On Monday 15th November, we were delighted to welcome Dr Claire Brash, Central High Class of 2011, back to Newcastle High School for Girls to speak to aspiring Medics in Years 12 and 13 about how to navigate the application and interview process for Medicine. During the lunchtime MedSoc session, Claire’s insightful talk was centred on the “10 key rules of survival” from “Learning The Lingo” to “Finding Your Tribe”. The girls were incredibly engaged with her advice, so much so, we plan to invite her back to school for a second session very soon!

Dr Brash’s energy and enthusiasm for this field of work is truly infectious and reflected in her impressive career. Claire graduated with BSc(Hons) in Medical Sciences with Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College in 2015 and was selected as Undergraduate Research Trainee by McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Hospital, Canada. In 2018, Claire graduated as a Medical Doctor from Imperial College London School of Medicine and she is passionate about clinical research and the interconnected nature of the brain and mind.  Her interests expand to Global Mental Health, Policy and Ethics, competing regularly in Model World Health Organisation Simulations. Notably, Claire won Best Delegate at McGill University’s Montreal Model WHO, National Scholarship to American Model WHO at Emory University and was Chair for Nordic Model WHO at United Nations City Copenhagen, before Co-Founding London Model WHO at LSHTM. Furthermore, Claire was part of the winning Imperial College team at the Institute of Medical Ethics National Debating Competition and on Committee for the Royal Society of Medicine Student Policy Initiative on medical student mental health. In addition, she has worked at Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience, researching Psychophysics on a Nuffield Foundation Bursary and Newcastle University Vacational Scholarship.

More recently, Claire was a Co-Investigator for the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 Vaccine Team, at the forefront of global efforts in the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine.  She has also worked as Academic Foundation Programme Doctor in the Clinical Academic Office of Newcastle University at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, conducting research in the field of Dementia with Lewy Bodies, with Alzheimer’s Research UK Pump Priming Grant funding. She is now a Clinical Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia at their Johor Bahru campus as well as currently working clinically in London.

It was wonderful that Claire was able to see the School’s admiration for her work with her own eyes, her framed portrait sitting proudly among those of inspirational alumnae in Newcastle High’s Main Reception. Our ‘Alumnae Through the Decades’ display honours the fascinating and remarkable women that have passed through the doors of our school, all of whom have played a part in advancing the educational opportunities of women. We are very fortunate to have Claire in our community to share her extensive Medical expertise with current pupils.

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