflammation Theme).
  • Dr Dimitrios Koutoukidis, of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. He specialises in investigating behavioural science and weight loss – including before cancer surgery (Oxford BRC Metabolism Theme and OTV ARC).

The Senior Fellows, who were selected by an expert panel, will receive an award of £5,000 a year for two years that may be used flexibly to facilitate their translational research programme and career development.

The fellowship offers them mentoring, coaching and networking opportunities, as well as supporting them to advance an independent research area which will enhance NIHR research in Oxford and strengthen future funding applications.

Dr Ludovica Griffanti said: “As a translational researcher, it is a great honour to be awarded with an NIHR senior research fellowship. The training opportunities and funding offered by the programme will enable me to strengthen my research group and expand my network. I plan to use the funds for training activities for my group and to organise a workshop to bring stakeholders together and share views on how to best embed brain imaging technology in the memory clinic pathway.”

Dr Lucy Foulkes

Dr Lucy Foulkes said: “I’m very happy to receive this NIHR senior research fellowship, which will help to expand my work investigating the downsides of mental health awareness. I plan to use the funds to support staff in my group, to develop an online resource highlighting public mental health misinformation, and to host an interdisciplinary conference here in Oxford.”


Dr Jiedi Lei

Dr Jiedi Lei

Dr Jiedi Lei said: “I am thrilled to embark on my journey as an NIHR senior research fellow under the OH BRC Mental Health in Development Theme. I intend to use this flexible funding to develop resources for stakeholders to support autistic children and young people to identify and use their strengths to thrive in their daily lives. Increasing community engagement and co-producing materials will facilitate the implementation aspects of my translational research programme and help strengthen my collaborations with national and international practitioners adopting a strength-based approach in autism.  I very much look forward to connecting with other NIHR SRFs through the diverse range of profession land academic development opportunities the scheme will provide.”

Dr Katy Vincent

Dr Katy Vincent said:  “It is a real honour to be awarded an NIHR senior research fellowship. The combination of flexible funding and training opportunities will accelerate the development of my translational research programme. I intend to use the fellowship to work with both a senior clinical psychologist and a PPI group to develop multi-disciplinary interventions that are acceptable to women with chronic pain, which we can then evaluate in future studies.”

Congratulations to all!

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Published: 15 January 2024