Meet the Deans

Postgraduate Dean Paul Sadler

Dr Paul Sadler, Postgraduate Dean

Dr Paul Sadler is Regional Postgraduate Dean for the South East, and local Postgraduate Dean for Thames Valley and Wessex.

Paul spent over 16 years in the British Army before he moved to work as a consultant in ICM and anaesthesia in Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. During his military and NHS career, he has undertaken many educational and leadership roles as Tutor, Clinical Director, Programme Director, Local Advisor, DoE and Deputy MD, before becoming Postgraduate Dean late 2018. He undertakes national Lead Dean roles for Surgery, PSW and Extended Surgical Team programme. He is an active clinical teacher and clinician.

Postgraduate Dental Dean – John Darby

Prof. John Darby, Postgraduate Dental Dean for Thames Valley & Wessex

Professor John Darby is Postgraduate Dental Dean for Thames Valley and Wessex.

John graduated from Kings and commenced his dental career in SE London. He spent much of his working life as a General Dental Practitioner in Croydon, South London. He was the owner of a large practice and began his interest in education by becoming an ES, taking on a series of new graduates as Foundation Dental Trainees. His interest in education has taken him forward through TPD, AD, and eventually Dean roles in London, KSS, and finally Thames Valley and Wessex. He is a great advocate of multi-professional working and is very keen to see the growing role for apprenticeships within all the dental skill sets become successful, supporting career progress through skills escalation. He is the lead dean for dental apprenticeships on NHSE WT&E.

Contact: john.darby7@nhs.net


Deputy Postgraduate Dean – Dr Rebecca Black (Deanery Days – Tuesday & Thursday)
Dr Rebecca Black, Deputy Postgraduate Dean, MA MD FRCOG

Having trained in Cambridge and London, I am now a Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine in Oxford. I have a long-standing interest in education, as Head of School of O&G and Associate Dean in Thames Valley and now Deputy Postgraduate Dean. I am keen to see everyone being supported along their learning journey and am grateful to all the wonderful educators we have across Thames Valley and Wessex.

Contact: rebecca.black14@nhs.net


Associate Deans
  • Anne Edwards – Associate Dean & Foundation School Director
  • Mary-Rose Shears – Primary Care Dean

Dr Asif Ali – Education & Development (Deanery Days – Tuesday & Wednesday)

Dr Asif Ali, PhD FRCP

Dr Asif Ali is an Associate Dean, primarily responsible for education and development. He oversees study leave for doctors in training and supports educator development.

He qualified as a doctor in Mangalore, India. Asif has done his higher specialist training in Endocrinology and Diabetes and General Internal Medicine in Oxford. He also did his research training as an MRC clinical training fellow in Oxford, leading up to his PhD. He is a consultant in Endocrinology and Diabetes in Milton Keynes University Hospital.

Asif has a keen interest in medical education, and he loves to teach both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is passionate about fairness and equity in medical education. He leads on differential attainment in medical education for the deanery.

He is a keen landscape photographer and loves being outdoors.

Contact: asif.ali9@nhs.net


Dr Julia Newton – (Deanery Days – Wednesday & Thursday)

I trained in Manchester and moved to Oxford to undertake my DPhil, complete my Rheumatology training and develop my interest in Sport and Exercise Medicine. In 2006, I was appointed to my current post in OUH Trust as a consultant in Rheumatology/Sport and Exercise Medicine. I worked in elite sport alongside my NHS role for 15 years, and I am also Vice President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Education has been part of my portfolio of work since I started as a consultant. I have had many education roles including SEM TPD for 10 years, SAC Chair, Deputy Head of School and then Head of School of Medicine before starting this AD role.

Contact: Julia.newton4@nhs.net / Julia.newton@ouh.nhs.uk


Antonia Calogeras (Deanery Days – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) – Professional Support & Wellbeing Service

Antonia Calogeras

Antonia is a Consultant Rheumatologist at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. As well as managing the Professional Support and Wellbeing Service (PSWS), Antonia’s current Associate Dean portfolio also includes SuppoRTT.

Contact: antonia.calogeras@nhs.net


Professor Chris Pugh

Prof. Chris Pugh

Chris graduated from the Oxford Medical School in 1985 having already done a DPhil in Immunology. After house jobs (Foundation) in Oxford and Shrewsbury he went on to SHO jobs (IMT stage equivalent) in London before returning to Oxford as a Registrar. He has not yet escaped! Since 1990, he has combined clinical work in renal medicine and research, predominantly in the field of hypoxia biology. He was made Professor of Renal Medicine in 2002. He was elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2003. he has led the Thames Valley Academic School / Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School since 2012. He aims to promote all aspects of clinical academic training locally and nationally. He values both the importance of good clinical training, but also advocates for approaches which allow flexibility to capitalise on academic opportunities

Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School website

Contact: chris.pugh@ndm.ox.ac.uk


Simon Smith – Associate Dean for Quality (Deanery Days – Tuesday & Wednesday)

Simon Smith, FRCP, FRCEM Associate Dean for Quality

Simon graduated from The London Hospital Medical College, some time in the last millennium. He has been a Consultant in Emergency Medicine (formally ‘Accident and Emergency’) since 2003, and has worked in the Emergency Departments in Oxfordshire since 2009.

Simon has a long experience in medical education, both as an Educational Supervisor and in roles with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. Previously he had been a Training Programme Director and Head of School, before being appointed as Associate Dean for Quality in 2018. Outside of medicine, Simon enjoys reading (particularly Victorian literature), low-brow cinema, and watching sport.

Contact: simon.smith53@nhs.net


Helen Higham – Associate Dean for Simulation and Patient Safety (Deanery Day – 1 day a week flexibly – Thursday/Friday)

Helen Higham
MBChB, FRCA, DPhil, SFHEA
Associate Dean for Simulation and Patient Safety

Having trained in Manchester and London I moved to Oxford as a research fellow. I’m now a Consultant Anaesthetist, and Associate Professor in the University where our research focuses on human factors and clinical education. I’ve always been passionate about high quality education, particularly simulation and technology enhanced learning and was a founding member of the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare in the UK. As Associate Dean for Simulation and Patient Safety I’m keen to expand and develop simulation training and support all the fantastic educators we have around our region in providing the best training experiences possible for our trainees.

Contact: helen.higham4@nhs.net


Garyfallia Fountoulaki – Associate Dean, Transformation & Delivery (Deanery Day – Friday)

Garyfallia Fountoulaki, Associate Dean, Transformation & Delivery

After studying medicine in Greece, Garyfallia did a dual Postgraduate medical training in Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in the Oxford Deanery, followed by a MSC with Newman University. Garyfallia now works clinically as a Consultant in Adult Psychiatry in Berkshire.

Garyfallia has enjoyed supporting the development of Undergraduate and Postgraduate doctors in Training, and has been a trainer for Foundation, GP and Psychiatry trainees.  Prior to becoming an Associate Dean, she was a DME for BHFT.  Her AD portfolio includes ARCP’s, supporting TIF’s and SAS development. She has significant experience in medical leadership and is a Divisional Clinical Director for BHFT.

Contact: g.fountoulaki@nhs.net