Veeru Kasivisvanathan, Urology SpR, London, NIHR Doctoral Fellow
Veeru studied Medicine at Imperial College London, completing his core surgical training in London and is a Specialty Registrar in Urology in the London Deanery. He completed 3 years out of program as an NIHR Doctoral Fellow for his PhD exploring the role of MRI-targeted biopsy in the diagnosis of prostate cancer at University College London. He is experienced in leading collaborating research amongst international research groups, having developed and ran the PRECISION study, publishing these findings in the New England Journal of Medicine. He has since been recognised for this work by the Evening Standard with an award for being one of the most influential people in Healthcare in London in 2018.
He has a good foundation in research methodology, having completed a Masters in Epidemiology and Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Trials at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is lead for Continuous Professional Development in the UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences, is on the editorial board for the British Journal of Urology International, is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Surgery and has served on the council of number of important national research boards. He is passionate about making collaborative research work and very passionate about making trainees realise their potential, which led him to founding the BURST Research Collaborative as we know it today. He is always happy to answer questions or help others – feel free to drop him a tweet @veerukasi.
Outside of work, Veeru loves sport, particularly football and tries to play when he can, knees permitting. Being brought up in London, he is a avid Man United fan and particularly enjoys the occasional trip up to Old Trafford.
Vice Chair and Webmaster
Taimur Shah, Urology SpR, London
Taimur studied Medicine at University College London and completed his foundation and core training in London and East of England. After a very enjoyable ST3/LAT year in Cardiff, Taimur obtained a urology NTN in London. After two further years as a SpR he decided to take an Out Of Programme experience to undertake a period of Research (OOPR) to undertake a PhD on imaging and focal therapy for radio-recurrent prostate cancer. He is currently working as an SpR and Charing Cross Hospital London, Imperial College London (ICL) and is part of the Imperial Prostate (IP) research group at Imperial College London (ICL) which focusses on clinical trials for prostate cancer with a particular interest in diagnostics and focal ablative therapy and two new RCTs ATLANTA and CHRONOS on the horizon. He has experience in coordinating and delivering phase II trials in prostate cancer (FORECAST and SMART) and has been Co-PI on other NCRN trials (PROMIS, CADMUS and PRECISION).
Taimur also won the “Best presentation” for his MIMIC collaborative project proposal at the BAUS academic meeting, “Urology’s got Talent session” in London, November 2014. Since then the project has seen an international roll out and MIMIC has won numerous prizes at EAU, BAUS and ASIT.
Outside of work, Taimur is a keen golfer and previously has spent many years playing cricket which included a spell as president of the RUMS cricket team. He also has a major interest in IT and technology and can be often found trawling blogs for the latest life changing gadget!
Arjun K Nambiar, Urology StR, Newcastle
Arjun did his undergraduate medical training in India before coming to the UK in 2010. After a memorable and productive stint as a Clinical Research Registrar in Swansea, he is now a specialist registrar in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications in urology, is a Cochrane systematic review author and went on to become the youngest member of a European Association of Urology Guideline Panel. He is also a reviewer for European Urology, the BJUI and International Journal of Urology. His academic interests include research methodology especially pertaining to systematic reviews and critical analysis for which he has conducted workshops and tutorials both nationally and internationally. His non-urological hobbies and interests include landscape photography, tennis and football.
Treasurer & BSoT Rep
Joseph Norris, Urology SpR, London
Joe is a Urology SpR in London. He studied Medicine in Brighton and completed an intercalated degree in Anatomy at KCL. Post-graduation, he has keenly pursued a career in clinical academia, beginning with the Academic Foundation Programme in Surgery in Cambridge, followed by his appointment to the NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Urology at UCL. Recently, he has taken time out of his urological training to conduct full-time research, having been awarded the prestigious Research Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was also subsequently awarded the MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship, enabling completion of his PhD on MRI-inconspicuous prostate cancer.
Besides academic surgery, Joe enjoys skiing, fell walking and attending London’s cinemas. He is fond of decent beer and Scottish whisky, and is slowly trying to improve his culinary skills.
Kevin Gallagher, MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow, Urology SpR
Kevin studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh including an intercalated degree in Pharmacology. He is currently in the final year of an MRC clinical research training fellowship investigating a drug target in ischemic kidney injury and an honorary urological registrar at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
National Site Coordinator
Kenneth MacKenzie, Urology SpR, North Eastern
Kenneth studied medicine at the University of Dundee and completed his Foundation Training in and around Bristol. A year in Urology as a SHO in Bristol gave him his first exposure to the speciality. He moved north to Newcastle Upon Tyne for Core Training and is now progressing through Specialty Training in Urology in North East Deanery.
Eleanor Zimmermann, Urology SpR, Southwest
Eleanor graduated from Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry after intercalating at Bristol University and has completed a postgraduate certificate in Surgical Sciences with Edinburgh University. She completed her foundation training in Exeter before spending a year in Perth, Australia. After completing Urology themed Core Surgical Training in the West Midlands she moved back to the Southwest and has started her registrar training in Weston General Hospital.
Eleanor has a keen interest in education and research and recently completed a RCT on patient education using multimedia, of which she is co-investigator. She was part of the RCSEng working party that devised the national Undergraduate Surgical Curriculum, which was published and disseminated in 2015. Eleanor has published work on paediatric urology, enhanced recovery in upper tract surgery – which was awarded joint SURG best abstract prize in 2015, and has co-authored two Cochrane reviews. She joined the BURST Committee in 2017.
Outside of work, Eleanor enjoys country walks with her dogs and is a rather amateur but keen squash player!
IDENTIFY Trainee Lead
Sinan Khadhouri, Urology SpR, East of Scotland
Sinan studied medicine at St George’s Hospital Medical School and completed his foundation training in Cambridge and East Anglia. After a year in Neurosurgery he went on to complete his core surgical training in Exeter embarking on a Urology career. Following this Sinan spent 6 months in rural Zambia as a senior surgical registrar and helped start up a urology service as well as perform some exciting surgery. He returned to Exeter to complete a research year, launching IDENTIFY I. He joined the BURST committee whilst developing IDENTIFY II with them, and has recently started his Registrar training in the East of Scotland. He is lead trainee for the IDENTIFY study which has become the largest study on haematuria in secondary care. He is also involved with the Urology research unit in Aberdeen University, as well working with the EAU guidelines panel through the BURST Committee.
Sinan has a keen interest in clinical research and collaborative studies. He has previously presented and published the BAUS national data audit outcomes for prostatectomies and cystectomies at BAUS and EAU, winning best poster prize for the former.
Outside of work, Sinan enjoys playing racket sports, travelling and walking his Bernese Mountain Dog!
Patient & Public Representatives
Meghana Kulkarni, ST4 Urology Registrar, London
Meg is an ST4 specialist registrar in London with an interest in Urological oncology and is currently undertaking a PhD in PSMA PET imaging in prostate cancer at King’s College London.
She trained at St George’s Hospital Medical school and during an intercalated BSc in surgery and anaesthesia at Imperial College, developed a keen interest in academic medicine.
She subsequently completed an Academic Foundation Job in renal transplantation in London and Core Surgical Training in Brighton.
She has been the principal investigator of several research projects, following successful grant applications with GlaxoSmithKline and the Medical Research Council.
She has published in peer-reviewed journals, presented extensively both nationally and internationally and has won prizes for her research work from the Physiological Society, the Royal Society of Medicine, the British Transplantation Society and the European Association of Urology.
Meg is also interested in global surgery and has worked in France, Australia, the Gambia, Senegal, South Africa and the USA. She is keen to continue building these links, to enhance the learning and skills-sharing of healthcare professionals both here and abroad, improve patient care and the availability of resources and collaborate on audit and research.
Meg loves tennis, travelling, cooking (eating) and being warm.
Melissa Matthews, Hull York Medical School (1st Year)
Melissa is a first year medical student at Hull York Medical School. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedicine at St Georges University of London. Under the supervision of Dr Torok she completed her neuroscience research project generating probes for glutamate, analysing kinetics databases for the probes’ potential in assessing neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Melissa’s research was presented at The University of Oxford. Melissa first became interested in urology during her time at St Georges University of London where she shadowed a surgeon, national expert in the management of bladder and prostate cancers. Alongside her studies Melissa has worked for the last 6 years as the first Young person’s representative at Barts Health NHS Trust in London. She worked within a clinical academic group to implement her advised changes to paediatric services across the trusts 5 hospital sites. Melissa was invited to deliver several lectures at a London University on patient engagement strategy and was later nominated to attend the Westminster Abbey NHS 70 event on behalf of the Trust. Melissa is keen to immerse herself within BURST activities during her time at medical school and hopes to continue into an Academic foundation program post following medical school.
Outside of her studies Melissa is a keen musician playing the piano, violin and saxophone all to grade 6-8 standard. She is involved in her university’s wilderness medicine society and skiing club. As a member of the Girl Guiding association since the age of 8 Melissa has been selected at a regional and county level to attend international expeditions to seven countries. She is looking forward to a service project trip to Zanzibar in the summer of 2019.
Nikita Bhatt, ST4 Urology, East of England
Nikita completed her undergraduate medical training in India, and got her first taste of Urology as an SHO in Dublin,Ireland. She developed a keen interest in it ever since and is currently a specialist registrar in the East of England deanery. She has a Masters in Surgery (MCh) from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and is currently completing her part time Masters in Medical Education (MMed) at the University of Dundee. She is a keen researcher and has authored several peer-reviewed publications, including a urology handbook for medical students. She is a reviewer for the Journal of Urology, the ANZ surgery, Annals of RCS, among other journals. She has presented her work nationally and internationally and has been awarded prizes for her research at the national urology meeting in Ireland. She has received a grant from the Meath foundation for development of a handover app for junior doctors which won a health service executive (HSE) national prize in Ireland. She was one of the finalists in the Dragon’s Den in BAUS in 2018 and is currently working on developing the project with BURST. Her areas of interest include medical device improvement and innovation (including stents and catheters), medical education, reconstructive and adolescent/ paediatric urology.
Outside of work, Nikita is passionate about health and fitness, loves travelling and hiking, and is a dancer who misses the stage!
Kieran Clement, ST3 Urology, Scotland West
Keiran studied medicine at the University of Aberdeen and completed an Academic Foundation Programme in Dundee. During his undergraduate studies, he completed an intercalated degree in medical sciences. He joined the BURST committee in 2018, is currently a Urology themed core surgical trainee in Glasgow and will soon be applying for a registrar post.
During his BMedSci, he worked with the Cochrane Incontinence Group which first sparked his interest in academic urology. This led to him being the lead author on two Cochrane reviews, an opportunity to present internationally, and the award of the Young Investigator of the Year at the International Continence Society annual conference in 2013. He has since published and presented a number of other clinical projects nationally, and plans on applying for a higher research degree in the near future.
Outside of work, Keiran still struggles to play Sunday pub-league football with two dodgy knees, and has recently become an extremely reluctant runner.
Luke Chan, ST1 Urology, Yorkshire & Humber
Luke graduated with Honours from the University of Edinburgh where he also intercalated in Physiology. He is currently completing his Academic Foundation Training in Edinburgh, where he happily worked 12 months of Surgery and passed the MRCS during FY1.
He was first inspired to pursue Urology following an elective after first year of medical school. Since then, he completed further Urology electives in Singapore and Australia and has presented and published his research in Endourology. He first got involved with BURST as an IDENTIFY collaborator during FY1 and is very excited to serve on the same committee that has been making such a positive impact on urological research.
Luke is also passionate about medical education, having successfully developed a Scottish OSCE course and published a book chapter on cardiovascular anatomy and physiology.
Outside of work, Luke enjoys photography, gadgets and Youtube cooking videos.
Chuanyu Gao, Academic Foundation Year 1, East Anglia Foundation School
Chuanyu is a Academic Foundation Year 1 in East Anglia Foundation School, currently working in Peterborough Hospital. He graduated from UCL Medical School and completed his iBSc in Surgical Sciences. He has been actively involved in research since medical school, and has presented in multiple conferences.
He first became involved with BURST on the MIMIC Study as an international site coordinator and he was the representative for medical students. He is the webmaster for BURST and current foundation representative.
In his free time, he likes to travel.
Medical Student Representatives
Alexander Light, Academic Foundation Doctor Year 1, East of England
Alex is a recent graduate of King’s College London, having also completed an intercalated BSc in Anatomy and founded the Urology Society there. During this time, he has been involved in a variety of surgical research and has published and presented multiple projects at national and international conferences. His urological research interests include reconstructive and oncological urology.
Alex is looking forward to working with BURST and their exciting projects. Together with the other medical student reps, he also aims to continue promoting BURST’s projects amongst medical students.
In his spare time, Alex is a keen landscape and travel photographer. He is also an eager runner and aspires to complete the London Marathon in the near future.
Chon Lam, Foundation Year 1 Doctor, Wales
Chon Lam is a recent graduate from UCL and first became involved with BURST as a collaborator for the IDENTIFY study. He has completed an intercalated BSc in Physiology and Pharmacology at UCL and looks forward to further developing his research skills with BURST.
Chon is passionate about medical education and facilitating opportunities for medical students to get involved with research. In 2017/18 he was the lead for the UCL Academic Prehospital Care Student Selected Component (SSC), a formally assessed module selected by students in their first two years at UCL medical school with many students subsequently going on to present their work at national level.
Chon is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists and enjoys pursuing classical music interests in his spare time.
William Cambridge, University of Edinburgh (4th year)
William is a third year medical student at the University of Edinburgh, currently completing an intercalated degree in Surgical Sciences, with his dissertation focusing on liver transplantation in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. His interests lie in surgical oncology & transplantation, and this summer he will be researching signalling in tissue repair and cancer, with the Boulter research group at the MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine in Edinburgh. He looks forward to working alongside & learning from the BURST team, and hopes to go onto an academic foundation post after university.
Outside of his studies, William is a member of the Edinburgh university medics rugby club, enjoys playing squash, and is president and co-founder of the University of Edinburgh Northern Society.
Keerthanaa Jayaraajan, Imperial College London (4th Year)
Keerthanaa is a 3rd year medical student at Imperial College London. She is passionate about developing advancements in Medicine. As a medical student representative, she is keen to learn more about research methodology and multi-centre research. She became interested in BURST after seeing how previous studies were rolled out on a large scale with the aid of collaborative research. Having done a project on application development in healthcare in collaboration with the HELIX centre in St Mary’s Hospital and an internship with DemDx, she is excited to hone in on her innovative skills with BURST. Outside of her studies, she likes to travel and spend time with family and friends.