Dr Esther Burden-Teh, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow
Psoriasis in children: Developing diagnostic criteria and identifying opportunities for early intervention for the prevention of long-term harm
Esther graduated from the University of Nottingham Medical School in 2007, after completing her BMedSci in 2005. Following this she undertook clinical training at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and Lincoln County Hospital, gaining membership to the Royal College of Physicians, MRCP(UK), in 2010. In 2011 she commenced Dermatology Specialist training and completed the Speciality Certificate Examination in Dermatology in 2013. She was awarded the UK DCTN SpR Fellowship and the Neil Cox award for the highest scoring applicant in October 2013. As part of the UK DCTN trainee research group she is developing a study to investigate the role of psychological interventions in the management of vitiligo, an area of research uncertainty identified through the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership.
Since August 2014, Esther has taken time out of programme as a Clinical Research Fellow at the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology. Over the past two years she has developed a research portfolio in childhood psoriasis, focusing on the diagnosis of psoriasis and detection of juvenile psoriatic arthritis. This research has included qualitative interviews, a multi-centre case-note review and a scoping review of the epidemiology of childhood psoriasis. In September 2016 Esther was awarded an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship to develop diagnostic criteria for psoriasis in children. This work will involve consensus methodology, a case-control diagnostic accuracy study and patient and public involvement.
Funding: NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship
Laura Howells, PhD student
Is the Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) fit for purpose as the core instrument for patient reported eczema symptoms? A series of linked validated studies to inform the Harmonizing Outcome Measures for Eczema (HOME) initiative
Laura completed her BSc in Psychology at the University of Sheffield with First Class Honours in 2014. She then completed her MSc in Health Psychology with Distinction at the University of Bath in 2015. Laura’s interest in skin conditions began in 2013 when she was an author on an innovative qualitative research project at the University of Manchester where patients wrote postcards or drew pictures to their psoriasis. Subsequently, for her MSc work placement she went back to the University of Manchester to conduct a study that consisted of an online survey to examine the role of disease severity, illness beliefs and coping strategies on distress in patients with Psoriatic Arthritis. This work was presented as a poster presentation at the 96th annual meeting of the British Association of Dermatologists and is currently being written up for publication. Before starting the PhD she was a Project assistant for the Identification and Management of Psoriasis Associated ComorbidiTy (IMPACT) project at the University of Manchester.
Laura’s PhD will inform the international initiative Harmonising Outcome Measures in Eczema (HOME) which aims to develop a core outcome set for eczema clinical trials. She will conduct a series of studies validating the Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), which is a patient self-report measure of eczema symptoms. She will also conduct a project using online discussion groups with eczema patients and carers to explore their experiences of long-term control of eczema.
Funding: British Skin Foundation
Radu Alex Boitor, PhD student
High-speed Raman spectroscopy for margin determination for non-melanoma skin cancers
Radu graduated from the Faculty of Physics of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania in 2013, receiving a degree in Medical Physics. Upon graduation, Radu begun an MSc at same faculty and graduated with a degree in Bio-Physics and Medical Physics. During his master’s degree, he focused on the synthesis of novel, biocompatible gold nanoparticles and the evaluation of their biocompatibility, due to their potential as a function of Raman spectroscopy in bio-medical applications. For this research he received a prize for Scientific Performance, awarded by Babes-Bolyai University, in the form of a scholarship which culminated with a publication in the Journal of Applied Spectroscopy. During the last year of his Master’s degree, Radu joined Ioan Notingher’s Biophotonics group at the University of Nottingham with an ERASMUS scholarship, where he studied the distribution of cell constituents in Neural Stem Cells with the use of Raman spectroscopy and AFM imaging (results published in the Faraday Discussions journal). Radu started his PhD at the University of Nottingham in a joint study between the School of Physics and the School of Medicine in 2016 with the focus on using Raman Spectroscopy in the detection of Non-Melanoma skin cancers on the surgical margins of excised tissue. The study may discover a new and improved method of detecting non-melanoma skin cancers, when compared with the current standard of histopathology. This study, which is coordinated by both Hywel Williams and Ioan Notingher, will culminate with a Diagnostic Test of Accuracy with tissue samples collected from multiple centres within the UK, which would determine the performance and accuracy of this cancer detecting technique.
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