Obesity expert named professor at Derry’s School of Medicine

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Professor Miras, a leading authority on obesity, who joins UU from Imperial College London, is a clinician-researcher with a proven track record in the mechanisms by which lifestyle interventions, pharmacotherapy , bariatric surgery and medical devices improve weight, metabolic control and microvascular complications related to diabetes.

The Randox Professor of Medicine is a clinical academic position providing educational leadership and teaching alongside research.

Professor Miras will work clinically at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, based at Altnagelvin Hospital, where he will be an important contributor to the Department of Endocrinology.

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Randox Professor of Medicine, Dr. Alex Miras

Professor Miras will develop his research portfolio in line with the School of Medicine‘s research strategy and ambitions included in the Health Research Institute-THRIVE (HRI-THRIVE) project under the Derry City and Strabane City Deal.

His research will focus on applying findings made by researchers at the University of Ulster to new treatments for obesity and diabetes and identifying markers that help tailor treatments to individual characteristics. patients.

Professor Miras commented: “It was a myriad of factors that led me to join Ulster University; the proven global impact of their research on personalized medicine, links with the Western Trust and health and social care more broadly; and with private industry, like Randox, supported by the Health Professions and Health Sciences Education Center they are building in the city, all of which are focused on improving patient care. I am particularly keen to enhance the HSC-Academia-Industry interface for the benefit of all.

“In Northern Ireland there is currently no HSC service for obesity and this presents a real clinical challenge, one which I wish to address using my skills, knowledge and experience of obesity care. It Medical and surgical treatments for obesity have been shown to improve quality of life, reduce morbidity and mortality, and be highly cost-effective Local clinicians are seeing an increase in the number of people seeking bariatric surgery abroad and returning home with life-threatening complications.We need to help patients put treatment plans in place to support their weight loss at home.

Professor Miras grew up in Greece but has lived and worked in London for over 25 years and moved to Derry this month.

Professor Louise Dubras, Dean of the School of Medicine Foundation, welcomed Professor Miras to the Magee campus this week.

She said: “As the first cohort of future doctors complete their first year of medical school, now is the time to look to the future, with the arrival of our second cohort of students alongside the next phase of staff recruitment. We are delighted to welcome Alex to the school, on campus and in the city.

“The Randox Professor of Medicine is a unique and exciting opportunity and Professor Miras’ proven teaching, research and clinical experience will shape the direction of clinical and translational research and inform the teaching of our future physicians within the School of Medicine.”

Dr Catherine McDonnell, Medical Director of the Western Trust, says she is delighted that Prof Miras is joining the endocrinology and diabetes teams at Altnagelvin Hospital.

“Obesity is one of the biggest health problems we face in Northern Ireland,” she said. “Professor Miras will bring a range of specialist knowledge, clinical and research skills that will benefit patients in this area. Its national and international profile provides an excellent opportunity to develop improved obesity services across the province. We look forward to welcoming him. »

The Randox Professor of Medicine role is supported by a £1.2 million grant for medical education and research from Randox Laboratories Ltd.

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Miras as the first Randox Professor of Medicine at the University of Ulster Medical School. We are going through exciting times for the advancement of early diagnosis and preventive treatments in a wide range of health conditions, particularly in the area of ​​obesity and diabetes, which threaten to increase the burden on our health services. already overloaded.

“We look forward to the leadership and innovation Professor Miras will undoubtedly bring to this role and to support his work in early diagnosis and intervention. We know that in such circumstances, patient outcomes are improved and the burden on our healthcare service can be significantly reduced. This is a very important role at a critical time and we wish Professor Miras every success.

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