Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Professor Rudy Bilous

Dean of Clinical Affairs


High School      Cardiff High School for Boys

Guy's Hospital Medical School 1970 - 76

University of London       BSc (Joint Hons Anatomy & Pharmacology) 2:1 1973

University of London       MB BS  1976

University of London       MD  (Diabetes Mellitus) 1987

Royal College of Physicians London  MRCP 1978  FRCP 1993

Prof Rudy Bilous graduated from Guy’s Hospital Medical School in 1976 and completed his training in Diabetes and Endocrinology in 1989. He studied for his MD at Guy’s Hospital and undertook a post doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota. His research topic was diabetic nephropathy. He was Honorary Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology and Internal Medicine at South Tees Trust in Middlesbrough UK from 1990 - 2015 and was appointed Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Newcastle in 2001. Since then his research interests have included diabetes and pregnancy, and clinical trials in diabetes and its complications. He is author or co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed articles and has co-edited the 4th edition of the Handbook of Diabetes as well as writing ‘Understanding Diabetes’ for people with the condition which has been translated into many different languages. He has held many senior roles in his specialty nationally and internationally, and recently chaired the Diabetes in Pregnancy Guideline Group for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). He has been invited regularly to speak at national and international conferences including the American Diabetes Association, American Society of Nephrology, European Association for the Study of Diabetes and Diabetes UK. He gave the Ruth Osterby Lecture at the European Diabetic Nephropathy Study Group Meeting in 2009. He is currently Dean of Clinical Affairs at NUMed with overall responsibility for the delivery and assessment of the clinical curriculum. He is a keen teacher and was finalist in the Newcastle University Teacher of the Year Awards in 2015. He took up post in April 2016 and is very much looking forward to working at NUMed for the next few years.


Clinical Research

I have been involved in clinical research for 35 years and have published extensively in the field of diabetes, specifically nephropathy. I have also been active in the field of diabetic pregnancy and have had a series of papers published in this area over the last 5 years. I have spoken at all of the major National and International Diabetes Conferences over the years and was invited to be the Expert in Diabetic Nephropathy at the American Diabetes Association Annual Meeting in 2014. I was awarded the Ruth Osterby Lecture of the European Diabetic Nephropathy Study Group meeting in 2009 and am regularly invited to speak both locally and further afield. I lead an active clinical trial programme at South Tees and have acted as National Co-ordinator and PI on many multi-national studies.

I was chairman of the Northern Regional Diabetes in Pregnancy group (NORDiP) which has led to a series of major publications in the field which I either initiated or provided the clinical input.

I was Clinical Director of the Durham and Tees Valley Local Research Network for four years during which time our research activity rose so that we rose from 21st to 18th in the National table despite being numerically the smallest LRN.

Basic Science Research

I was trained in morphometric analysis of renal biopsies during my post doctoral fellowship in the University of Minnesota from 1985 -7. On my return to the UK I recruited and trained a senior technician who later went on to obtain her PhD and now manages the Biomedical Electron Microscopy Unit in the University. Using grant funding from trials and collaboration with units in France, the USA and London we have contributed to several major publications (see list). Our expertise was a crucial part in the University application to the Wellcome Trust to upgrade the microsopes and secured a £800k grant. This work is continued by Dr Kath White.

Expertise in Guideline Writing

In 2007 I was invited by the National Kidney Foundation / Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF/KDOQI) to be the only diabetologist to serve on the guideline writing group for diabetic kidney disease. This involved several meetings over 2 years involving data extraction, evidence grading and guideline writing. This guidance was updated in 2010/12. Both documents have been widely adopted internationally. As a result of this work I was asked to join the group reviewing the generic chronic kidney disease guideline as the only diabetologist and this was published in 2013. I was appointed Chair of the Guideline Development Group for the revised Diabetes in Pregnancy guideline for NICE and this was published in Feb 2015. All of this work required multidisciplinary working, and for NICE, chairing a group including lay representatives. The feedback I received from the members was universally positive and my attention to everyone’s point of view and inclusivity was remarked upon.



Commitment to Medical Education and Training :


When I began teaching as a consultant in Middlesbrough we received students from both Newcastle and Dundee medical schools. This meant offering 2 completely distinct curricula but was extremely useful as Dundee at that time were starting to examine final year students by portfolio which I subsequently examined as External Examiner. I attended curriculum development committees for Dundee and was able to visit their Clinical Skills unit. I used this experience to help design and secure funding for the first Teaching Unit at what was then South Cleveland Hospital and this was officially opened by the Deans from Newcastle and Dundee schools in 1996. Subsequently as a result of the increased funding from the Regional Health Authority our much bigger, purpose built Teaching and Academic Centre was constructed and opened at James Cook University Hospital in 2001.

In 1995 Newcastle University formalised its regional base for clinical teaching and set up closer relationships with its main clinical teaching units in the region. I was the link at Middlesbrough General Hospital during this process and subsequently was appointed as the Undergraduate lead (later director) for the South Tees Trust following the merger with South Cleveland Hospital. With the national expansion of medical student numbers (resulting in an increase from 140 – 350 students per year in the North East), this process evolved into a Regional Clinical Medical School in which Acute Trusts, Mental Health Trusts and PCTs were combined into 4 Base Units.

South Tees was the lead organisation for the Teesside Base Unit comprising North Tees and Hartlepool and County Durham and Darlington Acute FTs, Tees Valley Mental Health FT and the Teesside and County Durham PCTs. I was the first Undergraduate Director appointed by the South Tees Trust and played a leading role in the development of the Teesside Base Unit; from 1998 as Clinical sub-Dean. This involved building links and forming working relationships with key individuals in our partner Trusts and Primary Care. I set up the Base Unit Executive to oversee implementation of the new curriculum and this now meets twice a year to review performance and results. We have organised several Base Unit away days to review and disseminate good teaching practice.

I also acted as link senior clinician between Durham University and the Base Unit when they started their pre clinical course in 2002, working closely with Prof John Hamilton setting up the clinical aspects of the programme. I was part of the visiting team to the Dept of Health to put forward our case for further student expansion. As a part of the medical school expansion, the student curriculum was completely reorganised and I was an active member of the oversight committee. I have been a member of the Board of Medical Studies from 1998 to 2015 as sub Dean, which met fortnightly (weekly during the curriculum development phase) and had an active role in reviewing and refining the course.

Throughout this time I have taught at both the pre-clinical and clinical level in my specialty of Endocrinology, as well as Clinical Skills and General Medicine. In response to the GMC scrutiny of assessment for UG medical students nationally, the medical school set up a working group to review current practice and make recommendations. I am a member of this group and now have responsibility for the final MB written MCQ paper. I act as one of the Medical School representatives on the Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance which is tasked to develop a quality assured national question bank. This group meets twice yearly and has developed a common content of questions that can be used to compare student performance between schools. I have delivered many question writing workshops across the region in order to expand our pool of suitable questions.

In the postgraduate arena I have been secretary, then Chair of the SAC for Diabetes and Endocrinology in the period running up to the introduction of the Specialty Clinical exams. In these roles I visited training schemes around the country as part of the quality assurance process of the then JCHMT. I trained as an assessor for overseas applicants for the specialist register. My role as Chief of Service for the Academic Division for my Trust encompassed being Director of Medical Education with responsibility for both UG and PG education. I continued to act as Educational supervisor to 1 – 2 SpRs in Diabetes and Endocrinology, as well as Clinical Supervisor for Foundation, Core and Specialty training doctors (1 – 2 per year) until my retirement this year.

Training in Medical Education

I attended a summer school in Maastricht in 1994 where the principles of problem based learning were explained and we had the opportunity of developing teaching plans and sessions based upon our lectures. I was able to use these skills when teaching students on the Newcastle and Dundee curricula.

I have undertaken training courses on small group teaching, bedside teaching, Calgary-Cambridge communication skills, assessment and giving feedback. I am also trained in Fitness to Practice procedures for the University and in assessment of Mental Capacity for the Trust.

I have acted as External Examiner for the University of Dundee for 4 years (1995-9) and External for Assessment for Exeter University (2013 - 15). I have been invited as External Examiner for the final MB for the University of Malaya from 2016.