Postgraduate Research

Current Research Students


Dr Muhammad Usman Shah

LIIRH supervisor: Dr Maxime Inghels

Dr Muhammad Usman Shah is a physician and clinical researcher, currently working as a clinical research fellow at the Lincoln Heart Centre (United Lincolnshire Hospitals), the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health and the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, working towards a Ph.D. degree award.

Dr Shah began his medical journey at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) – Pakistan, and went on to become a member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK). He simultaneously completed a bachelor's degree in English at the University of Punjab, followed by a postgraduate certificate in leadership in health and social care from the University of Hull and the European Exam in Core Cardiology certificate.

Dr Shah has been actively involved with research since his undergraduate studies, working on several descriptive studies and publishing in several renowned journals. From initial work in microbiology, he has now transitioned into cardiovascular medicine. As part of his Ph.D. program, he is currently working on exploring the biomolecular mechanisms of diabetic medications in patients with diabetes suffering from heart attacks. In addition, Dr. Shah is also using clinical data from this cohort of patients in the United Lincolnshire region to identify the optimal initiation times of this class of medications. This will help provide further guidance on the management of these conditions and potentially improve clinical care provided to patients in the region and even beyond. Furthermore, he is involved in patient recruitment and management in multiple, international, multi-centre trials looking at further improving cardiovascular care.

Over the years, Dr Shah has developed a particular skill set with regard to research activities including writing up project protocols, applying for ethical approvals for research projects involving National Health Service and its users, setting up clinical research databases, analysing big data sets obtained from these sources and then writing up manuscripts for publications. He is regularly involved with new project initiation and team discussions with regard to the feasibility of project delivery locally. He regularly collaborates with other researchers locally and nationally, exploring research ideas, developing projects, and progressing links within the research network.


Amanda Bloomfield MSc RDT RDH FAETC

LIIRH supervisors: Professor Mark Gussy (Director of Studies), Professor Amanda Kenny and Dr David Nelson

Amanda Bloomfield has a background in oral health education and practice and has held teaching posts at Sheffield and Kings College London. She is the first Dental Care Professional recipient of the MSc in Minimal Intervention Dentistry (Kings College London).

Amanda joined the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health in 2023 as a Ph.D. student. Her study is investigating effective oral health integration into general health and social care.

Her research, ‘Integrating oral health into general health and social care,’ is investigating the components of oral health in training and practice, efficiency, and barriers and facilitators to effective integration. As part of this project, Amanda is implementing a systematic review to establish what is known about oral health integration components and practice output. The results of the review will help determine how to improve professional knowledge, attitude and skill acquisition and aid in the construction of an effective competency framework for oral health integration. Research design by Kirkpatrick (1967) and Barr (1996) is informing the methodological frameworks for this evaluation.

Poor oral health is a complex and wicked problem with macro, meso and micro determinants. Dental treatment needs are high and access to dental professionals is constrained due to workforce issues and affordability. Reforms are needed to help engage the healthcare workforce to value oral health, refer to dental colleagues and incorporate oral health into general health promotion with strong implications to improve a range of health outcomes and quality of life.


Ojali Yusuff

LIIRH Supervisors: Professor Mark Gussy and Dr David Nelson

Ojali is a Social Science Doctoral candidate with the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health at the University of Lincoln. She holds a Master of Pharmacy Degree (King’s College London), a Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice (University College London), and an Independent Prescribing certificate (University of Manchester). Ojali has recently completed a National Population Health Fellowship with NHS England. Ojali has also co-led and supported work on workforce inequities by exploring the impact of racism and discrimination experienced by the primary care medical services workforce and providing recommendations for implementation by the primary care and integrated care systems team.

As a pharmacist, Ojali has practised as a specialist sexual health and HIV Pharmacist in specialist NHS Trusts and worked in general practice and the 111 and Urgent care settings as an Independent prescribing clinician. Over several years, Ojali also volunteered internationally, supporting education and training initiatives for Village Healthcare Trainers in Northern Uganda.

Ojali's doctoral research explores barriers and facilitators to health and care staff accessing well-being services within an Integrated Care system in a UK setting. Her research spans multiple professional groups across the integrated care system. It seeks to collaborate with health and social care organisations and ICS partners to understand health and care workforce well-being and add to the body of research in this field.


Darren Fernandes

Supervisors: Professor Niro Siriwardena (CaHRU), Professor Graham Law (CaHRU), Dr David Nelson (LIIRH) and Professor Jervoise Andreyev

Darren is a doctoral research student candidate with the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health and the Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) at the University of Lincoln.

His research is addressing the problems faced by the increasing number of survivors of colorectal cancer who are suffering with debilitating symptoms that affect their quality of life as a consequence of their treatment. The aims of his research are to: identify the symptoms and totality of problems patients develop after treatment for colorectal cancer and understand how these issues are identified and addressed by clinicians.

The research will include: a systematic mixed methods review on how colorectal cancer patient’s non-gastrointestinal symptoms/problems are evaluated and addressed, a qualitative study of patients’ perceptions of post-colorectal cancer treatment symptoms and their management and the development and piloting of a post-colorectal cancer treatment symptom questionnaire.

The goal of this research is to produce new knowledge that will enable better assessment of patients following colorectal cancer treatment.