Rasheed Zakaria

Rasheed Zakaria, Clinical research fellow

Rasheed Zakaria

Rasheed trained in neurosciences at Downing College, Cambridge University then read clinical medicine at The Queen's College, Oxford University. He worked as a foundation doctor in North West London before joining The Walton Centre as a specialist trainee in neurosurgery in 2009. He is currently “out of programme” from surgical training as a full time PhD student with the University of Liverpool's Institute of Integrative Biology.




Rasheed is working with the neuro-oncology team, supervised by Professor Philip Rudland and Dr Vanessa Sluming from the University and Mr Michael Jenkinson, consultant neurosurgeon. His project is a collaboration between the neurosurgery, neuroradiology and pathology departments to investigate secondary brain tumours, also called metastases. They are using cutting edge MRI imaging to make maps of how blood and water moves in the brain of patients with metastases and then performing surgery with advanced image guidance systems and analysing the tumours which have been removed in the laboratory. The aim is to gain a better understanding of how much these metastases invade the surrounding normal brain substance and whether this can be predicted by any laboratory tests or MRI techniques. The aim is ultimately to improve how we make a diagnosis, predict survival and give treatments in these tumours.


brain scan generic adc map  contrast enhanced figure illustration

December 2017 - Cancer Research Publication on MRI and immunotherapy breakthrough

Read more here

August 2018 - National Research Award

Rasheed completed his PhD last year and in 2018 has been awarded the British Neuro-Oncology Society Young Investigator prize for the work. This is a prestigious honour reflecting the excellent work of Rasheed, the department and the University.

Read more about the award and the Brain Tumour Research charity here 

Patient engagement meeting

Towards the end of 2013, Rasheed attended the weekly patient meeting of the Brain Tumour Charity hosted by Neurosupport in Liverpool and explained some of the work he and collaborators from the University and Walton are doing on secondary brain tumours or metastases. There was also an opportunity to hear first-hand the sorts of issues and symptoms which trouble patients and their carers. One of the emerging issues, echoed by other charities, is that patients with secondary brain tumours “fall between” the brain cancer and primary organ cancer (lung, breast, melanoma and so on) groups.

Further information:




Invited article on brain tumour imaging

Along with Walton neuroradiologists Kumar Das and Maneesh Bhojak, Rasheed was asked to write an article on advanced MRI techniques and brain tumours for the Royal College of Radiologists by guest editor, Clatterbridge oncologist Brian Haylock. As the article notes, being the only specialist neurosciences trust in the UK and with new imaging technologies being added all the time, the department is well placed to provide cutting edge insights and conduct research. Rasheed is working closely with the neuroradiology department investigating secondary brain tumours but many of the same techniques are used to manage cases with primary tumours such as glioma.

Full article on the Royal College of Radiologists website:



Research prize from British Neurosurgery Society

Rasheed was awarded the prestigious Hugh Cairns Essay prize by the Society of British Neurosurgeons in Spring 2014. The award, granted every 2 years for work based on original unpublished material or observation, was presented at a gala dinner at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London attended by consultant neurosurgeons Mr Martin Wilby, Mr Zaid Sarsam and Clinical Director Paul May. Rasheed was also invited to present the work so far - focusing on the relationship between diffusion MRI of brain metastases and subsequent patient outcomes – at the academic meeting of the society, hosted by Kings College.

More information about the Society of British Neurosurgeons:



Grant award from the Medical Research Council

From May 1st 2014 Rasheed will be funded by the Medical Research Council, having secured a highly competitive “Clinical Research Training Fellowship” for nearly £150,000. This supports entirely the cost of his salary, university tuition fees, equipment and laboratory costs. The awards are designed to support outstanding young clinical researchers who will go on to lead in their fields and in reviewing Rasheed’s application (which was supported by Liverpool University and the Walton Centre) the panel noted “a consistently strong candidate working in an excellent environment”.

More information about the Medical Research Council and their awards:



How Royal College of Surgeons supports research

Rasheed has been successful in gaining support from the Royal College of Surgeons of England as one of their prestigious research fellows for his PhD work on brain metastases. For 2014/15 the College awarded twenty five One Year Research Fellowships, following an interview assessment. The Research Board selected the fellowships from an extremely high-quality field, reflecting the standard of surgical research being carried out throughout the UK today.

Read the full article:

Read more about how the Royal College of Surgeons supports research:


Neuro-oncology page
Rasheed's publications 
Patient information about brain metastases