BIRD funded two clinicians to attend the key annual conference run by the British Society for Rheumatology in Glasgow at the end of April, as part of a new bursary scheme to help early career stage specialists take up research. Jade Skeates, Team Lead, Rheumatology Physiotherapy at the RNHRD, said: “I chaired my first conference session, and it was great to see the session I had proposed and facilitated come together, reaching over 350 people. I attended updates on Spondyloarthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, new treatment targets in Rheumatoid Arthritis, understanding the phenotypes of hand Osteoarthritis, the uses of telemedicine and remote monitoring, quality improvement, and many more sessions. It was incredibly thought provoking and inspiring. The greatest opportunity came through seeing people in person, and I am delighted to have made a number of new contacts. I was able to speak to one of our Bristol colleagues about app development, helping collaborative effort. I have now started to share what I have picked up from this conference with my Therapies colleagues”.
Dr Ben Mulhearn, Academic clinical fellow in Rheumatology at the RNHRD, said: “I used my bursary to attend virtually and present my scientific poster updating everyone on my research. I have already had positive feedback from experts in giant cell arteritis (GCA) who were impressed with our GCA research programme at the RNHRD. The educational content was very helpful in keeping my rheumatology knowledge up to date, and it is available online for me to watch on demand, even after the conference. I have also already held meetings as a result with experts in Nottingham, on a collaboration to record long-term outcomes in patients with VEXAS syndrome, and in Leeds, on the best was to identify patients with VEXAS syndrome. I also touched base with RAIRA, the Rare Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease Alliance, and Vasculitis UK, to see how they might be able to support my future research in VEXAS syndrome. None of these meetings would have been possible without the support of the BIRD Bursary”.
At BIRD we are delighted to be able to support colleagues at the RNHRD.