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Student Profiles

The 250+ postgraduate research students in the Nuffield Department of Medicine come from across the world, with students on-course from 46 nationalities in 2021.

computer network of global profiles

NDM DPhil students study a broad range of topics in basic science and clinical medicine, including behavioural science, bioinformatics and statistics (including modelling and computational biology), cell and molecular biology, clinical epidemiology, drug discovery, genetics and genomics, global health and tropical medicine, immunology, integrative physiology (systems biology), microbiology, protein science and structural biology, and transcription biology.

Below is a selection of profiles of our current students.


David Cruz Walma

Supervisors: Associate Professor Alex Bullock, Dr Kenneth Yamada


My research focuses on molecular mechanisms of human embryology, growth, and development. Using structural and cell biology techniques, I investigate how E3 ubiquitin ligases control cell movement, growth, proliferation, and differentiation in development and survey their tractability for being therapeutically targeted by small molecule inhibitors. I am a National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Oxford/Cambridge scholar, an EPA Cephalosporin scholar in St. Edmund Hall, and a dental student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. I pursue a career in academic medicine applying the skills I develop in my studies toward treating diseases of the head and neck.


Yingxi Zhao

student profile photoSupervisors: Prof Michael English, Dr David Gathara, Dr Catia Nicodemo


Yingxi previously worked in Myanmar focusing on ethnic health system strengthening and health workforce development, and in China focusing on preterm birth and kangaroo mother care in hospital settings. His research interests also include development assistance for health, global health systems and health financing.

DPhil thesis: Medical doctor interns in low- and middle-income countries: internship experience, career intention and absorption into the public sector.


Gloria Ngaiza

Profile photoSupervisors: Dr Caroline Jones, Prof Catherine Molyneux, Prof Catherine Pope


Gloria worked as a Health Adviser for the UK government under the Department for Internal Development (DFID) and then Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). She oversaw the health and nutrition portfolio in Tanzania, focusing on stunting reduction and early childhood development; reproductive and maternal health; global health security and health system strengthening work. Over four years, she gained experience supporting other offices in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Nepal. Before that, she worked as a Medical Doctor and Regional Coordinator for the Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Programme in Tanzania.

DPhil thesis: The role of technologies in shaping communication and decision-making in neonatal units in Kenyan hospitals.