Student Doctor wins British Society for Rheumatology abstract award

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Student Doctor Tara Kelly smiling

Student Doctor Tara Kelly impressed judges with her recent abstract submitted to the British Society for Rheumatology, clinching a student award for her research and an invitation to the BSR Annual Conference in April.  

With a keen interest in rheumatology and paediatrics, Tara’s research focused on areas of improvement in the treatment of the inflammatory disease lupus in young people.  

What motivated you to submit an abstract to the British Society for Rheumatology? 

“I had completed the abstract and project as part of my RS3 (Research and Scholarship) and found it really interesting. I discussed the possibility of submitting it to the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) for their annual conference this year with the opportunity to get my work published. After submitting the abstract and finding out I had been selected to present the research at the conference, I received an email notifying me that I was eligible for consideration for the student award and that my abstract had been put forward for this.  

What did your abstract cover? 

My research was titled a ‘Comprehensive comparison of juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus guidelines for diagnosis and management to those used in adult-onset disease'.

The work compared the adult and paediatric guidelines for diagnosis, monitoring, and management of the general and neuropsychiatric disease manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus and identifying key areas where work is required to improve outcomes and treatment of paediatric juvenile-onset SLE. 

Are you looking forward to attending the Annual Conference? 

The BSR Annual Conference is being held in April and I am really looking forward to attending.  

The conference is spread across three days, and I will get to present my poster and attend an awards session to receive the certificate for my prize which I'm really excited about.

The winning abstracts are all being published in the journal of rheumatology, and I am also really looking forward to seeing my work in this journal.  

How did you feel when you found out you were a winner? 

I was shocked when I found out that I had won and couldn’t really believe it but was very excited. I received an email in January to say that I had been chosen as the winner of the Student award by the Heberden Committee and that a news piece was being published shortly on this.  

The winners were published in the BSR newsletter last week and seeing my name in the news piece was a bit surreal! 

I’m really grateful for the support of my supervisor and proud that my work paid off. 

What interests you most about rheumatology? 

I initially did this project as I am interested in paediatrics, so I knew that I wanted my RS3 to be centred around this. My interest in rheumatology, particularly in jSLE came from looking at the lack of research and information specific to paediatric patients particularly when they often have more severe complications earlier in life than adults with SLE, so this highlighted the importance of more work in this area.  

What have you enjoyed most about fourth year so far? 

I am currently intercalating and am studying the MRes in Clinical Sciences (Children and Womens health).  

My main project for my MRes is on salt supplementation in paediatric cystic fibrosis and I am really looking forward to completing the project and hopefully getting this work published as well.

This year is allowing me to improve my research skills and to practise different research techniques and styles. The course has also allowed me to gain a better understanding of the importance of research in clinical practice.” 

Discover More 

  • Look into the support available to Liverpool Student Doctors to both attend and present at conferences, including funding available, on the Academic Conferences webpage (link).