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The Exeter IBD and Pharmacogenetics Research Group team. 

Exeter-based research team crowned winners at prestigious new gastroenterology awards

A world-leading research team from Exeter has been announced as the winner of a prestigious national award for their “outstanding” contribution to NIHR gastroenterology studies.

The winners of the very first British Society of Gastroenterology and National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (BSG/NIHR CRN) research awards have been announced – with the Exeter IBD and Pharmacogenetics Research Group taking home the ‘Research Team making an outstanding contribution to the NIHR portfolio studies’ award.

The Exeter IBD and Pharmacogenetics Group is headed up by Professor Tariq Ahmad, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and a University of Exeter academic. The group includes 2 other Chief Investigators, Nick Kennedy and James Goodhand, 3 study coordinators led by Claire Bewshea, 2 laboratory technicians, a bioinformatician and a number of PhD students and overseas visiting fellows. The main aims of the research group are to investigate the biological mechanisms underlying treatment failure in patients with inflammatory bowel disease which affect 1% of the UK population. During the COVID19 pandemic the group have led the CLARITY IBD study investigating the impact of biologic therapy on SARS-CoV-2 infection and immunity. The group work with 90% of acute hospital trusts in the UK, the UK NIHR IBD Bioresource and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and with many international collaborators.

Professor Ahmad said: “This award recognises not only the infrastructure we have developed in Exeter to deliver multi-site research across all four nations of the UK, but most importantly the commitment and dedication of all the principal investigators and NIHR nurses at more than 120 hospitals who make up our extended research network.”

The BSG/NIHR CRN awards provide an important opportunity to further the joint commitment to encouraging research and showcase examples of excellence in the conduct of both gastroenterology and hepatology clinical research.

Dr Alistair McKinlay, British Society of Gastroenterology President said: “I am delighted to commend the winners of the very first joint British Society of Gastroenterology and NIHR awards. All of the applications we received were of an exceptionally high standard and it demonstrates the value that each of the winners has added to the field of gastroenterology and hepatology clinical research. Congratulations to the winners, the Society looks forward to building on this success next year.”

Date: 7 July 2021

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