My First Paper: Laurence McEvoy

Posted on: 11 August 2022 by Laurence McEvoy in August 2022 Posts

This week we continue our 'My First Paper' Campaign, showcasing researchers and their research - with Laurence McEvoy from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

What was the title of your first paper and who was it submitted to?

Pharmacogenomics of NSAID-Induced Upper Gastrointestinal Toxicity. Submitted to: Frontiers in Pharmacology.

How would you explain what this paper was about to your grandparents?

Some people are more likely to have side effects to medications. At any one time, up to 7,800-bed hospitals are full of people who have had nasty side effects – we call these Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs). Sometimes, these reactions can be linked to your genetics - your DNA. We have come a long way from the ‘one size fits all’ approach. We used to dose people based on their sex, age, height, weight etc. But the evidence now shows that our genes play a vital role in how we respond to medications and how the medications respond to us! So… each person can respond differently to a given medication based on a combination of factors. If we are able to predict these side effects in advance, we can do more to prevent them! This is the goal of personalised medicine or personalised healthcare. On the genetics/DNA side of things… we are able to do this via genotyping. This is when I do fancy things in the lab starting with a tube of blood.

What was the most significant thing for you about that paper?

It was the first paper on which I was the first author, so that was special to me, especially being published in such a well-respected journal – Frontiers in Pharmacology. I’m now on 5,944 views so that’s not too bad! My paper has more citations than 65% of all Frontiers articles and more views than 73% of all Frontiers articles. I’m actually in the process of writing another paper for the same journal.

In terms of writing the paper itself, I am very fortunate to work and study in such a fantastic group. I am honoured and privileged to work for/with Dr. Dan Carr and our Director, Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed – he is pre-eminent in the field.

What advice would you give to others about submitting their first paper?

Follow the brief and take note of the word limit! Stick to the topic as much as possible. If you’ve been sent a template – use it – I spent hours formatting it into the template after I wrote it on Word. Communicate with the proof readers and if there are mistakes, make sure they change them – If it isn’t right, message them again and again until it is. Once it’s published it’s out there for all to see. USE ENDNOTE and use it properly! When proof reading… I like to print it off and hold it to read, rather than staring at a screen.