Dr Sean Doherty awarded the Newman Fellowship

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Dr Sean Doherty awarded the Newman Fellowship

Congratulations to Research Scientist Dr Sean Doherty, winner of the INSPIRE Foundation PhD Scholarship 2016 who has been awarded the coveted Newman Fellowship.  Sean who completed his doctorate in September 2019 is part of the research team at University College London, working on an INSPIRE funded project called NEUROMOD II.

The Frances and Augustus Newman Foundation supports medical and research projects and other medically related charitable endeavours.  We approached the foundation last autumn for funding towards our research programme and specifically towards project NEUROMOD II.

Part of our appeal included details about Research Assistant, Sean who broke his neck falling from his mountain bike as a 16 year old schoolboy.  During 12 months rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville, he had to come to terms not only with considerable physical and psychological challenges, but also the onset of his impending A levels!  Through admirable determination and a steely resolve, he achieved commendable grades which enabled him to go to Cardiff University where he read Medical Engineering and was awarded both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

House of Lords March 2017            Presentation of the INSPIRE Foundation PhD Scholarship; Patron Baroness Masham of Ilton DL, who broke her back in 1958 & Sean Doherty, who broke his neck in 2009

Sean subsequently won the INSPIRE’s PhD Scholarship created in memory of Major General Ralph Crossley,  one time Chairman of the Trustees who championed medical research after spinal cord injury.  Sean’s Scholarship was presented by INSPIRE Patron, Baroness Masham of Ilton at a ceremony at the House of Lords in March 2017.

His 3 year thesis at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre, Stanmore so impressed INSPIRE’s Board of Trustees that they agreed to fund a new project NEUROMOD II.  Based at University College London and costing £225,278, the research focus is on the use of electrical stimulation as a means to control abdominal nerves.  Despite paralysis, lost bladder and bowel control is consistently ranked by people living with spinal cord injury as a top research priority. Resulting issues with incontinence have been repeatedly linked with significant decreases in quality-of-life. Through his lived experience of spinal cord injury and the time he has spent consulting others, Sean understands this and is highly motivated to provide new solutions.






September 2019:  Shortly after receiving notification of his PhD, Dr Sean Doherty catches up with Dr Lynsey Duffell, Principal Investigator Project NEUROMOD II at UCL

Under the Direction of Dr Lynsey Duffell,  Senior Lecturer in Medical Physics at University College London, NEUROMOD II is one of INSPIRE’s ten current projects costing a total of £1.6 million.  With no Government or NHS funding available to our programme, we are delighted that Sean and his vital research project have been generously recognised with a grant of £22,000 by the Frances & Augustus Newman Foundation. 

Click for further details of INSPIRE’s Current Research programme.