Somervillian medics selected for top academic programme

19th January 2021

A composite image of medics Aaron Henry and Eva Zilber, separated by the Somerville logoCongratulations to Somervillian medics Aaron Henry and Eva Zilber on being selected for the highly prestigious Oxford Academic Foundation Programme following graduation.

The Oxford AFP is designed to provide doctors with insight and enthusiasm for academic medicine in addition to the competences outlined in the Foundation Programme Curriculum. As AFP doctors, Aaron and Eva will have the opportunity to conduct research in an area of their own choice under the supervision of an academic lead, as well as applying for funding, participating in journal clubs, undertaking case presentations and gaining access to the university’s wide variety of research training courses. As such, selection for the Oxford AFP represents a wonderful vindication of all the hard work put in by Aaron and Eva during their time at Oxford.

For her research component, Eva plans to work in Professor Philip Goulder’s lab, which recently made significant discoveries about children’s immune response to HIV infection, including sex-specific immune differences. Eva hopes to be able to contribute to this important work, and is also delighted that the protected 4-month research block offered by the AFP will enable her to do wet lab work that wouldn’t otherwise be possible as a Foundation doctor.

Of her selection, Eva said, ‘I’m so glad to be staying in Oxford to do the AFP. Somerville has become a second home to us over the last 6 years, and we’ve been so lucky with all the tutoring and support we have received from the incredible medical community here.’

Aaron will be joining the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research (OCMR), working with Professor Oliver Rider to image how the heart produces the energy it needs to pump blood around the body. Specifically, he will be looking at how this energy production is impaired in heart failure states and further investigating the relationship between obesity, heart energetics and heart function. Aaron is also glad to continue working alongside Somerville GB Fellow Professor Damian Tyler, who has pioneered the use of the novel imaging technique, Hyperpolarised MR, to interrogate which fuels the heart is using.

 Of his selection for the AFP Aaron said, ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be staying in Oxford for another couple of years and delighted I can combine that with some research as well. I also can’t stress how much support I have received from our amazing tutors here in Somerville, without whom none of this would have been possible!’

Aaron and Eva practise their examination technique in Covid-safe conditions over the summer, under the supervision of Somerville's Tutor in Clinical Medicine, Dr Helen Ashdown.

Aaron and Eva practise examination technique in a Covid-safe outdoor setting over the summer.

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