New professors - Emma Vardy, Omar Pathmanaban, Smeeta Sinha, Martin Smith, Akheel Syed, John Lear, Darren Green

Outstanding researchers awarded chairs

Six more Northern Care Alliance outstanding clinicians and researchers have been awarded MAHSC Honorary Clinical Chairs in recognition of their major contributions to their clinical specialities, including excellence in research and education.

These are awarded annually by The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Promotions Committee and recognise the new Professors’ outstanding work to improve patient care.

The new chairs go to:

Emma Vardy
Dr Emma Vardy is a Consultant Geriatrician at Salford Care Organisation, where she is also the Clinical dementia lead and Clinical Frailty lead for the NCA.  She is deputy lead for the healthy ageing theme for NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester (GM) and is the deputy lead for the GM Clinical frailty reference group.  She is GM NIHR Clinical Research network specialty lead for ageing and clinical advisor to the GM Dementia United programme of work, which led to development and implementation of a community delirium toolkit and co-production of patient resources including translated materials.  She chairs the British Geriatrics Society dementia special interest group and North West Committee.  Her research focuses on delirium, dementia, frailty, digital and quality improvement.  Landmark publications include delirium as a prodrome to dementia with Lewy bodies, quality improvement and delirium assessment using the electronic patient record and a big data study in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh showing links between delirium 4AT assessment and patient outcomes.  She is senior editor for the journal Age and Ageing and on the board of the European delirium association.  She has worked with national organisations including NICE, the Alzheimer’s Society and many of the Royal Colleges.  During the pandemic she oversaw the development of guidance on the management of delirium in the context of Covid-19 resulting in new guidance from Public Health England.
Akheel Syed
Dr Akheel Syed was appointed as consultant physician in diabetes and endocrinology at Salford Royal in 2008 and was the clinical lead from 2013–2021. He has helped to develop the regional tier-4 specialised complex obesity/bariatric service. Dr Syed has championed safe, high-quality services for patients including optimising diabetes control prior to bariatric surgery, safer screening for gestational diabetes in pregnancy after bariatric surgery (editorial in the BMJ), medical monitoring and nutrition following bariatric surgery, the impact of obesity on COVID-19 outcomes, and guidelines on managing hyperlipidaemia in the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has developed an active programme of clinical research in obesity/bariatric surgery by fruitful collaborations on several research themes including endometrial cancer, lipids, and proteomics/metabolomics leading to several high impact publications. He has supported and mentored several MD/PhD candidates as part of these research programmes.

Darren Green
Dr Darren Green, who is also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Life Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University, is a Consultant in acute medicine and nephrology and is Clinical Lead for the Northern Care Alliance Research Collection.

His research portfolio addresses the interaction between heart and kidneys in disease, with a focus on heart failure in chronic kidney disease. He is an expert advisor to NICE and the National Research Lead for the Society for Acute Medicine. He has long standing experience in biobank research through the Salford Kidney Study, which contains samples and data from 3,850 prospectively followed patients with consent for external collaboration for clinical data sharing, plasma and serum biomarker analysis and genomic studies. The main cohort is of non-dialysis chronic kidney disease.

Omar Pathmanaban
Mr Omar Pathmanaban is a world leading expert in skull base and pituitary surgery and is the lead endoscopic neurosurgeon in the nationally commissioned NF2 and skull base proton multidisciplinary teams. He treats patients from across the UK and internationally for complex tumours and abnormalities in difficult to reach areas at the base of the brain, skull base, pituitary gland and junction of the brain and spine.

He is Group Leader of the Surgical Neuro-Oncology Manchester (SNOMan) Laboratory and Strategic development lead at the Geoffrey Jefferson Brain Research Centre.  He sits on the MAHSC Neuroscience board and chairs the One Manchester Brain Tumour Research Oversight Group. He is also clinical lead for the NCA in the prestigious iMATCH consortium for advanced therapeutic medicinal products.

Nationally, he is co-lead for skull base surgery on the academic committee of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons, serves on the medical advisory committee of the Pituitary Foundation, is neurosurgical expert to the NHS England proton beam therapy panel and sits on the council of the Royal Society of Medicine Clinical Neurosciences section.

He was the Marjorie Newsome Visiting Fellow at the renowned Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, USA.  In 2015 he won the prestigious Norman Dott Gold Medal.

Martin Smith
Dr Martin Smith joined Salford Royal in 2002 as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine, having previously held the post of CD for the Emergency Department and Salford Royal major trauma lead. He has been Clinical Director for the Greater Manchester Major Trauma Network since 2015.

In addition to his network duties, he has provided clinical leadership for MAHSC’s Inflammation and Repair Domain, helping maximise research collaborations between NHS partners and The University of Manchester. Notably, he has developed the Trauma section of the domain and developed its leadership to establish a strong position in research and clinical academic growth for an area of unmet need in population health in the UK. His senior clinical leadership and support for University academics links directly to both the Trauma Audit and Research Network in the Division of Population Health (FBMH) and also to the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (FH/FBMH).

Sadly, Greater Manchester Trauma Network was tested by the terror attack in 2017. He led the coordination of learning from this event in partnership with NHS England’s senior medical directors, which has established the fundamentals nationally, for improved preparedness for the Health Security Agency. He has been co-opted onto a number of relevant national advisory boards in recognition of his knowledge on the impact of terror events and subsequent health systems recovery.

He is currently developing network links, prioritising injury prevention, violence reduction and enhanced rehabilitation for Major Trauma.

Martin previously held the post of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, University of Manchester Associate Hospital Dean 2008-13.

He has served on College and Intercollegiate Committees, publishing guidelines and standards for Emergency Medicine, Paediatric Emergency Medicine, and Emergency Department design.

John Lear
Dr Lear has been a consultant dermatologist at Salford Royal and Manchester University NHS  Foundation Trust for over 20 years. He set up and runs clinics for high risk skin cancer patients across both trusts. He was the first chair of the regional specialist skin cancer multi-disciplinary team and was the first GM Cancer Skin Cancer Pathway Director. Nationally, he has worked with NHS England, NICE, NCRI, NCIN and the British Association of Dermatologists. His research focuses on the genetics, risk factors and epidemiology of Skin cancer and the development of non-surgical options for this. He has published in numerous high impact factor journals such as NEJM, Lancet, Lancet Oncology and Cancer Research.

NCA R&I Director Professor Phil Kalra said: “These are fantastic achievements and reward for our colleagues’ leadership as well as their academic, national and international profiles.  As an organisation, we are proud to see so many of our clinicians recognised for their expertise and commitment to research and education.“

In addition, Deputy Director of Research & Innovation Dr Smeeta Sinha has been appointed visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Smeeta Sinha
Dr Smeeta Sinha is a Consultant Nephrologist at Salford Royal and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester. As Clinical Director for renal services at Salford Royal from 2014 -2020 she oversaw the delivery of kidney care centres across the North of Greater Manchester, enabling patients to receive kidney care closer to home. In early 2021, she was appointed as the Northern Care Alliance Research & Innovation Deputy Director for Innovation and Improvement, working to further develop systems that enable findings from projects to be translated at pace and scale.

Her clinical interests are in CKD, metabolic stone disease and glomerulonephritis. She leads the complex glomerulonephritis service at Salford Royal which is an integrated clinical and research clinic serving a population of 1.3 million. She is also the Clinical Lead for the North West NHS England Renal Network and the NHS England National Clinical Advisor for Chronic Kidney Disease, which is one of the four work streams that make up the National Renal Service Transformation Programme.

Her research interests include chronic kidney disease-mineral bone disorder, in particular vascular calcification, glomerulonephritis and rare renal diseases. She is a recognised international key opinion leader in the field of calciphylaxis.

Pictured above are (top row, left to right) Emma Vardy, Omar Pathmanaban, Smeeta Sinha, (bottom row, left to right) Martin Smith, Akheel Syed, John Lear, Darren Green.