Academic Staff

Academic Staff Header

Our Experienced Team

Welcome to the academic staff page for the University of Nottingham Lincoln Medical School in partnership with the University of Lincoln.

As our name suggests, the School consists of staff from both institutions. The University of Lincoln academic team is led by Professor Danny McLaughlin (Associate Dean) and consists of Dr Gill Garden, Dr Runa Saha and Dr David O'Brien. The University of Nottingham academic team consists of Professor Gillian Pinner (Vice Dean, Clinical Affairs), Professor Alistair Warren (Vice Dean, Early Years & BMedSci), and Dr Pam Hagan (Director of Student Wellbeing).

This team of experienced individuals is supported by the work of many other colleagues from both institutions. Find out more about the course directors and management team at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine.

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Professor Danny McLaughlin

Associate Dean of Medicine

Professor Danny McLaughlin is the Associate Dean of Medicine at the University of Lincoln, where he leads on all aspects of the early years of the BMedSci and BMBS curricula.

Danny graduated with a degree in Physiology from the University of Glasgow in 1986. He stayed in the city to study for a PhD in Autonomic Pharmacology, before taking up a postdoctoral position at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. He subsequently held postdoc positions at the Mental Health Research Institute of the University of Michigan and at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London, before being appointed as Lecturer in Neuropharmacology at Bart’s and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry in 1998.

Danny left London in 2003 to help establish the Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) course at the University of Nottingham. He was later appointed Director of Undergraduate Studies at Nottingham, with responsibility for GEM and where he also established the Foundation Year for Medicine and BSc in Medical Physiology & Therapeutics.

In 2015 Danny took up the post of Academic Director of Undergraduate Medicine & Professorial Teaching Fellow at Durham University, and worked there until Durham’s School of Medicine, Pharmacy & Health transferred to Newcastle University in 2017. From August 2017 until August 2018, he held the post of Professor in the School of Medical Education at Newcastle and led on the teach-out of the programme at Durham, contributed to the curriculum review of the Newcastle MBBS programme, and led the Clinical Reasoning curriculum development group.

Danny’s teaching expertise is in physiology, neuroscience/neuroanatomy and pharmacology. He has authored several textbooks and received professional recognition as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His scholarly interests include the development of clinical reasoning skills in undergraduate medical students, the impact of widening participation initiatives in medical education and higher education in general, and novel methods for teaching medical students.

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Professor Gill Pinner

Vice Dean, Clinical Affairs

Professor Gill Pinner is a senior clinician and medical educator, with extensive experience in teaching, training, research and management. As Vice Dean, Clinical Affairs (Lincoln), she is leading the delivery of the clinical phase of the medicine course at the new University of Nottingham Lincoln Medical School in partnership with the University of Lincoln.

A graduate of Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London, she is Professor of Medical Education, Honorary Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, and a Fellow and past Associate Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She trained in psychiatry at UMDS, London including a year as a research associate, before moving to University of Nottingham as a Lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry. 

Professor Pinner has undertaken a wide range of teaching related roles in the NHS, at the University of Nottingham, as well as several roles within the Royal College of Psychiatrists nationally. She has significant experience in NHS management including Clinical Director, work for the CQC, and undergraduate and postgraduate training as Director of Medical Education, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

As past Director of Examination and Assessments for the School, she continues to be involved in assessment at all levels of the undergraduate medical course at Nottingham including assessment of professionalism. She is also an External Examiner for University of Leicester Medical School MBChB.

Professor Pinner's teaching interests include clinical psychiatry, affective disorders in the elderly dementia care, professionalism and communication skills.  She has previously carried out clinical research in dementia diagnosis disclosure and practitioner communication skills development. Her main area of research in medical education focuses on teaching and learning innovations, assessment methodologies, communication skills teaching and resilience in medical undergraduates.

Having completed the Nottingham MMedSci in Medical Education with Distinction in 2014 she is now a module convener on the course for “Principles and Practice of Assessment and Feedback” and contributes to “Coaching, Mentoring and Supervision.” She also supervises BMedSci and MMedSci students.

Visit Dr Pinner's full profile on the University of Nottingham website.


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Professor Alistair Warren 

Vice Dean, Early Years & BMedSci

Professor Alistair Warren has wide experience in the basic sciences that underpin medicine. As well as teaching, examining and researching in Biomedical Sciences he has led many curriculum developments in the area. He joins the University of Nottingham as Professor of Anatomical Sciences and Vice Dean, Early Years & BMedSci course at the Lincoln Medical School.

After completing his BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences, Alistair undertook a PhD and post-doctoral fellowship in Developmental Neurobiology. He became Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Cell Biology, then Professor in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield.  His laboratory research focused on female infertility.

At Sheffield Alistair held a number of leadership positions including Director of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Science, member of the Faculty Executive Board and Chair of the University Quality and Scrutiny Committee. He was voted ‘Best personal tutor’ across the university and won the ‘Student Voice Advocate’ award.

He is external advisor to the University of Minho Medical School in Portugal and consultant to A3ES, the Portuguese quality assurance agency.  Alistair has held External Examinerships for many postgraduate degrees and undergraduate programmes across the UK and overseas.

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Dr Skantha Kandiah 

Head of Anatomy and Principal Lecturer

Dr Skantha Kandiah is a graduate of Medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and has an MSc in Anatomy from the National University of Ireland and an NUI MBA Honours degree in Health Services Management, completed jointly with University College Dublin (UCD) Smurfit School of Business, and RCSI. For his MSc thesis, he researched the anatomy of the retroperitoneal spaces of the abdomen and pelvis by radiological investigation of cadavers. In 1999, he was appointed Lecturer in Anatomy at the RCSI. In 2005, he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Anatomy, on secondment to RCSI Bahrain, where he set up the Department of Anatomy with a colleague and where he was also Director of the Junior Cycle from 2008-2011 and Administrative Director of Examinations. He then left Bahrain on secondment to join Perdana University, RCSI in Malaysia, to set up the Department of Anatomy. He was appointed to RCSI Malaysia as Academic Lead in Anatomy from 2011 to 2017 and was Head of Assessment from 2011-2014.

Skantha’s primary role was to ensure the appropriate delivery of Anatomy within the curriculum and to ensure comparable standards to RCSI Dublin. In Bahrain, as Director of the Junior Cycle, he had overall responsibility for the Preclinical Curriculum for three years from 2008, and also held several other senior academic administration positions. In Malaysia, he headed the Department of Anatomy for six years from 2011, again from the beginning of the new medical school. He is also a member of the MRCS Court of Examiners for Basic Sciences, and lectures and examines in the surgical MRCS examinations in various postgraduate examination centres in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He was also invited to be the External Examiner in Anatomy at various universities, including the University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum, Sudan.

Skantha was appointed Head of Anatomy and Principal Lecturer at the Lincoln Medical School in October 2018. Skantha was also invited to lecture and examine in Anatomy in the RCSI MFD examinations in Dentistry in Dublin, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and UAE. During his teaching career, he has taught (and examined in) Anatomy to undergraduate medical students, postgraduate surgical trainees, undergraduate Physiotherapy, Pharmacy and Nursing students and was also a Lecturer in Anatomy at the Irish College of Classical Osteopathy. He has also been a Lecturer in Anatomy for the Diploma in Sports Medicine at the RCSI. He has also been an examiner in Anatomy for the FRCSI Ophthalmology examinations, the Diploma in Psychological Medicine and an examiner for the Irish Medical Council’s Temporary Registration Examinations. He has a total of 20 years teaching and examining experience in Anatomy and has a keen interest in the area of student assessment.

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Dr Gill Garden

Director of Clinical Skills

Dr Gill Garden read medicine at the University of Birmingham. She intercalated a year, gaining a first-class honours degree in neuropharmacology, and won prizes for obstetrics and gynaecology. After qualifying, she trained in medicine, passing MRCP, and then psychiatry and MRCPsych. Whilst training, she undertook research on brittle asthma, the use of QALYS and the value of diagnosis related groups in psychiatry.  

On moving to Lincolnshire in 1993, Gill took up a consultant post in General Adult Psychiatry in Lincoln covering a catchment area of over 750 square miles. During this time, she set up a mobile day hospital team and collaborated with the Shaw Trust, to help people with mental health problems return to work. She was invited to be the psychiatrist for the Diocese of Lincoln, to be an examiner for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and was invited to join the College working group for the proposed OSCEs. Gill also contributed to the writing and staging of the MRCPsych clinical examinations for over a decade. She was also invited to write an article on physical examination for psychiatrists for Advances in Psychiatry and subsequently two modules on physical examination for the College CPD website.

In 1998 Gill moved to another consultant role to be able to resume her hospital liaison interest and in 2004, she switched to a pure liaison post with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. During this period, she collaborated with the Alzheimer’s Society to set up the first hospital carers’ support service in the UK. The plight of older people with mental health problems in hospital was all too apparent, and the experience of seeing older people with dementia and frailty dying in hospital lead to Gill setting up a care home service delivering advance care planning in Boston, funded initially by the Bromhead Medical Charity. This service was very well received, associated with a marked reduction in hospital admissions and the findings were published in Clinical Medicine in 2016.

The Bromhead Medical Charity awarded Gill a grant to set up another care home service in Lincoln to improve the wellbeing of people living in care homes by providing a comprehensive assessment of health and social needs, optimising treatment and drawing up advance care plans. She is a co-author of a nutritional study of these care home residents and is evaluating the effects of advance care planning on health service utilisation. This work is being undertaken as part of a PhD at the University of Nottingham. In 2017 Gill was awarded the first life-time achievement award at the Lincolnshire Health Awards for her contribution to healthcare in the county.

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Dr Runa Saha

Director of Early Clinical & Professional Development

Dr Runa Saha is the Director of Early Clinical & Professional Development at the Lincoln Medical School, and a GP in Lincoln.

Runa was born and raised in Lincolnshire, and after completing her MBChB Medical Degree at the University of Leicester and then her GP Vocational Training in Wiltshire, returned to Lincoln in 2006. Over the last 12 years she has primarily practiced as a GP partner in central Lincoln whilst holding various roles in medical education.

As a GP Partner Runa has been responsible for the organisation of teaching and supervision of work experience students, undergraduate medical and pharmacy students, F2 doctors and doctors training to be GPs. Since 2013 Runa has held the post of Community Clinical Sub-Dean for Lincolnshire with the Department of Primary Care at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine. This role involves teaching Communication Skills, Ethics & Professionalism to small groups of final year medical students whilst on their GP placements as well as the recruitment and quality assurance of GP practices throughout Lincolnshire. 

Runa has been involved in various initiatives to improve the workforce in Primary Care. In 2014 she was employed by Health Education England to develop and deliver a teaching programme for doctors who had an interest in becoming General Practitioners but hadn’t had the relevant experience to enter onto the Specialty Training Programme. In 2017 Runa worked with the University of Lincoln School of Pharmacy to develop the GP Community Follow Up Project – this sees pairs of pharmacy students forming a relationship with patients with chronic health conditions and following them for a year. This has been a well-received initiative by the students and GPs and it is hoped the outcome will be an increase in the number of Clinical Pharmacists working in General Practice in the future.

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Dr David O'Brien

Acting Director of Admissions

Widening Participation and Outreach Champion

David graduated MBChB from The University of Dundee in 1995, and worked as a junior doctor in Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee before moving south of the border to join the Clinical Research Unit in Leicester. His MD was subsequently awarded by the University of Leicester in 2005 for work on the non-invasive assessment of vascular function in healthy ageing and disease.

In 2001, David began training formally in Cardiology at Nottingham, ultimately sub-specialising in Interventional Cardiology. In 2006 he moved with his family to Canada and gained a Clinical fellowship in Interventional cardiology from the University of Alberta in 2007 before returning to Lincolnshire to take up the position of Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at ULHT.

On his return to Lincoln in 2007, he became the clinical lead for the development of a local 24/7 Emergency heart attack service and established the Lincolnshire Heart Centre based at Lincoln County Hospital. This service has received a number of national and local awards, and was recently voted the Clinical Team of the Year at the Lincolnshire Heath Awards in 2017. Currently he is Clinical Director for Pan-Trust Cardiology and Cardiac Physiology for ULHT and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London (FRCP).

He is interested in the management of Acute Coronary Syndromes and is currently local PI for a clinical trial in collaboration with the University of Leicester investigating the speed of cardiac intervention on the outcome for patients suffering high risk coronary syndromes. He is also due to start as local PI for a study coordinated by the University of Oxford, looking into a novel cholesterol lowering agent in patients at high risk of recurrent heart attack or stroke.

David is a keen teacher and teaches a wide variety of students, not just undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, but also nursing staff (mentoring several nurses for their independent prescribing practice) and paramedics, in addition to delivering regular GP teaching sessions in Cardiology. He is a clinical and educational supervisor to a number of Higher Specialist Trainees and a member of both the cardiology Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) panel and the regional Cardiology Specialty Education committee (SEC). He is also a trainer and supervisor for the post-CCT Interventional cardiology Fellowship post at Lincoln. He has taught on the Resuscitation Councils Advance Life Support courses for over 15 years and has frequently been ALS course Medical Director. He has designed and delivered an online teaching course for cardiology trainees on coronary angiography for a global teaching platform, and is currently in the process of developing a second course on coronary intervention.

Dr Pam Hagan

Dr Pam Hagan

Director of Student Wellbeing

Dr Pam Hagan is an Associate Professor in Endocrine Physiology and Director of Student Wellbeing in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham. In 2015 she became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and in 2016 was appointed to the role of University Senior Tutor, responsible for the coordination of the Senior Tutor network and student support and development of all students at the University of Nottingham.

After spending 10 years as a research scientist in both the UK and the US, Pam joined the University of Nottingham in 2004 and became involved in the new Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) course, teaching and module convening on several modules. In 2005 she led the project to develop a bespoke Problem Based Learning curriculum and in 2006 she became the School Senior Tutor, responsible for student support, development and tutoring. Pam has established personal tutoring programmes, innovative near-peer mentoring programmes and many other support initiatives for medical students.

Professionally she has been an organising member of the ASME Midlands Medical Education group for a number of years and recently has established the National ASME special interest group, Medical Educators involved in Student Support (MEDISS). As a long standing Disability Liaison officer at Nottingham, Pam has an interest in supporting students with disability, long term medical conditions and poor mental health.