Academic Foundation Programme
Dr Alex Brown
During clinical school, I found that I really enjoyed paediatrics and wanted to explore both the clinical and research elements of this specialty. I therefore applied for an Academic Foundation Programme post, which included a paediatrics job at FY2, as well as a research placement.
The Addenbrooke’s paediatrics department is a busy one, consisting of general paediatrics covering the local area; subspecialty paediatrics covering most of the East of England (for example, paediatric neurology, gastroenterology, respiratory, diabetes & endocrine). There is also a busy Level 3 neonatal unit, based at the Rosie Hospital. I found that there were lots of opportunities to get involved with clinical work, quality improvement, and governance issues.
I previously undertook a PhD in systems neuroscience as part of an MB/PhD programme at UCL. My research interests include cortical physiology, high-throughput microscopy and image analysis, and machine learning approaches to data analysis. During my research placement, I worked with Prof. David Rowitch and his team, developing an automated approach to identify brain regions in histological samples.
The AFP has been a great experience for me, giving me space to extend my previous research interests and put together a competitive application for an ACF – which I was successful in obtaining. I’ll be starting as an academic paediatrician in London in September!