WCAT at Bangor University

Information regarding Bangor University

The opportunities for WCAT training will be organised through the School of Medical Sciences at Bangor University.
The school will co-ordinate joint working with the other schools and colleges across the university which contribute towards the academic training of these posts. This allows for a wide range of possible research opportunities which can be organised to bridge excellent academic clinical training with strong medical input. This will involve input from three colleges (College of Health and Behavioural Sciences, College of Natural Sciences and College of Physical and Applied Sciences) which currently participate in joint research and education within Bangor.
For general enquiries email medsciences@bangor.ac.uk

The following research themes are available:


Bangor has the advantage of its own 3T MRI scanner and has close co-operation with the Betsi Cadwaladr University health Board, particularly with Ysbyty Gwynedd which is currently having a new, state of the art MRI scanner installed. Multidisciplinary research offering opportunities in brain, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular imaging is ongoing. North Wales has a separate NHS training scheme in radiology which will allow for a completely integrated academic and clinical attachment in radiology.  There is a strong field of cardiovascular imaging led by the section of vascular studies headed by Prof. M R Rees who is currently the President of the European Society of Cardiac Radiology.
Links with the School of Computer Science offers research training in leading aspects of simulation and medical computing. 
Contact: Prof. Michael Rees


There is a strong multidisciplinary research group which has 45% of its staff conducting world leading research as assessed in the 2008 RAE.

Much of this work centres on problems in the clinical neurosciences.  There are research groups in the Schools of Psychology (www.bangor.ac.uk/pscyhology) and Medical Sciences, with collaborations with other Schools in the University, and within the NHS.  Areas of interest include: developmental and acquired language disorders; the cognitive and behavioural consequences of brain injury as a result of neurodegeneration (especially Parkinson’s disease and dementia), stroke and traumatic brain injury; biological psychiatry; human vision and motor control; advanced magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, in vivo tractography, MR spectroscopy); EEG; non-invasive brain stimulation.

There is also a strong research group in clinical and health psychology. The work of the group is concerned with a range of clinical and health psychology topics: healthy lifestyles, chronic disease, older adults, developmental disabilities, other childhood disorders, emotion and addictions.

The complete list of research groups with the School of Psychology is as follows:

  • Perception and Action
  • Attention and Cognitive Control
  • Language and Cognition
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Psychological Therapies and Disorders
  • Social Neuroscience
  • Health, Illness and Behaviour Change
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Development

The Brigantia Building, in which the Schools of Medical Sciences and Psychology are housed, has state of the art facilities for human neuroscience research including:

  • A research-dedicated 3T MRI
  • Several EEG laboratories
  • Laboratories for non-invasive brain stimulation with transcranial magnetic and current stimulation
  • EMG facilities
  • Patient-testing facilities

Bangor University can therefore offer excellent research training and experience which might suit clinicians in a number of disciplines including, but not limited to: Psychiatry, Neurology, Paediatrics, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Learning Disability

For further information, please contact Dr Martyn Bracewell

Geriatric Medicine/ Movement Disorders

There is a North Wales rotation in Geriatric Medicine which could offer candidates complete clinical and academic training. Posts in North Wales provide academic links with Bangor University, School of Medical Sciences and also Cardiff University, such areas include dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s disease. Research in these topics can include aspects of epidemiology, mood disturbance, bilingualism, executive function, visual function, dementia and cognition.
Contact: Dr John Hindle

Musculoskeletal Medicine

A strong programme of multidisciplinary clinical research integrates musculoskeletal, renal, and altitude medicine with exercise science in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences <www.bangor.ac.uk/sport> a school which has achieved excellent results in the 2008 and 2001 RAE. Major research areas include the adverse affects on body composition (decreased muscle mass and increased fat mass) associated with chronic diseases, and the consequences of these changes on physical function and disability; exercise as a treatment for restoring muscle mass and attenuating disability; exercise as a treatment for reducing fat mass and attenuating cardio-vascular risk; the structure and function of muscle in rheumatic diseases; the cardiovascular and respiratory complications of systemic autoimmune diseases; the effects of exercise on renal function; and the effects of exercise and extreme conditions (altitude, ambient temperature, sleep deprivation, dehydration, and calorie deprivation) on immune function.
Contact: Prof. Andrew Lemmey

National Health Service Research and Clinical Trials

The Institute of Medical and Social Care Research (IMSCaR) has several distinct research centres which cover a wide range of research themes including dementia, health economics, public health and clinical trials. The clinical trials unit (NWORTH) is a fully registered UKCRC clinical trials centre and offers expertise and support in medical statistics and medical data collection and processing.  Doctors with a specialist interest in public health and clinical trials would be able to undertake a specific PhD in these subjects, other doctors may receive support in their PhD studies from this unit.
Contacts: Prof. Rhiannon Tudor Edwards
               Rhiannon Whitaker

Cardiovascular Disease

Bangor University has developed a research team in cardiovascular disease, combining researchers from the School of Medical Sciences and the School of Sports, Health and Exercise Sciences, which offers research training opportunities in cardiovascular medicine and vascular surgery. Clinical training opportunities in cardiovascular medicine have expanded significantly with the development of a number of new consultant posts in North Wales and the instigation of coronary angioplasty in the North Wales catheter laboratory. New research themes include investigation into cardiac imaging in myocardial infarction and syndrome X.
Contact: Prof. Michael Rees

Cancer Studies

Bangor University houses the North West Cancer Research Institute (NWCRI). The NWCRI together with the School of Medical Sciences offer the following research training opportunities:

  • evaluating the possible role of newly identified cancer-specific markers (the cancer testis antigens - CTA) in tumour diagnostics and therapeutics. This work is linked to the Wales Cancer Bank project in Bangor
  • genome stability in stem cells with an emphasis on mutation avoidance in germ line stem cells. This work is a collaboration with the CABIMER regenerative medicine institute in Seville, Spain
  • the functional characterisation of the leukaemia chromosome break point-associated protein translin which is a component of the RNA interference pathway and which is implicated in epigenetic regulation
  • the role of developmental genes in colorectal cancer progression particularly the patterns of gene expression shown specifically by tumour cells at the invasive edge of the tumour

These and other projects offer experience of a range of laboratory techniques including cell culture, molecular biology, immuno-techniques and RNAi.

Clinical Research themes include:

  • evaluation of the morbidity caused by surgical or radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancer
  • novel combination therapy for rectal cancer
  • clinical and physiological mechanisms and treatment of fatigue in cancer patients, and the effects of exercise rehabilitation during and after cancer treatment. Conducted in collaboration with the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

Contact: Prof. Nick Stuart

Acute Illness – Critical Care

The management of acute illness has been a major focus of Welsh Health Policy as part of the "1000 lives" campaign. Research from Wales in this area has influenced National and International Health Policy. This is reflected in the research program that combines epidemiological and interventional studies into the detection and management of acute illness with extensions into the impact of behavioral and organizational factors onto clinical outcomes. The understanding of human factors explored in the airline industry as contributors to management or mismanagement of catastrophic events will be a central element of the program.
Contact: Dr Chris Subbe

Medical Management

There is a growing body of knowledge about the process and outcome of medical education and medical management. The School of Medical Sciences is conducting research in these areas and has particular interests in:

  • all aspects of teaching and learning in medical education including curriculum design, delivery, assessment and evaluation and personal development
  • leadership and management development in the clinical context
  • medical careers
  • mentoring, appraisal, revalidation and assessment
  • use of technology in medical education and management training. This utilises the expertise within North Wales in the use of simulation and the simulation facilities available across the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Contact: Prof. Michael Rees