The training is long, the hours can be demanding but the rewards are worth all the hard work and sacrifice — and one orthopaedic surgeon at The University of Nottingham has become a role model for women across the country.
Brigitte Scammell, Head of the Division of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery in the School of Clinical Sciences, has become the UK’s first female Professor of Orthopaedics. Professor Scammell, who is based at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham was among 20 new professors in the research and teaching promotions for 2010.
Professor Scammell said: “It is a great honour to have been promoted and an absolutely amazing feeling to be the first ‘lady’ Professor of Orthopaedics in the UK. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my colleagues and the enthusiasm of my students when they have learnt a new skill. I am very excited about the new challenges that being a Professor will bring and I hope that I will inspire other women to follow academic and surgical careers and enjoy their work as much as I do.
Professor Scammell now specialises in elective orthopaedics — the majority of her patients suffer from degenerative diseases of the knee, feet and ankles. Their problems can stem from pain and deformities caused by arthritis and problems associated with diabetes.
With funding from the Medical Research Council and Arthritis Research UK Professor Scammell’s main research interests focus on the biology of bone healing and osteoarthritis. She works closely with some of the world’s leading experts in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences who are carrying out ground-breaking research into arthritis pain, bone healing and infections.
One of her latest areas of research is looking at the underlying cell signalling of Charcot disease, a rare degenerative condition of the foot. The disease, which is secondary to diabetes, results from loss of sensory nerve fibres and means minor traumas such as sprains go undetected, eventually leading to fractures and arthritis. The research team are currently recruiting patients to help them in their research.
There are currently 33 orthopaedic trainees in Nottingham, five of whom are women — three are mothers. Professor Scammell’s promotion will hopefully encourage more women to take her lead and become orthopaedic surgeons.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.