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Professor Neena Modi


President of The Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health, and Professor of Neonatal Medicine, London Professor Neena Modi is Professor of Neonatal Medicine at Imperial College London, a Consultant in Neonatal Medicine at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, and President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). She is a practising Clinician and head of a multi-professional neonatal research group addressing the perinatal determinants of life-long health. For a woman whose earliest ambition was to be better than the boys, she has certainly achieved that. Neena was born in South Africa, and her childhood was spent going to school in the United States, UK, Kenya and India. She studied medicine at Edinburgh Medical School, and her earliest memory is how difficult it was in the cold weather! She met her husband, who was also a medical student in Edinburgh, shortly after graduating, In the early 1980s, Neena briefly moved to London, alone, to work with two neonatal greats in the neonatal unit at University College Hospital, where history was being made in the care of newborn babies. Neena was excited to be part of the birth of neonatology, then a new medical speciality. In her best career move to date, she realised what inspired her and has never looked back. She also spent some time training at Liverpool University. The greatest influence on Neena’s professional life has been her father. She was appointed Consultant in Neonatal Medicine at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and later became Professor. Neena leads a multidisciplinary group investigating the impact of intrauterine exposures on life-long health, and employing novel in vivo and in-vitro techniques to identify biomarkers of neonatal outcome and later health risk. She has extensively published her original research in peer-reviewed journals and has authored many chapters in textbooks, commentaries and reviews. Neena and her team have developed and now manage the UK National Neonatal Research Database that contains detailed clinical information about every admission to NHS neonatal units in England, Scotland and Wales. The data are used to improve newborn care through clinical and health services research and by facilitating the delivery of efficient randomised, controlled trials to create a continuous learning healthcare system. Neena is most proud of moving children’s science and research out of its ivory tower and into mainstream paediatrics with the full support of families and young people through the creation of the RCPCH Children’s Research Charter, Children’s Research Fund, Child Health Research Fellowships, and other related initiatives. Her many professional commitments include contributing to many working parties, and health services and research committees. She has held many national roles including immediate Past-President of The Neonatal Society, immediate Past-President of The Academic Paediatric Association of Great Britain and Ireland, Chair of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, and Chair of the NHS England Infant, Children

and Young People Patient Safety Expert Group. Her deep commitment to advancing the care of the sick newborn in lowresource settings has led to her being Patron of the charities BirthLink and HealthProm, undertaking voluntary teaching and training abroad. Neena lives in London with her husband. They have two grown-up children. * Favourite Film: 2001: A Space Odyssey * Three objects Neena cannot live without: A hot shower, My laptop, Sunshine

Neena’s advice to junior doctors is “You are intelligent: find solutions, shape your own destiny and the destiny of healthcare.”


Medical Woman | Spring 2017

Medical Woman – Magazine Centenary Issue, April 2017  

The magazine for the Medical Women’s Federation (MWF), the largest and most influential body of women doctors in the UK which aims to promot...