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This content is taken from the Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Manchester & MAHSE's online course, Understanding Innovation in the Healthcare Sciences. Join the course to learn more.

Meet your educators

This course was designed by colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University and the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education. Find out more about the course team by reading the biographies below.

Lead Educator

Garry McDowell
Hi, my name is Garry McDowell. I’m a Clinical Biochemist by background and now an Academic Researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University. I will be leading this course. I am going to share my story to explain why I’m here as your chief educator. I hope you will respond and share a little about yourself by adding your story in the comments. I look forward to taking this journey into innovation with you.

Cherry and Poppy by the lake at Grasmere

I grew up in Northern Ireland, graduating from Queen’s University Belfast with a PhD in Cardiac Pathology. This research had a clinical focus which sparked an interest in expanding my clinical knowledge. So, I packed my bags and headed to the North West of England, where I took up a post as a Trainee Clinical Scientist, applying research to clinical practice. I successfully achieved membership of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2003, and then Fellowship (FRCPath) in 2008.

Lake Windermere

One of our favourite areas is around Lake Windermere. We visit the Lakes in all sorts of weather and took this photo one spring evening.

But life was not all about work. I fell in love with the Lake District (the Lakes) and with my wife, both of which have been unmoveable in my affections. My family expanded, first with a daughter and more recently with the addition of 2 Shih Tzu’s called Cherry and Poppy. As my role developed, first into Principal Clinical Biochemist and then as Consultant, we ensured that we always remained within a suitable travelling distance of the Lakes.

Cherry and Poppy on the sofa

Cherry and Poppy – this is the only time if have ever seen them sit still for longer than 5 mins!

I spent a number of years working in the area of cardiac pathology, specifically early diagnosis of heart attack and heart failure. I spent a period running my own consultancy business, before realising that I wished to focus on research, rather than service delivery. I moved to an academic position in a University. I am now Academic Director for Higher Specialist Scientist Training at Manchester Metropolitan University. Why am I here as your educator? From my clinical background, I recognise the great ideas those involved in the delivery of healthcare science can have. I am also too familiar with the challenges, which can appear as major obstacles in turning those innovative ideas into service improvement. Facing these obstacles can be like standing at the bottom of a mountain; they appear too large to ever allow you to reach the top. By producing this MOOC, I hope I help you to recognise that really this is just a series of walks. There is no one path that will take everyone from idea to service improvement, but this MOOC should help to signpost you in the right direction at various intersections along the way. Please share your story in the comments. Why are you doing this course? How can other students’ help you and you help them? Comment on each others stories. What do you hope to get out of this course?


Carol Ainley
Hi, my name is Carol Ainley. I am the Lead for Medical and Life Science Development at Manchester Metropolitan University. I am also Deputy Director for Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE). I have a background in healthcare science, having worked as a biomedical scientist in various pathology departments across the UK. I am involved in cancer research and pedagogic research.

Philip Padfield
Hi, my name is Phil Padfield. I am the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Taught Education in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester. I am also the Director of the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE). I have an academic background in biochemistry and have been involved in the education and training of healthcare scientists for over fifteen years. My current research interests centre on the impact of diet on health and well-being.

Louisa-Jane Smith
Hi, my name is Louisa-Jane Smith. I am responsible for the project management and implementation of the MAHSE Research and Innovation Project and support the MAHSE Directors with the development of initiatives related to expanding research and innovation in the healthcare sciences across the North West of England. Prior to this role, I administered the Scientist Training Programme for MAHSE and have also managed several researcher development programmes at the University of Manchester.

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Innovation in the Healthcare Sciences

Manchester Metropolitan University

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