Dr Deepa Arachchillage, consultant haematologist at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, has been awarded “Researcher of the Year” in recognition of her outstanding contribution to clinical research.
The joint initiative between the British Society for Haematology (BSH) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) recognises recent contributions to clinical research efforts made by members of the BSH, with individuals assessed in five categories; research leadership, engaging with patients and the public for research, successful delivery of studies, research publications, and increasing future contributions to research.
Dr Arachchillage’s main research focus is to understand the pathogenesis of bleeding and thrombosis in patients receiving ECMO, cardiopulmonary bypass and Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS), a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots.
Her drive to bring research into everyday clinical practice has led her to be instrumental in supporting the development of a multidisciplinary research team at Royal Brompton Hospital. The team comprises research nurses, laboratory scientists and the cardiothoracic and ECMO teams, allowing for increased recruitment of patients into research projects.
She is also responsible for setting up a dedicated APS clinic at Hammersmith Hospital where she works closely with APS scientist, allowing for the seamless integration of research into daily clinical activities.
Dr Arachchillage credits her ethos that every patient should be considered for entry into a clinical study. She said;
“It is a great honour to receive this award. This would not have been possible without the huge support I received from colleagues in the haematology, transfusion and adult intensive care units at our hospitals and from colleagues at Hammersmith Hospital. Most importantly, this would not have been possible without the patients who participated in my research.
“This award motivates me to do more research and clinical trials in order to improve clinical management.”
Dr Arachchillage attended a special award ceremony on 26 April during the BSH Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting to receive the award, along with a £500 prize which she plans to contribute to her research fund.