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Launch of the Dr Carlo Acerini Memorial Fund for Study Skills

Two images - one of lit candles and one of Dr Carlo Acerini

On 29 April 2023 at the biennial Medics and Vets Event, Dr Fiona Cooke (1989), Official Fellow in Medicine, formally launched the Dr Carlo Acerini Memorial Fund for Academic Skills in Clinical Medicine.

This fund has been established in memory of Dr Carlo Acerini, an Official Fellow in Medicine at Girton from 2010 to 2019, and supports the development of academic skills for Girton’s clinical medical students. The costs of studying medicine are significant and the NHS medical bursary (for the 5th and 6th year of the course) has been cut substantially. Clinical medical students are at increased risk of financial hardship, particularly as their course covers the whole year and they cannot get holiday jobs to supplement their bursary. 

This fund will provide the much needed financial support for the most able medical students, particularly those from a low income background, to further their learning. This fund will be for academic skills in general, but with a focus on providing the opportunity for students to present their research as a poster at a national or international conference. This has widespread benefits at a relatively early stage in their career, and students who have been able to achieve this in the past have had overwhelmingly positive experiences.

You can support the fund via our website: The Dr Carlo Acerini Memorial Fund

Dr Fiona Cooke, Pauline Acerini, and Dr Elisabeth Kendall sit on a low wall in the gardens of Girton College
From left to right: Dr Fiona Cooke, Dr Pauline Acerini, Dr Elisabeth Kendall

Carlo Acerini (1962–2019) was a paediatrician whose research centred on the development of new therapeutic approaches to the management of Type 1 diabetes in childhood and adolescence. Carlo led the development of the paediatric teaching programme at Addenbrooke’s, with a strong emphasis on clinical learning and evidence-based medicine. 

Carlo first came to Girton in 2010, initially as a supervisor for the second-year undergraduate course in Human Reproduction and Endocrinology. He was soon appointed Bye-Fellow, and made such a significant contribution to Medicine that he became an Official Fellow within a year. For the last eight years he was the Director of Studies for first- and second-year undergraduates. Carlo served on the College Council for three years and helped with development activities overseas. He fully supported the wider activities of Medicine and the College community, delivering the concluding remarks at the Girton150 Medical Symposium less than a month before he died. 

Carlo had a great influence on students during their formative years; he was both supportive and encouraging and, as a result, was very well respected by the student body. On hearing of his death, many of Carlo’s students wrote tributes, all sharing the sentiments of the following selection:

"Thank you for devoting so much time, energy and effort on teaching us and checking up on us.

He managed to make every situation interesting and engaging.

You were an inspiration and you’ve shaped the kind of doctor I want to be more than you could ever know."

Carlo was a dedicated medical educator, astute researcher and excellent clinician. He has inspired many Girton Medical students, and is greatly missed by his patients, colleagues, family and friends.