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Dr Bassel H. Al Wattar

Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine Medical Director - Clinical Trials Unit
Faculty:
Faculty of Health, Education and Social Care
School:
School of Medicine
Location:
Chelmsford
Research Supervision:
Yes

Bassel is an experienced gynaecologist and a subspecialist in reproductive medicine, with special interests in endocrine and metabolic disorders in women’s health. His research is focused on addressing the real health needs of women and their families, specifically around topics of irregular periods, ovulation, fertility, and menopause.

[email protected]

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Background

Bassel is an experienced academic gynaecologist with advanced expertise in the fields of reproductive medicine, fertility, menstrual health, and menopause.

He underwent dual training in clinical gynaecology and academia as an NIHR lecturer, and then took up an advanced NIHR training post at the Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit, University College London, to develop advanced skills in health technology assessment, clinical trials conduct, and evidence synthesis.

He is an accredited Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Fertility by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and a Menopause specialist by the British Menopause Society. He leads a dedicated endocrine gynaecology service at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, dedicated to caring for women with menstrual disorders, anovulation, infertility, fibroids, and complex menopause health needs.

Bassel currently leads the Anglia Ruskin Clinical Trials Unit (ARCTU), with a focus on promoting innovation and enabling rapid adoption of health technology into the NHS to improve patient care and reduce dependency on secondary care facilities.

Spoken Languages
  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Spanish (intermediate)
Research interests
  • Menstrual health
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Menopause
  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Reproductive and sexual health
Areas of research supervision

Bassel supervises MD, PhD, MSc and BSc students interested in women’s health research topics.

Teaching

Clinical teaching on women’s health and reproductive medicine topics.

Qualifications
  • MD in Medicine and Surgery, Damascus University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Education, Cardiff University
  • PhD in Biomedical Science, Queen Mary University of London
  • Certificate of Completion of Training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with Subspeciality in Reproductive Medicine, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Scientific Editor, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Trainer, British Menopause Society
  • Trainer – British Fertility Society
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Chief investigator, Treatment options for women with heavy menstrual bleeding: A comprehensive systematic review, network meta-analysis, and health economic assessment, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Evidence Synthesis (NIHR15318), £225,992.79.

A comprehensive multi-disciplinary online educational course for healthcare professionals on the diagnosis and management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS TIME), The Waterloo Foundation, £38,560.

Lead Applicant, NIHR Development and Skills Enhancement Award – Training in Clinical Trials, NIHR, £21,147.

Lead Applicant, The effect of intermittent fasting on metabolic outcomes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A pilot interventional study, The EGA Hospital Charity, £2,400.

Co-applicant, Impact of conservative surgical treatment versus hysterectomy on quality of life in women with severe endometriosis, BSGE, £3,000.

Chief investigator, The Web-Ed trial, NIHR CRN (West Midlands) CI development fund, £7,000.

Co-applicant, The ROTATE trial, NIHR HTA, £2.8 million.

Academic Clinical Lecturership, NIHR, University of Warwick.

Doctoral Fellowship, Barts Charity grant for the ESTEEM trial, Queen Mary University of London.

Selected recent publications

Teh, J. J., Pascoe, D. J., Hafeji, S., Parchure, R., Koczoski, A., Rimmer, M. P., Khan, K. S. and Al Wattar B. H. (In Press) 'Effectiveness of virtual reality for pain relief in medical procedures: A systematic review and meta-analysis', BMC Medicine.

Rimmer, M. P., Teh. J. J., Mackenzie, S. C. and Al Wattar, B. H. (2023) 'The risk of miscarriage following COVID-19 vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis', Human Reproduction, 38(5), pp. 840-852.

Tyler, B., Walford, H., Tamblyn, J., Keay, S. D, Mavrelos, D., Yasmin, E. and Al Wattar B. H. (2022) 'Interventions to optimise embryo transfer in women undergoing assisted conception: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analyses', Human Reproduction Update, 28(4), pp. 480-500.

Al Wattar B. H., Honess, E., Bunnewell, S., Welton, N. J., Quenby, S., Khan, K. S., Zamora, J. and Thangaratinam, S. (2021) 'Effectiveness of intrapartum fetal surveillance to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes: a systematic review and network meta-analysis', CMAJ, 193(14), E468-77.

Rimmer, M. P. and Al Wattar, B. H. on behalf of the UKARCOG members (2020) 'Provision of obstetrics and gynaecology services during the COVID19 pandemic: A survey of junior doctors in the UK National Health Service', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 127(9), pp. 1123-1128.

Al Wattar, B. H., Teede, H., Garad, R., Franks, S., Balen, A., Bhide, P., Piltonen, T., Romaldi, D., Laven, J., Thondan, M., Bueno, A., Moss, N., Andrews, C., Hawkes, R., Mol, B. W, Khan, K. S. and Thangaratinam, S. (2020) 'Harmonising research outcomes for polycystic ovary syndrome (HARP): An international multi-stakeholder core outcome set', Human Reproduction, 35(2), pp. 404-412.

Bunnewell, S. J., Honess, E. R., Karia, A., Keay S. D, Al Wattar, B. H. and Quenby, S. (2020) 'Diminished ovarian reserve in recurrent pregnancy loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis', Fertility and Sterility, 113(4), pp. 818-827.e3.

Al Wattar, B. H., Dodds, J., Placzek, A., Beresford, L., Spyreli, E., Moore, A., Carreras, F. J., Austin, F., Murugesu, N., Roseboom, T. J. and Bes-Rastrollo M. (2019) 'Mediterranean-style diet in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors (ESTEEM): A pragmatic multicentre randomised trial', PLoS Medicine, 16(7), e1002857.

Al Wattar, B. H., Murugesu, N., Tobias, A., Zamora, J. and Khan, K. S. (2019) 'Management of first-trimester miscarriage: a systematic review and network meta-analysis', Human Reproduction Update, 25(3), pp. 362-74.

Al Wattar, B. H., Tamilselvan, K., Khan, R., Kelso, A., Sinha, A., Pirie, A. M., McCorry, D., Khan, K. S. and Thangaratinam, S. (2017) 'Development of a core outcome set for epilepsy in pregnancy (E‐CORE): a national multi‐stakeholder modified Delphi consensus study', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 124(4), pp. 661-667.

Al Wattar, B. H., Dodds, J., Placzek, A., Spyreli, E., Moore, A., Hooper, R., Beresford, L., Roseboom, T. J., Bes-Rastrollo, M., Hitman, G. and Khan, K.S. (2016) 'Effect of simple, targeted diet in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors on maternal and fetal outcomes (ESTEEM): study protocol for a pragmatic multicentre randomised trial', BMJ Open, 6(10), e013495.

Media experience

Bassel’s research has been featured in the national and international press, with many of his publications translated into several languages. Examples include:

  • Al Wattar, B. H., Dodds, J., Placzek, A., Beresford, L., Spyreli, E., Moore, A., Carreras, F. J., Austin, F., Murugesu, N., Roseboom, T. J. and Bes-Rastrollo M. (2019) 'Mediterranean-style diet in pregnant women with metabolic risk factors (ESTEEM): A pragmatic multicentre randomised trial', PLoS Medicine, 16(7), e1002857.
  • Al Wattar, B. H., Murugesu, N., Tobias, A., Zamora, J. and Khan, K. S. (2019) 'Management of first-trimester miscarriage: a systematic review and network meta-analysis', Human reproduction update, 25(3), pp. 362-74.

He has expertise in coordinating and planning effective press releases, and regularly provides quotes and commentaries as a clinical expert on topical issues in women’s health. Examples include:

  • Wattar, B. H., Vashisht, V. and Saridogan, E. (2021), 'Mini commentary: Vaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic gynaecological surgery: is it time to accept it as routine practice?', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.16829
  • Wattar, B. H. and Keay, S. D. (2020) 'Mini commentary: Music therapy to optimise postoperative pain management: how much more evidence is needed?', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.16166

Bassel disseminates his research to both the scientific and lay community, and regularly invests and engages with lay charities and patient representative groups to promote research awareness and public involvement in women’s health research.

Bassel hosts and co-ordinates The Menopause Symposium, a dedicated platform which aims to critically appraise and disseminate up to date knowledge on the diagnosis and management of the menopause.