Naomi Limbachiya – KHPeople

The Ethnicity, Diversity, and Inclusion Research Coordinator describes investigating the barriers to diverse recruitment in clinical trials, and advises to seek a path that brings purpose to your life.

What is your role?  

Naomi Limbachiya I am the Ethnicity, Diversity, and Inclusion Research Coordinator working in the department of Neuroscience, as part of Prof Chaudhuri’s team. My focus lies in investigating the barriers to diverse recruitment in clinical trials across King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (NHS FT).  

This is especially crucial considering that clinical trials serve as the gold standard for evaluating treatment safety and efficacy. However, achieving diverse cohorts is often challenging and understanding the impediments is essential for equitable healthcare outcomes.  

What do you enjoy most about your role?

What I find most enjoyable is interacting with individuals from diverse fields. Through these encounters, I gain valuable insights into the foundation of diseases I am unfamiliar with, emerging research, and the existing challenges contributing to health inequalities. Additionally, I appreciate learning about the diverse backgrounds and ideas of colleagues, which broadens my perspective and inspires new ideas. 

What inspired you to get into this work?   

My family ingrained in me the importance of education as a means to serve others and alleviate global problems. However, it wasn’t until I advanced in my education that I fully comprehended how suffering can hinder access to education for many. I came to acknowledge how fortunate I was to be able to engage in abstract thinking, research, and reflection, compared to those struggling for daily survival.  

This awareness motivated me to establish the first mentoring scheme at King’s College London for ethnic minority women studying Neuroscience, as a step towards addressing this issue. This experience intensified my determination to ensure that my research efforts contribute to reaching all individuals, especially those deprived of access to treatment and quality care worldwide.

These aspirations, along with being surrounded by great mentors such as Prof Chaudhuri, who has dedicated his life to helping alleviate the suffering of those with Parkinson’s disease, have guided my career path, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity. 

What are the benefits of working in partnership?  

There are several benefits to working in partnership – the one that has influenced me the most is that it provides access to a diverse range of perspectives, enhancing problem-solving abilities and methodological considerations.

Partnering also helps identify potential blind spots, shedding light upon our cognitive defaults. This fosters self-improvement and promotes innovating thinking and personal growth. This skill extends beyond our professional lives, offering a new perspective on challenges in all avenues of our lives and contributes to a resilient mindset.   

What would be your one career top tip? 

My one career top tip is to seek a path that brings meaning and purpose to your life. This is deeply personal and varies for each individual. However, once discovered and pursued with unwavering dedication, no challenge seems insurmountable. Embracing a sense of purpose transforms challenges from being perceived as personal attacks, into obstacles to overcome on the journey toward a greater goal. When we strive for something larger than ourselves, our fears and concerns diminish in comparison.  

Find out more about the ‘King’s Model’ to attract people from diverse backgrounds to participate in research