Leaders in bowel disease research – new colorectal surgical specialty leads announced

Since 2013, BDRF has joint-funded a Royal College of Surgeons surgical specialty lead (SSL) in bowel disease. Like our joint work with NIHR to fund recruiters to surgical trials, it’s part of our mission to see more research done around the UK.

The Royal College introduced SSLs as part of their surgical trials initiative. They wanted to launch networks of researchers in every specialty, to train researchers and champion new studies.

Improving the quality and quantity of bowel disease research around the country is what we exist to do, so helping fund the role was a natural fit.

Simon Bach has been the SSL since 2013 and his legacy will undoubtedly be the DELPHI prioritisation exercise. Delphi has transformed the colorectal research landscape, leading to the even more ambitious 2020 vision prioritisation exercise, which is global.

Thanks to this work, we’re targeting our research at the most urgent needs of patients, professionals and other stakeholders.

Simon has helped launch a proliferation of important studies that are making a huge difference for people with bowel disease. They include work looking at exercise before and after cancer surgery, parastomal hernia prevention, and organ-sparing treatment for bowel cancer.

For full details, make sure to read Simon’s report – which hails the amazing successes of the Delphi programme and BDRF’s part in it.

New SSLs announced

Now Simon is standing down, being replaced by not one but two new SSLs!

They are Dale Vimalachandran and Susan Moug. Both Dale and Susan have an incredible pedigree in research – between them they’ve held numerous BDRF grants!

Susan’s leadership of the ELF Study is improving emergency surgery for older patients. Dale’s BDRF-funded HiP study aims to improve rectal cancer surgery. He’s also leading important work to raise awareness and improve care in diverticular disease.

They’re excited to get cracking in their new jobs – getting more and more people involved in vital research.

Responding to her appointment, Susan said:

“I’d like to thank the ACPGBI and the BDRF for the opportunity to be one of the Colorectal SSLs to build on the impressive work that has already been achieved. I hope to focus on engaging everyone ‘colorectal’ in future research collaboration with the point that everyone has a contribution to make, whether big or small. As we enter the year of Tripartite 2020, the potential for worldwide future collaborations is there making it an exciting time to be colorectal SSL. Get in touch!”

Dale added:

“I’m delighted to be appointed and look forward to working together with Susan to deliver the next wave of Colorectal studies. Huge thanks to outgoing SSL, Simon Bach who has established the framework for us to build on. We are very keen to further develop trainee researchers and will work closely with BDRF and ACPGBI to help develop the next generation of researchers.”

We can’t wait to see their accomplishments. It’s an incredibly exciting time in our field – with more research into bowel disease happening all the time.

Onwards and upwards!