PhD symposium: career panel

Dr Tom Freeman, University of Bath

Tom Freeman is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Group within the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. He is a member of Council for the British Association for Psychopharmacology and was supported by the Society for the Study of Addiction as a Senior Academic Fellow. He conducts commissioned projects for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and has given expert evidence for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). He is an Associate Editor for the journal Addiction and holds honorary appointments at the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London and the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at UCL. His current research includes characterising changes in cannabis products in international markets, investigating the role of cannabinoids in the aetiology and treatment of addiction and mental health disorders, and developing harm reduction strategies for people who use cannabis such as standard THC units (similar to standard units for alcohol).

Dr Sarah Fox, Manchester Metropolitan University

Sarah is a Research Associate within the Substance Use and Associated Behaviours (SUAB) research group based in the department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. She was awarded her Doctorate in February 2019 with thesis that explored the journeys to support among women who experienced co-occurring substance use and domestic abuse victimisation. She holds a MSc in Drug and Alcohol Studies from The University of Glasgow, a MSc in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin and a B.A (Hons) in Humanities from Dublin City University. She has professional experience in research and social care including children’s support, homelessness and women’s services. Her research with SUAB focuses on women’s experiences of substances, using qualitative methodologies, particularly narrative and creative methods.

Dr Rachel Orritt, Cancer Research UK

Rachel completed her PhD in Psychology in 2016 at the University of Lincoln. After graduating, she used the science communication skills she had developed, together with her background in risk prediction and perception, to begin a career in health communication. Rachel has worked for the University of Manchester, the European Lung Foundation and Cancer Research UK in various non-academic positions. Her work has been varied, and included teaching science communication to Marie Curie research fellows, representing organisations in interviews in the news media, and supporting respiratory patients to engage with scientists and decision makers about their conditions. In her current role as Health Information Manager at Cancer Research UK, she reviews and disseminates evidence on cancer prevention, early diagnosis and screening, with specialisms in smoking cessation and health inequalities. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here:

Dr Kyla Thomas, University of Bristol

Dr Kyla Thomas is a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Public Health Medicine at the University of Bristol and an NIHR Postdoctoral Fellow. She is also Clinical Director of the NIHR West of England Clinical Research Network. She holds Honorary Consultant contracts with Public Health England, South Gloucestershire Local Authority and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust. Her research interests are in pharmacoepidemiology, mental health and addiction. She is currently a member of the NIHR Academy and Chief Investigator on several NIHR HTA grants. She has received over £1.2 million of research funding. Dr Thomas obtained her undergraduate medical degree with Distinction at the University of the West Indies before obtaining a Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship which allowed her to complete an MSc by Research Degree in Clinical Epidemiology and an MSc in Global Health Science with Distinction at the University of Oxford. She completed foundation training in the Oxford Deanery before starting the Public Health Clinical Academic Training Scheme in the Severn Deanery as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in August 2008. She was awarded a PhD with Commendation from the University of Bristol in March 2014 and was appointed to her first Consultant post in November 2016.