Rachel Clare Davies


  • KY16 9TF

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

PhD projects

Can assessment data help to understand differential attainment in consultation skills?
Does formative assessment and reflection help to learn a skill?
What is the effect of competency exams vs discriminating exams on the student performance?
Which assessment method is most discriminating in knowledge based examinations?
How effective is the teaching and assessment of a core clinical skill such as handwashing?

Personal profile


After graduating with a BA in Biochemistry from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, I moved to London to do a PhD on human papillomavirus and cervical cancer. This stimulated my interest in cancer research which I further extended as a post-doctoral scientist. Initially, I worked on Wilms’ Tumour, a childhood kidney cancer, in Edinburgh and later on breast cancer in Cambridge. I then moved to the Institute of Human Genetics in Newcastle where I ran the MSc in Medical Genetics.

I teach molecular medicine throughout the curriculum, particularly focusing on genetics. I hope that my teaching will provide a secure foundation in molecular aspects of medicine for doctors as they progress through medical school and into practice, and inspire a subset of students to pursue these aspects further.

Teaching activity

Director Teaching

Strand lead - Molecular Medicine MD4002

Academic lead for the Gateway to Medicine programme

Personal Tutor

Research overview

Scientific research: I have a special interest in the molecular basis of cancer. In particular the relationship between the structure and function of tumour suppressor genes, and the consequences for inherited susceptibility to cancer. Additionally I am intrigued by the way viruses associated with cancer can interfere with the function of tumour suppressor genes.

Educational research: I am interested understanding the process of learning and ways to help students improve the effectiveness of their learning, whether knowledge or skills based. I am particularly interested in the relationship between formative and summative assessment. Can formative assessments help improve performance in a summative setting? I am also interested in the way feedback from formative or summative assessments can shape future performance.

Profile Keywords

Molecular Basis of Cancer; Assessment of Medical Students; Attainment Gap;

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being