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Prof Debbie Sharp awarded OBE

11 June 2016

Professor Debbie Sharp, who founded the Centre for Academic Primary Care in the 1990s, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Professor Debbie Sharp is Professor of Primary Health Care in the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol. She was previously Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ in the Department of General Practice, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry.

In 1985 she obtained one of the first Mental Health Foundation GP Research Training Fellowships through which she completed a PhD on emotional disorders associated with childbirth in a cohort of women in South London, supervised by Professors Michael Shepherd and David Morrell. This cohort was subsequently followed up until the children were 25 years old. During her 11 years in South London, she was a partner (the first woman) at the Lambeth Road Group Practice - the academic practice attached to St Thomas' Hospital. She developed additional research interests in women's health in particular breast cancer screening and more generic interests in primary care mental health.

She took up the foundation chair in Primary Health Care in Bristol in 1994, the first woman to be appointed to a substantive chair in medicine in Bristol and built up a world-class department over the next sixteen years.

Her research interests broadened as she led this new department in order to attract some of the most able primary care researchers to Bristol. Primary care mental health continued to feature as has her interest in childbirth related emotional disorders.More recently she has worked on the early diagnosis of cancer, childhood obesity and complementary and alternative medicine.

One of her greatest successes has been developing a cohort of young academic GPs and seeing them flourish. She took the Centre for Academic Primary Care into the NIHR School for Primary Care where it has continued to prosecute internationally recognised research.

Until April 2013 she was a partner at Shirehampton Group Practice where she is still the research lead. Since standing down as head of department she has become Head of the School of Clinical Academic Training at HESW Severn where she has responsibility for academic traiing across all specialties.

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