Ruth Plackett

Ruth’s PhD is exploring whether using new educational technologies, such as online simulation, can improve the teaching of clinical reasoning skills for medical students. Ruth, along with her supervisors and medical experts has developed an electronic clinical reasoning educational simulation tool (eCREST). ECREST shows patients in general practice, all patients presenting with vague, non-specific respiratory symptoms, which could be indicative of serious conditions that are often missed in primary, such as lung cancer. This will allow students to practise gathering information from a patient, interpret that information and make informed decisions on diagnosis and management. Ruth is currently conducting a feasibility randomised controlled trial at three medical schools, to see whether it can improve clinical reasoning skills, and a qualitative think aloud interview study, to explore how eCREST can help students to learn clinical reasoning skills. This PhD aims to improve future doctors’ awareness of the presentation of potentially serious conditions, such as lung cancer in primary care, to help reduce future diagnostic errors.

Sarah Beardon

Before starting her PhD research, Sarah worked for the UCL Centre for Access to Justice undertaking a research project with the UCL integrated Legal Advice Clinic. This work focussed on the connections between legal problems and health, and included conducting a mixed methods evaluation exploring potential health impacts of legal advice and the experience of collaborative working between healthcare and legal advice services.

Previously, Sarah worked for the Patient Experience Research Centre at Imperial College London, where her projects included questionnaire development and testing, analysis of patient feedback (quantitative and qualitative) and systematic reviews. She has also worked at Cancer Research UK in the Statistical Information team, producing analysis to support the charity’s communications work.

Sarah graduated with a first class honours in Biology (BSc) followed by a Masters in Public Health (MPH). Her research uses mixed methodology and she has a particular interest in health inequalities and social determinants of health.

Thomas Steare

Tom works as a research assistant for the ARIES Study based at UCL Division of Psychiatry. He has experience of conducting research across Early Intervention Services for a wide range of studies led by Professor Sonia Johnson, where the goal has been to investigate new interventions for first-episode psychosis. His career also involved clinical work in a mental health team. Tom has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences.

Dr Elena Pizzo

Elena is a Senior Health Economics. She holds a PhD in Economics and Management from Padua University, a Master degree in Economics and Management of Health Care Services from Ferrara University and a first degree in Economics from Padua University.

Prior to coming to UCL she was a Research Associate at the Imperial College Business School, working on the economic evaluation of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Northwest London.

She previously held a research post at the Department of Economics, Ferrara University, where she collaborated to a multi-year research project and undertook an economic evaluation of a Regional Colorectal Cancer Screening Program.

Sachin Vadgama

Sachin is a Health Economist in the Department of Applied Health Research (DAHR) at UCL. He holds a Masters in International Health Policy and Health Economics from the London School of Economics and a Masters in Pharmacy from the University of Nottingham. Sachin has worked in the area of health economics since 2014 for multinational pharmaceutical companies, consultancies and academia. Prior to his appointment at UCL, Sachin was a Health Economist at QuintilesIMS, a health care consultancy. His primary focus was on performing health economic evaluation of novel treatments and devices, using economic modelling techniques in the areas of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sachin’s current research is evaluating the ‘real-world’ cost-effectiveness and adoption of novel innovation of interconnected devices such as wearable monitors, data analysis and ways of working which may help patients stay well and monitor their conditions themselves as part of the NHS innovation test bed of NE London.