Nairobi born Professor Bharat Jasani (69) first moved to Wales in 1977 to become a pathologist and carry out his medical research and raise his family. His stellar career to date is testament to the first-class opportunities Wales provides to work at the cutting edge of pioneering medical research. He explains:
“Having completed my medical training and PHD at the Universities of Glasgow and Birmingham respectively, I first moved to Cardiff in 1977 to take up a clinical lectureship at the Welsh National School of Medicine. By 2011, I had not only achieved Professorship and Headship of Pathology Department at Cardiff University but also fulfilled my role as a devoted husband and father to two girls, at our home in Penarth, thanks to a great work life balance.
“Wales is often overlooked as a first choice to train, work and live in favour of other cities across the UK. Many wrongly assume that Wales is not at the forefront of medical innovation and research. However, Wales has enormous potential in world class research funded and supported by the Welsh Government and lead charities such as Cancer Research Wales, empowering my cancer research projects and clinical breakthroughs across the years.
“Breakthroughs that have included Professor Sir Dillwyn Williams and I becoming the first in Wales to establish personalised medicine pathways in cancer care based around biomarking. An achievement that later on saw me awarded the very first Becton Dickinson Travelling Fellowship, by the Royal College of Pathology, as well as receiving £70,000 in grant funding from the Welsh Government to continue my work in this field. This funding has since enabled me to pioneer early detection and monitor tumour growth linked to oestrogen and HER2 receptors in breast cancer and to become the first Consultant Pathologist in Wales to establish a routine diagnostic service for the 1200 to 1600 annual new cases of breast cancers in Wales.
“Working in Wales has also allowed me the opportunity to train and mentor many talented medical students and junior doctors in Cardiff and nurture their careers in internationally acclaimed clinical research. For example, the Cardiff University School of Medicine now ranks amongst the top UK tier, alongside University College London, Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow Universities, for its cancer biomarking based research. I owe the best of my medical career successes to Wales, a country that has truly become my second home base in every sense of the word.”