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BSMS > About BSMS > Alumni > Alumni in focus Dr Chris Wincup

Alumni in Focus - Dr Chris Wincup

Dr Chris Wincup (BM BS 2009)

Chris Wincup

Chris was in the first intake of students at BSMS in 2003. After completing an intercalated BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Brighton, he graduated from BSMS in 2009. Since qualifying he has been working in London and was appointed to the North London Rheumatology training programme in 2013. In his current role as a Clinical Research Fellow at University College London he is looking at abnormal mitochondrial function in lupus. The results of his research is contributing to his MD and he plans to continue with a career in academic rheumatology on completing his training.

Chris tells us about his favourite memories from BSMS and who has been his biggest inspiration throughout his medical career. 


Where are you now? 

I am currently a Rheumatology Registrar on the North London training rotation. At the moment I am ‘Out of Programme’, working as a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Rheumatology at University College London. I recently registered for an MD in which my research focuses on investigating mitochondrial dysfunction in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. 


What has been your proudest moment?

My proudest moment as a doctor was when I was invited to appear on BBC television and radio to talk about lupus last year. The whole experience felt very surreal but I was very proud to be able to spread awareness of the disease. Also my first publication and my first grant award are moments that I have been very proud of. At the moment I am currently writing this on a flight to Germany where I am presenting at an international lupus conference. I hope this conference will also rank highly as a proud moment too!


What are your favourite memories of BSMS?

I am very fortunate to have a huge number of fantastic memories from my time at BSMS! I was lucky to be part of the first cohort to start in Brighton in 2003. I have kept in touch with so many of the good friends that I made during medical school. We still meet up on a regular basis even now (some 14 years later!). In terms of specific memories, a huge number of amazing gigs and an elective to Australia were particular highlights.



What or who has inspired you most in life?

My family have always been a huge source of inspiration. Without my dad telling me to call the BSMS admissions office on the day of my A-levels results I don’t think I would be in medicine today; so I am hugely grateful for that. I was also lucky to have been taught by some very inspirational lecturers at BSMS; in particular Prof Kevin Davies and Prof Karen Walker-Bone. I didn’t even know what rheumatology was before I started at medical school and they certainly helped inspire my career choice!


What is the skill that you would most like to have?
I seem to be very busy at the moment so the ability to do ten things at once would certainly be handy!



Where would you like your career to take you?

I still have another couple of years left of my rheumatology training to complete after I finish my MD I hope to be able to continue to conduct research in the future as a consultant. I still enjoy being around a university and hope I’ll be able to play a role in teaching in the future.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

At the BSMS launch event in 2003 I spoke with former Dean, Prof Jon Cohen, and thanked him for offering me a place at the newly established medical school (as he was on the panel who interviewed me); he replied ‘just make sure you don’t blow it now!’. To this day I continue to try not to waste the opportunities I’ve been given as a BSMS medical student and graduate based on that advice.

What do you feel has been the biggest benefit from studying at BSMS?

I was very fortunate to be at BSMS from the very beginning! The opportunity to help shape the identity of the medical school is one that I won’t forget. I also think that BSMS is a fantastic place given how small and personal the medical school is. It was a privilege to be able to get to know my classmates so well and I am very excited to see so many now becoming consultants and GPs. It’s also nice to bump into old classmates at various hospitals and conferences even now (nearly 10 years after graduating!).