Dr Gerald Finnerty
The Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience at King’s is a world-leading research centre offering research opportunities across the range of neurological conditions with the added benefit of close integration with psychiatric research teams. ACFs and CLs are hosted at the newly built state-of-the-art facilities of the King’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute (KCNI). The KCNI sits within an NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.
Extensive infrastructure is available to support development of both clinical and academic competencies. King’s provides regional services for: neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; epilepsy; neuro-oncology; traumatic brain injury and stroke (King’s has two “A” rated hyper acute stroke centres). There are specialist services for headache, demyelinating diseases, neuropathies, neuro-ophthalmology, rehabilitation, neuropsychiatry, and neuromuscular disease. The research base offers world class facilities for genetics, neuroimaging, neurophysiology, proteomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, microbiomics, bioinformatics, cell models (including iPSCs), and animal models. Big data facilities are available through the Rosalind supercomputing cluster. First in man, and Phase 2 to 4 clinical trials are also strongly supported with state-of-the-art clinical research facilities and clinical trials offices.
Formal training in research methods and statistics is available through taught research modules in the Masters in Clinical Neuroscience and the Masters in Neuroscience, which trainees are able to attend at no cost. Statistical and computing training is also available in house or through courses at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. Academic Trainees are free to choose a supervisor and project.
The training programme allows ACFs to achieve all competencies sufficient for CCT or CESR (CP) in Neurology. ACFs commence at ST1 - 3 and complete Integrated Medical Training (IMT) before joining the Neurology Higher Specialist Training Programme in ST4. Neurology training is based at King's College Hospital and partner hospitals in South London. Clinical posts are, therefore, the same as for non-academic positions with the difference that academic trainees have protected research time during their Fellowship. The research time is usually allocated as 3 monthly blocks per year for ACFs. However, it may be possible to combine research blocks providing clinical training is not affected.
There is an extensive postgraduate teaching programme at KCH including a weekly Grand Round (2 hours) and a wide variety of weekly lectures and teaching sessions including clinico-pathological conferences, academic round, and Journal clubs. Once at ST3, the ACF will also attend the pan-London neurology training days. Fellows have formal Academic and Educational Supervision and Study Leave is available.
The combination of internationally recognized research teams, a regional clinical neuroscience centre and state-of-the-art facilities offers a unique speciality training scheme. Academic trainees are closely mentored throughout their training by their Project Supervisor, Educational Supervisor, and Clinical Supervisor to ensure that they achieve their clinical and research ambitions.