Issue Number: 6
Issue Date: 12/09/2008
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SGU features on NU Website

The NU website now carries entries about SGU and highlights the partnership that fosters the KBTGSP. On the web page for NU’s School of Applied Sciences there is a sidebar label for St. George University. Clicking on that label takes you to a web page about SGU with links to the Diploma of Higher Education in Medical Sciences and St. George's Newsletter (NU’s name for our own SGU@NU). When you are on the SGU page you can access staff profiles and student profiles from the sidebar. If you wish to make suggestions about the site you can send them to me at or

Our Clinical Tutors

Clockwise from top left: Dr Tonya Debique, Dr Femi Williams, Dr Lesley Cox, Dr Nnenna Ojigbani , Dr Nelson Ekwedike, Dr Nkechinyere Eze

Team-based teaching at NU relies heavily on the valuable commitment of our four full time and two part time clinical tutors led by Dr Shubhra Baruah.

Tonya Debique graduated MD from St. George's University in 2003 and has worked in the United Kingdom for the last three years. She finished the Foundation Programme in the West Midlands deanery in 2007 and pursued her interests in teaching by joining the KBTGSP in 2008. Tonya is interested in Emergency Medicine and does locum shifts occasionally at hospitals in the North East. She is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, and spends her spare time (and perhaps money) travelling around the globe to see relatives in Barbados, the US and Australia. Tonya is a keen photographer and she recently took up surfing ... .but is modest about her achievements on (in) the water.

Femi Williams was born and raised in Edo State in Nigeria and graduated with an MBBS from the University of Benin in 1988. After his housemanship, Femi undertook a residency program at Tim Unity Hospital affiliated with Ahamadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Kaduna. From 2000 to 2004 he worked as the Medical Director at the Foundation Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri and then emigrated to the UK in 2005 where he passed the PLAB exams and was appointed a full time tutor in August 2007. Femi is an ordained deacon with the Living Faith Church in Nigeria and a minister of the gospel with the Kings Castle Church in Newcastle. He is a devotee of football, table tennis, sprinting and politics.

Lesley Cox is from the beautiful caribbean island of St. Lucia. As a child she decided to pursue a medical career and her ambition to fulfill her dream was spurred on when a friend told her about SGU in Grenada. Lesley enrolled in the SGU’s Premedical Program and then was promoted into the MD degree program. She finally completed her MD in December 2007. In August 2008 Lesley was appointed to a full time post and facilitates small group sessions in anatomy, physiology, neuroscience as well as conducting histology labs. Lesley states: “I feel I am now honored to work along side professors who taught me!”

Nnenna Ojigbani was born and raised in Nigeria and studied medicine at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka. After graduating MBBS in 1998 Nnenna worked At the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (Housemanship), Eli-Johnson hospital (private) and Iyienu Hospital, Onitsha (founded by missionaries). She then emigrated to the UK with her husband where she postponed her career to have her two children – Chichi and Nonso. Nnenna was appointed a part time tutor in August 2008 and states that her job “has been both challenging and stimulating in equal measure and though I wouldn't have believed it possible a few years ago, I see a future in academia beckoning.”

Nelson Ekwedike graduated with a MBBS at the University of Nigeria in 2000 and then worked as Medical Officer/ Health care manager in the pilot project site of the recently introduced National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria for a period of three years. After his residency training at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu in Nigeria, Nelson emigrated to the UK where he undertook postgraduate training and completed a MPH degree at the University of Wolverhampton in September, 2008. He joined the Global Scholars Program in January, 2008 and currently is a part time tutor facilitating small group discussions in Anatomy, Histology, Neuroscience and Physiology. Nelson hopes to commence an Internal Medicine or OB-GYN residency training program in the United States as soon as possible. His outside interests include digital photography.

Nkechinyere Eze was born in London and has Nigerian parents hailing from Nnokwa in Anambra State. She graduated MBBS from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria in 2006 and then did some voluntary work in a prison outreach and a surgery clinic before starting a year’s internship at the University of Nigeria in 2007. At the end of her internship Nkechi undertook a voluntary traineeship in basic life support and then accepted a full time post in September 2008. She states: “I love my job because it is challenging and also at the same time offers growth … I deal with different people from different backgrounds but this has been easy because my working environment is such a friendly one. I haven’t quite decided whether or not I want to go into clinical practice but one thing I know is that I love teaching and would love to take up lecturing in the future.” Nkechi loves cooking, reading and writing novels and short stories; she also loves to sing.

Biochemistry and Genetics

Born and raised in Aberdeen, Seth Racey graduated with an Honours BSc in Animal Biology at the University of St. Andrews in 1995 and then earned a PhD in Genetics at the University of Leicester in 2000. Dr Racey joined the KBTGSP in January 2007 where he teaches biochemistry and genetics. Seth also teaches in NU’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses in biomedical sciences and biotechnology and is module tutor for Medical Genetics and Medical Biotechnology. His research is concerned with the use of stem cells in regeneration of cartilage and bone. He is married with three children. Seth is a keen, if slow triathlete, and hopes to do the tough helvellyn triathalon next year (including a run up England's third highest peak). He has an identical twin brother who also works in Newcastle and students occasionally engage the wrong brother in the right conversation.


Medical Physiology

Dr Nirupma Kakkar (just call me Rosie), graduated MBBS from Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi in 1999 and then trained as an anaesthetist in Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi from 2001 to 2003. Thereafter Rosie moved to an internship in the Centre Medico-Chirurgicale in Paris where she spent two great professional years honing her skills in regional anaesthesia, in particular nerve blocks and also critical care. Rosie also absorbed the French culture and learned its beautiful language. Rosie is a registered member of the General Medical Council and a registered Medical Practitioner with the Medical Council of India and the Delhi Medical Council. At NU she teaches medical physiology to second term students and has also been involved in some anatomy sessions. Rosie enjoys cooking, sketching and funny movies.


Zig or his formal title - Professor Alan St. Clair Gibson - teaches some of the clinical material in the neuroscience course. Zig is the Director of Research for the Division of Sport Sciences at NU and heads the Integrative Function Research Unit. In 2004 he joined the Division from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Biology with adjunct appointments in both the MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine and MRC/UCT Medical Imaging Research Unit. He graduated from the University of Cape Town with an MBChB in 1990, a PhD in 1997, and an MD in 2002, and has previously been a Research Fellow at the Human Motor Control Unit, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, in Washington DC in 2002-2003. Zig is married to Kate, formerly a computer programmer and they have two young children - Luke and Helen.