Non-medical staff celebrated at annual research showcase

Virtual exercise programmes, handheld echocardiography and artificial intelligence were amongst some of the exciting projects at this year’s Annual Research Showcase (ARS), an annual celebration of the incredible research spearheaded by non-medical staff at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

At the event on Tuesday 14 December 2021, Haifa Lyster, consultant pharmacist, was invited to give a keynote speech, and share her extensive experience of being a researcher as well as tips for those starting out in research.

The poster competition attracted some remarkable projects despite the pressures of the ongoing pandemic and two posters were selected to be presented at the event. Mary Williams, lead nurse for supportive and palliative care and chaplaincy, presented research on communicating with families of patients in intensive care during a pandemic, and Andreia Pinto, thoracic research associate, presented on the use of Artificial Intelligence in the diagnosis of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.

Poster submissions were also judged by key members of senior staff who have a wealth of research experience. The panel this year included Dr Isabel Skypala (consultant allergy dietitian), Dr Sam Irving, (chief paediatric respiratory research physiologist), Geraldine Sloane (cardiovascular research nurse manager), Dr Deborah Ford (consultant clinical psychologist), Sian Bentley (specialist paediatric pharmacist) and Samir Suleman (echo deputy manager).

The judges were tasked with choosing winners in three categories: Most Innovative, Greatest Patient Benefit and Early Career Researcher.

There were also two other awards up for grabs; Director’s Choice, selected by Shazu Ahmed-Ali (chief biomedical scientist) and Staff Favourite, which was voted for by Royal Brompton and Harefield hospital staff. All the winners are listed below.

Dr Skypala chaired the event and was impressed with the quality of submissions despite the continuing pressures of the pandemic. She said: “There was a wonderful variety of submissions to the ARS this year which were of a high quality, making it difficult for the judges to pick our winners!

“The two presentations at the awards ceremony were excellent, nicely contrasting and illustrated the range of different projects our non-medical healthcare professionals are involved with. The keynote lecture from Haifa Lyster was inspiring, demonstrating what can be achieved through hard work and dedication, and with the wonderful support for non-medical research provided by the Research Office.”

The winners

Most Innovative: Sian Bentley for “Clinical pharmacokinetics and dose recommendations for posaconazole gastro-resistant tablets in children with cystic fibrosis.”

Greatest Patient Benefit: Haifa Lyster for “Finger prick samples for tacrolimus levels during the COVID 19 pandemic: single centre experience with heart and lung transplant recipients.”

Early Career Researcher: Shavawn Cunningham for “Setting up a virtual exercise intervention for people with CF during the COVID-19 pandemic.” and Sophie Pinnell for “The Lung Clearance Index Core Facility.”

Director’s Choice: Andreia Pinto for “PCD AID How will Artificial Intelligence improve the diagnosis of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.”

Staff Favourite: Susan Hutchison for “The physical impact of a personalised 4 week exercise programme on a patient with a total artificial heart.”


To view all the poster submissions for this year’s event please click here (for RBHH staff only).