Using data to personalise care

My Topol fellowship problem / project:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), comprised of Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, affects around 500,000 people in the UK. Patients are often young and suffer with severe symptoms over many years. Drug treatments can be complex, have adverse effects and people can become resistant to the therapy over time. A significant proportion of patients require multiple major operations over their lifetime.

Patients are often diagnosed relatively early in their lives (adolescent/ young adulthood) and currently we are unable to give them an idea of how their disease may progress through their lives.

We know that people’s genes can increase their risk of developing IBD and potentially how severe their disease is. However, in order to effectively utilise genetic data we need detailed clinical information about each individual.

My project aims to integrate routinely collected healthcare data with genetic data and carry out research to enable clinicians to provide accurate and personalised prognostic information for patients with IBD.

I am a clinical research fellow at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and am currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Manchester. My research is focused on improving our understanding of severe forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and how we can provide better care for these people.

I completed my medical degree at the University of Birmingham and continued with my specialist training in general and colorectal surgery in London and now Manchester. During my clinical training, I have seen and experienced the impact IBD has on patients and the challenges faced by clinical teams. These experiences led me to take time out of my clinical training to undertake research in this field.

I am excited to join the fellowship and look forward to specific training in clinical bioinformatics to interpret genomic data and explore how we can integrate routinely collected healthcare data from electronic patient records in research studies.