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Personal profile

Biography

Dr Shenkin graduated from Edinburgh University (MBChB) in 1994, having done an intercalated BSc (1st class Hons) in Psychology. After a general medical rotation in Oxford, and a neurology SHO job in London, she returned to Edinburgh to train in Geriatric Medicine. Under the mentorship of Prof John Starr (geriatric medicine) and Prof Ian Deary (psychology) she was awarded an MRC Training Fellowship investigating lifecourse influences on cognitive ability and cerebrovascular disease in older age. During this fellowship she obtained an MSc in Epidemiology (Distinction), graduating in 2002. and was awarded her MD in 2006. Much of her training has been  undertaken flexibly (less than full time).

She has been working as a clinical academic in geriatric medicine at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian since 2011, with main interests in cognitive ageing/delirium & dementia, and the health and care of residents and staff of care homes, in particular the role of data and technology. She has skills in data linkage in health and social care, and systematic reviews, and particularly enjoys interdisciplinary working.

She is part of the Advanced Care Research Centre (edin.care), leads the Lothian Care Home Innvoation Partnership, and is co-chair of ENRICH (Scotland), and is Systematic Reviews Editor for Age and Ageing. 

Qualifications

2013: FRCP (Edin)

2006: MD “Life course influences on cognitive ability and cerebrovascular disease”; University of Edinburgh

2002: MSc Epidemiology, Distinction; University of Edinburgh

1997: MRCP (UK)

1994: MBChB; University of Edinburgh

1992: BSc (Med. Sci.) in Psychology, 1st Class Hons; University of Edinburgh

Current Research Interests

  • Health and social care of care home residents and staff
  • Diagnosis and management of patients with delirium and dementia in the acute hospital
  • How delirium and dementia affect outcomes, e.g. admission to care homes
  • Data linkage using electronic health records
  • Lifecourse epidemiology of cognitive ageing and cerebrovascular disease
  • Systematic reviews (especially of observational studies)

Media

Teaching

  • Delirium and dementia for a range of clinicians
  • Critical appraisal and research methods course at Royal College of Physicians (course organiser)
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analysis course at Royal College of Physicians (course organiser)
  • Edinburgh Research Methods Course (course organiser and speaker)
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analysis course at Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (course organiser)
  • Evidence based medicine course at University of Glasgow
  • Geriatric Medicine at NHS Lothian

My research in a nutshell

I am interested in all aspects of ageing, particularly how the brain changes with age, and how this links to the development of frailty. I am interested in diagnosing and managing delirium and dementia, particularly in hospital and care home settings – and the transitions between these - , and how the care of care home residents, their relatives, and the staff who care from them can be improved. I am keen to maximise the information provided by electronic health and social care records, with appropriate oversight, to understand the lifecourse trajectories of disease and how these can be affected at different time points. I am excited by the opportunities of data science, technology and the implementation of these using clinical trials, and then evaluating how these interventions work in clinical practice. I promote the use of systematic reviews to synthesise the current evidence and so make sure research is answering important questions that have not already been addressed.

I particularly enjoy working with a range of colleagues, and my research involves collaborations with academic nurses, geriatricians, radiologists, obstetricians, endocrinologists, data scientists, image analysts, psychologists and many more.

I am keen to promote training in research methods for clinical trainees (and to support flexible training to combine research and clinical practice), and enjoy mentoring people with a range of experience and backgrounds.

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