Interested in studying population health or epidemiology? Interested in doing an MSc or DPhil ( = Oxford word for PhD) in Oxford? Want to find out more about what it’s like from people who know it best?

Meet the NDPH Student/Alumni Ambassadors!

Who are we?

We are students and alumni of the MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology or the DPhil in Population Health, who are happy to share our experiences with prospective students.

What do we do?

We want to make it easier for you to find out more about what it’s like to study at NDPH, potential supervisors, the university and other aspects which will help you make an informed choice about studying here. You can contact us to find out more about our experiences as students/graduates.  

What do we NOT do?

We do not replace any ‘official’ information streams. For example, the following websites are a great source for factual questions (e.g. on funding, details of the application process, course requirements etc.):

If you have factual questions which aren’t answered there, the NDPH Graduate Studies Team are the best people to ask – email them at

How can you get in touch with someone?

Read the ambassador profiles below and email any ambassador at the address shown.

What if you don’t receive a reply?

Sometimes our ambassadors are busy or miss emails. Feel free to email prompting them after a few days or email another ambassador. If you have trouble getting in touch with someone, email, or – we’re the scheme organisers and will be happy to help.

Any questions?

If you couldn’t find anyone that matched your interest or still have questions, again, email, or – we’re the scheme organisers and will be happy to help.


Valirie (Agbor) Ndip [Alumni Ambassador]

Valirie (Agbor) Ndip, obtained his MD degree in 2015 at the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon, and he just finished the MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology. Before the MSc, he had four years of experience as a general practitioner in Cameroon and four years of experience in population health research. His research interest involves understanding the burden and drivers of cardiovascular diseases, with a focus on heart failure, in low- and middle-income countries. His MSc project sought to investigate the association of usual heart rate with incident heart failure in the China Kadoorie Biobank. His MSc project was supervised by Prof. Robert Clarke, Prof. Derrick Bennett, and Dr Yiping Chen. He is currently leading a meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of atrial fibrillation and its association with all-cause mortality among patients with heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa. Alongside school, research, and work, Valirie enjoys listening to music, dancing, playing the piano, and watching football.


MSc or DPhil

Diego Aguilar-Ramirez [Student Ambassador]

I am a physician from Mexico City, where I studied Medicine. I came to Oxford in 2017 to read for an MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology and in 2018, I joined the Clinical Trials Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) as a DPhil student in Population Health.

My research uses metabolomics data from the Mexico City Prospective Study (the largest epidemiological study of a Hispanic population worldwide) under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Emberson, Associate Professor Will Herrington, Dr Natalie Staplin, and Professor Colin Baigent.

Very happy to share my experiences throughout my MSc and DPhil studies at NDPH!

Diego is also one of the scheme’s co-organisers, so feel free to email him with any queries about the scheme.



Sinaida Cherubin [Student Ambassador]

Sinaida is a doctoral student in the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit. She received her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University in 2017 and has a background in molecular epidemiology. Her research interests are in the molecular determinants of maternal and infant health, particularly in low-and-middle income countries. Her current DPhil project is with Prof. Manisha Nair’s MaatHRI platform, where she will be investigating iron and prolactin metabolism in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy among Indian women. She is originally from Haiti, but has lived in West Africa for 3 years and in the USA for 10 years. In her spare time, she is always on the hunt for the best brunch/avocado toast in Oxford!


Fran Butcher [Student Ambassador]

I’m currently a DPhil student based in the Ethox Centre and Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities. My research project is looking at ethical dimensions of global health security, in particular international responses to infectious disease outbreaks, and is supervised by Prof. Mike Parker and Associate Prof. Patricia Kingori.  Whilst most of NDPH focuses on quantitative research, my research (and research in Ethox) uses argument-based and qualitative interviews. Prior to starting the DPhil in 2019, I was working in Oxford as a registrar (junior doctor) in public health.  I only completed six months of the DPhil before suspending it to re-join Public Health England to help with the COVID-19 response, so haven’t had a straightforward DPhil journey, but I’m now back in the department and very much enjoying the DPhil.  Please feel free to reach out to me on


Ben Amies-Cull [Student Ambassador]

I’m a second year part time (over 4 years) DPhil at the Centre for Population Approaches to Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and I work as a GP in an inner-city part of Manchester one day a week. My DPhil is developing modelling capabilities for estimating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of non-communicable disease prevention for small geographic areas. I’d love to hear from any prospective DPhil students with any questions about the Department or application process, particularly about managing clinical work alongside DPhil or applying into Oxford externally. In my spare time I run, read and am self-teaching the piano (slowly), and I have a very patient husband and two cats.  


Dani Kim [Student Ambassador]

I’m a 2nd year DPhil student in the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) group. My research is about understanding frailty and ageing in older adults. Specifically, I‘m trying to identify risk factors at mid-life for frailty and supervised by Professor Robert Clarke, Assoc Professor Derrick Bennett and Dr Sofia Massa. I stepped into Epidemiology in my mid-20s, studying Public Health MSc at the LSHTM, and worked as a Research Assistant at Imperial College London before starting my DPhil. I currently live outside of Oxford and can share my experiences of trying have an active DPhil life whilst commuting in from a 25-mile distance. Outside of my DPhil, I am a couch potato, but sometimes I read, bake, and go to festivals with my fiancée. My favourite artist is Solomun.

Dani is also one of the scheme’s co-organisers, so feel free to email her with any queries about the scheme.


Pete Young [Student Ambassador]

My background is in medical ethics and I have an interest in the ethics of prenatal testing. I therefore joined the Ethox Centre in October 2018 as a DPhil candidate under the supervision of professors Nina Hallowell, Ruth Horn, and Angeliki Kerasidou. I am currently carrying out a social sciences project that interviews UK healthcare professionals about the ethical issues they face in the offer of prenatal testing for Down’s syndrome. In addition to that, I’m on the rowing team at Linacre College, and I’m happy to talk about my early morning experiences on the River Isis. I am also a bit of a foodie, so I’m happy to give recommendations about the best places to eat in Oxford. Feel free to reach out with any questions at all!


Kamran Gaba [Alumni Ambassador]


I studied for a DPhil in Population Health at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, under the supervision of Mr Richard Bulbulia, Professor Alison Halliday and Professor Martin Landray. My research focussed on identifying structural factors that affect outcomes following carotid interventions and both temporal and regional variation in the provision and outcomes following carotid interventions in England. This involved both qualitative and quantitative data analyses. I previously qualified as a Medical Doctor in 2012 from the University of Edinburgh, having completed an Intercalated BMedSci (Hons) in 2009. Since my Medical graduation, I have worked full-time clinically but also completed a distance-learning MSc in Surgical Sciences in 2015. I was appointed as a Vascular Surgery Registrar in 2016 and completed my first year of Higher Surgical Training before stepping out of programme to pursue my research interests. Having completed my DPhil, I now intend to complete my Higher Surgical Training whilst also continuing to balance both my research and clinical commitments.


Jess Renzella [Student Ambassador]

Hi! My name is Jess and I’m a DPhil student in CPNP (that’s the Centre on Population Approaches for Noncommunicable Disease Prevention) based in the Nuffield Department of Population Health. My DPhil project (under the supervision of Prof Mike Rayner and Assoc Prof Peter Scarborough) focusses on improving dietary data collection tools and supporting evidence use in Sri Lankan health policy making. Rapid highlight reel: I’m Australian; knew little (to nothing) about Oxford before applying; created my own DPhil project; use (and learnt on the go) both qualitative and quantitative research methods; and am involved in undergrad teaching and a whole host of exciting WHO projects (including Short Courses) led by the CPNP (which is also a WHO Collaborating Centre). More than happy to share my experiences!


Rebecca Shakir [Student Ambassador]

I am a doctor, training to be a Clinical Oncologist, and have taken time out of my medical training to do a DPhil with Professor Sarah Darby’s group at NDPH. My research is into the benefits and risks of radiotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma. The overall aim is to develop a tool which estimates the risk of long-term radiotherapy toxicity for individual patients. I chose to do a DPhil to broaden and deepen my research skills, and improve the information that I am able to provide to my patients in clinic. An additional benefit has been becoming part of an Oxford college, and a more flexible working pattern that allows me to spend time with my daughter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions!


Vimal Sriram [Student Ambassador]

Vimal is a registered Occupational Therapist and read for his MSc in Evidence Based Healthcare, Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Vimal’s DPhil (part-time) focuses on Carers Experience of Assistive Technology use in Dementia using a mixed methods approach. Vimal is supervised by Professor Crispin Jenkinson and Associate Professor Michele Peters and is based within the Health Services Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health.

Vimal works (part-time) for the NIHR ARC Northwest London, focusing on building capacity and capability of clinical, non-clinical and academic staff in the use of a systematic approach for quality improvement. Vimal is a fitness to practice panel member for the Health and Care Professions Council and is also a National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) Fellow from April 2015.


Rosemary Walmsley [Student Ambassador]

I am a DPhil student working on the association between device-based measures of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep and risk of cardiovascular disease, using the UK Biobank cohort. My focus is on challenges when using these new measurement methods (and how to address them!), and I’m supervised by Assoc Prof Aiden Doherty and Assoc Prof Derrick Bennett. Before starting my DPhil, I did an undergraduate and master’s degree in Maths and Philosophy in Oxford. In my spare time, I enjoy dancing (although less socially since COVID!) and learning languages.

Rosemary is also one of the scheme’s co-organisers, so feel free to email her with any queries about the scheme.


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