May 23, 2019
Last week, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research launched its ‘Meet the Researcher’ seminar series with a session on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The series provides everyone with the opportunity to learn more about research at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the tangible impact researchers are making.
During the first seminar, PhD student Chloe Doyle presented her research on a newly discovered immune cell type that could help researchers better understand the causes of Crohn’s disease, leading to potential treatment options.
Associate Professor Scott Byrne, Dr Grahame Ctercteko and Professor Golo Ahlenstiel participated in a panel discussion that looked at the role of researchers, surgeons and clinicians in diagnosing and treating Crohn’s and colitis.
Panel moderator Associate Professor Andrew Harman said, “Rates of Inflammatory Bowel
Disease (IBD) are increasing worldwide, so developments in treatment options and preventative measures are crucial.
“There’s no right way to treat Crohn’s or colitis. It is largely dependent on the severity of symptoms, where inflammation occurs in the bowel, and the needs of the patient.”
The panel presented three very different perspectives on how patients can potentially manage IBD, as well as how those options might change in the future with further research discoveries. The panellists also responded to a number of audience questions on treatment options, and the potential causes of IBD.
“It was a great experience to be able to connect with patients, their family and friends, and the general public, and let them know what we are doing to help treat and prevent IBD,” Associate Professor Harman said.
Executive Director of The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Professor Tony Cunningham, said
he was pleased that WIMR is doing more to open its doors to the public.
“We’re making ground-breaking discoveries into major health issues that affect many Australian families, and people worldwide,” he said.
“It’s important to us that those who are affected by these conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, eye diseases, diabetes and cancer have the opportunity to hear how our researchers are working towards preventions, treatments and even cures.
“The first Meet the Researcher seminar was a great success, and I look forward to welcoming more people to The Westmead Institute for Medical Research as the series continues.”
The next Meet the Researcher seminar, ‘Keeping an Eye on Your Vision’ will be held in July. Click here to subscribe to our mailing list and receive updates.
- Associate Professor Scott Byrne is conjoint Group Leader of the Autoinflammatory Diseases Group at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research. He is affiliated with The Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the University of Sydney.
- Professor Golo Ahlenstiel is Group Leader of the Liver Immunology Group at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, and a Staff Specialist in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Blacktown Hospital. He is affiliated with The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Western Sydney University and Western Sydney Local Health District.
- Dr Grahame Ctercteko is Head of the Colorectal Surgery Unit at Westmead Hospital. He is affiliated with Western Sydney Local Health District.
- Associate Professor Andrew Harman is conjoint Group Leader of the Autoinflammatory Diseases Group at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research. He is affiliated with The Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the University of Sydney.
- Chloe Doyle is a PhD student at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the University of Sydney.