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The University of Southampton
Southampton Clinical Academic Training Scheme

SoCATS Board

SoCATS is managed by an executive group which oversees the academic support provided to clinical academic trainees and provides quality assurance of the programme.  The Board comprises the SoCATS Director, Associate Dean for Academic Training, dedicated Leads for Foundation Trainees, Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs) and Clinical Lecturers, trainee representation and administrative support. 

The Board meets on a quarterly basis.  

Find out more about our current Board members below.

SoCATS Director - Professor Elaine Dennison

I trained in medicine at Cambridge University, receiving my medical degree in 1990.  Having undertaken a medical rotation at Southampton, I obtained a Wellcome Training Fellowship in Epidemiology, and was awarded my PhD in 2000, prior to accrediting as a consultant in rheumatology in 2002.

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Professor Elaine Dennison

In addition to my Personal Chair at Southampton, I also hold a position as Professor of Clinical Research at Victoria University of Wellington.  Having worked as a Principal Investigator of the Hertfordshire Cohort Study for many years, my research interests centre around musculoskeletal aging, specifically osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.  I continue to work in clinical rheumatology, where I have a special interest in metabolic bone disease.  I co-direct the Pagets’ Association Centre of Excellence with Professor Cyrus Cooper.  I have directed SoCATs since 2018.

Find out more about Professor Dennison here.

Associate Dean for Specialty Schools: Wessex Deanery - Miss Karen Nugent

I undertook my undergraduate studies in medicine at Cambridge University and St Bartholomew’s Hospital London, graduating in 1987. After FRCS I undertook research at St. Mark’s Hospital , London in genetics of colorectal cancer – FAP. I undertook my surgical training in the Wessex region and spent 6 months in Paris doing advanced colorectal surgery at Hospital St. Antoine before being appointed as a senior lecturer at University of Southampton in 1999. I have developed a subspecialised colorectal surgical service in Southampton with particular emphasis on Anal cancer and pelvic floor surgery.

I undertook a Masters in Education – completed in 2002 before undertaking a variety of educational roles within the University and Deanery.  In 2006 I was appointed to oversee Modernising medical careers for the region, then Associate Dean for less than full time trainees before being appointed as Head of School of Surgery.  I was appointed as Head of Clinical Academic training in 2016.

Find out more about Miss Nugent here.

Lead for Academic Clinical Fellows - Dr Ellen Copson

I graduated in medicine from the University of London in 1996 having also gained an intercalated BSc. in immunology. I trained in Medical Oncology firstly at St. George’s Hospital, London and then Southampton General Hospital, completing my specialist training in 2008. Between 2004 and 2007, I undertook a PhD investigating DNA variants of unknown significance in the BRCA1 gene as a Cancer Research UK Clinical Fellow. This led to a particular interest in inherited breast cancer and precision oncology. Having initially worked as a full-time NHS consultant, I moved to my current academic position in 2012.

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Dr Ellen Copson

I am the lead oncologist for the POSH cohort study of young breast cancer patients and principle investigator for several studies investigating nutrition and breast cancer outcomes.  I maintain a clinical practice treating patients with early and advanced breast cancer.  In 2015 I became Cancer Lead for the Wessex Genomic Medicine Centre and chair the weekly regional Molecular Tumour Board.

I am chair of the national oncogenetics training working party and in 2017 I set up the national Breast Cancer Trainees Research Collaborative Group.  I have been ACF lead for SoCATs since 2018.

Find out more about Dr Copson here.

Lead for Clinical Lecturers - Professor Ian Galea

I qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Malta, and undertook general medical and specialist neurology training in the UK. Throughout my clinical training I have been research active, completing a PhD in Neuroimmunology. I was one of the first Clinical Lecturers in Southampton. Throughout this time I managed the challenges of conducting basic science laboratory research alongside clinical service.

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Professor Ian Galea

I have a specialist interest in the interaction between blood and brain, specifically the blood-brain barrier and brain haemorrhage. I head a busy research group spanning basic and clinical domains, lead an international consortium of brain haemorrhage investigators, and co-chair the Research Imaging Management Group.  I support clinical academic trainees in several ways including my role as a SoCATS committee member.

Find out more about Professor Galea here.

Lead for Academic Foundation Programme - Professor Ramsey Cutress

I trained in Medicine at Oxford University and during clinical surgical training won a National Breast Reconstructive and Oncoplastic Fellowship. My PhD was in Southampton funded by a Fellowship from Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and the ninth Guernsey Research Fellowship from Hope. I am currently Professor of Breast Surgery within Medicine at the University of Southampton and Consultant Surgeon and Clinical Lead for Breast Surgery at Southampton University Hospitals Trust.

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Professor Ramsey Cutress

Clinical research interests include investigation of patient and host determinants of breast cancer outcomes including genetic predisposition, immunological and lifestyle factors. I am involved in various national research studies, clinical trials and translational projects and am Chair of the Academic and Research Committee of the Association of Breast Surgery (ABS).  I am the University lead for the Academic Foundation Programme.

Find out more about Professor Cutress here.

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