The TJBCM Welcomes First Two Fellows to the Tessa Jowell Fellowship Programme

Press Release

Published 4th July 2023

The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission is pleased to announce the appointment of two exceptional individuals to the inaugural Tessa Jowell Fellowship programme. Dr Morag Brothwell and Dr Sean Main will complete a 12-month programme of high-quality training in neuro-oncology clinical practice and research. The new fellows will be hosted at two Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence: King’s Health Partners and University College London Hospital, renowned institutions at the forefront of medical research and patient care.

Dr Omar Al-Salihi , clinical neuro-oncology consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital, said: “The neuro-oncology team across King’s Health Partners is very excited to be offered this valuable opportunity to mentor, train and inspire one of the next generation of neuro-oncologists. Through this we continue to focus our efforts on improving outcomes for our patients with cancerous brain tumours, known as gliomas.”

The programme will train these highly skilled clinicians to appreciate the breadth of comprehensive brain tumour management and equip them with the research skills to lead high impact, practice-changing neuro-oncology clinical trials of the future. The Fellowship programme, led by the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission, is co-funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Tessa Jowell Foundation (TJF). 

“We are delighted to welcome two fellows to the Tessa Jowell Fellowship programme,” said Dr. Nicky Huskens, Chief Executive Officer of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission. “Through the training and research they plan to undertake, they will make a positive contribution to the thriving brain tumour research efforts in the UK and support patients affected by this devastating disease.”

The Tessa Jowell Fellowship programme is made possible through a unique partnership between the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission, NIHR and the charity sector. By combining the resources and expertise of these organisations, the Mission hopes to address workforce and skills shortages in the brain tumour field. It is hoped that the fellowship programme will expand to include fellows from other specialties including neuroradiologists, pathologists and allied health professionals in future rounds. 

Dr Brothwell, who currently works at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, and Dr Main, who currently works  at University Hospital Southampton, were selected through a rigorous evaluation process, assessing their scientific acumen, research potential, and commitment to addressing the challenges faced by patients with brain tumours. Over the course of their fellowship, they will work closely with leading clinicians and researchers at their respective host institutions, leveraging their collective expertise to accelerate progress in the field.

Programme Lead Dr. Sarah Jefferies says: “Spearheaded by the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission, the brain tumour community has worked hard to show that neuro-oncology is an attractive career path for clinicians who are looking for a challenging disease area, on the cusp of exciting and promising breakthroughs. The Fellowship programme is the perfect launchpad for emerging talent to build a clinical career dedicated to helping patients with complex needs while also becoming the leaders of ground-breaking future clinical trials.”  

Dr Peter Thompson, Director of NIHR Academy Programmes, said: ‘The NIHR is very pleased to be able to provide funding for these fellowships, which should start to make a real difference to workforce capacity within brain cancer research. We’re delighted that these Fellows will become Members of NIHR Academy and gain access to a portfolio of developmental opportunities.’

“We are proud to co-fund the first two Tessa Jowell Fellows alongside the NIHR,” said Jess Mills, CEO of the Tessa Jowell Foundation. “This collaboration underscores our shared commitment to honouring my mum’s legacy and advancing brain tumour treatment, care and research through the funding of the Mission’s efforts. We look forward to the impact these new fellows will undoubtedly make in improving outcomes for patients and their families.”

The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission extends its heartfelt congratulations to the incoming fellows and wishes them success in their endeavours. Their work will unquestionably contribute to the Mission’s overarching goal of designing and delivering a new national strategy for brain tumours.