Research funding awarded to Trust pharmacist

Sian Bentley, senior pharmacist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded a pre-clinical academic fellowship (PCAF).

The funding will allow Sian to develop the skills and experience she will require to apply for further funding at a doctoral-level.

Although this is the first time a pharmacist at the Trust has been a recipient of the award, Sian is no stranger to research. She has contributed to publications in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in cystic fibrosis (CF) related books and publications, participate in conferences, and undertaken small practice-based research projects

One of Sian’s projects looked at two relatively new drugs that were increasingly being prescribed to patients with CF. Her findings helped to change how patients were dosed with the drugs. 

Another of her research projects looked at the use of the drug posaconazole in children with CF. Her findings once again led to changes in clinical practice, with the drug becoming the second line therapy against fungal disease instead of the drug voriconazole.

Whilst Sian is passionate about advancing the understanding of drug handling and the management of fungal disease in children with CF, to date her ability to progress her research career has been limited by her demanding clinical role. 

Which is why this sort of funding is so important for staff like Sian who are keen to develop their research career. The funding will allow Sian to set aside dedicated time to gain the necessary skills to prepare an application for a competitive, peer-reviewed doctoral level research training fellowship.

Sian was delighted with the funding and is keen to see paediatric research take centre stage, and said: “Children are often forgotten about when new medicines are launched in the market, so we are left trying to ‘second guess’ the treatment regimen we need by looking at data in adult patients. 

“I am really looking forward to using this fellowship to enhance my knowledge and exposure to research methodologies to enable me to design and implement studies to address these gaps for children.”

PCAFs are funded by Health Education England (HEE) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and awarded to those who successfully demonstrate their plans to develop careers that combine both clinical research and research leadership, with continued clinical practice and professional development. 

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