New FoM Lead for Doctoral Degrees – Dr Laki Buluwela

Laki BuluwelaDr Lakjaya (Laki) Buluwela is a Reader in Cancer Biology in the Department of Surgery and Cancer. He has been appointed to the new role of FoM Lead for Doctoral Degrees.

You’ve recently been appointed FoM Lead for Doctoral Degrees – what will this new role involve?

It is a fascinating and challenging role and I am thrilled to have been given this appointment. One of the main aims associated with the position is to ensure that we provide a quality postgraduate student experience with a particular focus on the postgraduate research environment.

I will also have an overview of all FoM Doctoral provision and act as Faculty representative on various College committees, including Graduate School committees such as the Graduate School Management Committee.

What are some of the key activities you are planning for the coming year?

I start straight away by organising and chairing the selection of prospective PhD students to be supported from the Faculty’s MRC Doctoral Training Award. This is a key event and I will be working hard to recruit more of the exceptional research talent this program has supported over the years.

I also recognise that our postgraduate research students suffer as a community, as they are dispersed over several campuses, and aim to address this by setting up a virtual, web-driven campus to support our students. This is already looking very promising and we aim to beta-test this new resource early in the new year.

What most excites you about the role?

I am really excited about the various challenges this role raises. In particular, I am looking forward to trying out and developing some new ideas to enhance the postgraduate student experience. Luckily, I have been given access to some excellent support, so things are moving rapidly….watch this space !

What is your background, and what do you enjoy most about working at Imperial?

I am a Reader in Cancer Medicine in the Department of Oncology at the Hammersmith Campus, where my research is focused on gene expression in breast and prostate cancer. Over the years I have supervised a considerable number of young research scientists and Clinical Research Fellows as PhD students  and many of these have gone on to pursue successful scientific careers in medicine, academia and industry.

Also, while working at Imperial, I have taken an active role in postgraduate research student matters by serving on several Postgraduate Education Committees and have most recently been Deputy Director of Postgraduate Studies for Surgery & Cancer.

Imperial is clearly a fantastic, World class institution which provides a dynamic and rewarding research and education environment to work in. I am particularly enthused by the exceptional talent of the PhD students we have and hope to help by providing resources that will aid our students to reach even greater heights.

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