CiTI engages patients and the public with basic and clinical research and seeks their input and feedback on CiTI activities.
Patient organisations associated with CiTI coalesce in a CiTI Patient Advisory Group (CiTI-PAG) whose Chair is a member of the Board of CiTI, ensuring that patient views are represented at the highest level.
Also QMUL’s partner Barts Health NHS Trust is the largest NHS Trust in the UK encompassing six hospital sites across east and central London, it provides CiTI with access to unparalleled ethnically diverse disease-specific patient cohorts.
On the 1st of June 2018, CiTI in collaboration with MATURA, organised a public engagement event for members of the community with arthritis. The event took place at the centrally located Charterhouse Square campus of QMUL.
Twenty members of the public (adults and children) attended a 1 hr session of “Royal Society” style talks given by 4 QMUL researchers. Dr James Whiteford gave an insightful presentation on targeting new blood vessels in rheumatoid arthritis. This was followed by Dr Tina Chowdhury who gave an interactive talk on knee joints and osteoarthritis. Dr Elisa Corsiero followed with a fascinating presentation on discovering a specific target of autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis joints. Dr Chris Schultz ended the session with “Knowing your enemy - using the aggression of arthritis against itself”. The attendees were then invited on a short tour around the labs, where researchers explained the work they were doing in the field of arthritis/musculoskeletal diseases. The event concluded with an afternoon tea where the attendees had the opportunity to meet researchers, ask questions informally and take part in some interactive stalls and games that illustrate the arthritis research that is going on at QMUL.
The objective of the afternoon was to inform people with arthritis about the exciting research being done in our departments and also to increase awareness amongst researchers of what the public need and expect from research. CiTI intends to run similar engagement events in the coming years and we hope that the success of this activity will motivate and inspire both the public and researchers to get involved in future scientific outreach events.
On Wednesday the 21st February members of the CiTI faculty attended the Arthritis Research UK lantern opera charity event. At this annual gala dinner, held at the historic Inner Temple Hall in London, guests were able to hear about the important work that Arthritis Research UK are doing to transform the lives of people with arthritis and had the opportunity to pledge their support to the charity. The dinner was also accompanied by music from the Royal Opera House singers on the renowned Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.
On the 27th of July we held a Research into Arthritis Summer BBQ on the Lawn at Queen Mary University of London's Charterhouse Square campus. We invited people with arthritis or any form of musculoskeletal condition to meet scientists that work on arthritis research. They also had the opportunity to take a tour of the labs and visit the “interactive” stands. Although hampered by the british weather, everyone that attended enjoyed touring the labs and finding out more about the wide range of arthritis research carried out at QMUL. Overall the afternoon was a success and we hope to hold a similar event next year.
On the 1st of March 2017, members of the CiTI faculty attended the Arthritis Research UK Lantern Opera charity event at the Inner Temple Hall in central London. This fundraiser included live opera, a charity auction and a motivating and inspiring speech by paralympic champion and Arthritis Research UK Ambassador Pamela Relph.
The Arthritis Research UK Fundraising team, who came with selected donors, visited our Centre. The host was Dr Lucy Norling (Career Development Fellow of Arthritis Research UK) and supported by Dr Dianne Cooper (Career Progression Fellow). Research on omega-3 biology was presented together with a visit to the laboratory of the Centre for Biochemical Pharmacology and the QMUL Lipid Mediator Unit. All was concluded with a lunch and an informal discussion. Participants left very happy and convinced not only of the quality of our research but also of how attentive we are to translation and impact on the patients affected by debilitating arthritides.