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Katie presenting research at a conference in Milan, 2016

Undergraduate Student publishes ground-breaking research paper in national journal

A fourth year Medicine student has published her research paper in a national academic journal.

First author Katie Ho, of the University of Exeter Medical School, conducted this research, which involved over 100 patients, while undertaking a rigorous five year Medicine degree.

The paper, titled ‘Radiological progression of end colostomy trephine diameter and area’, was published in the British Journal of Surgery. It investigated risk factors for developing complications post-surgery for colorectal cancer, aiming to improve future outcomes for patients. The team found that, although colostomy trephines increase over time regardless of age, sex and position, evidence suggests this happens at a faster rate in women.

Katie’s research involved collaboration with two consultant colorectal surgeons from the Exeter Surgical Health Services Research Unit (HeSRU), Ian Daniels and Neil Smart, and Dr Theo Economou, a statistician based at the University of Exeter.

The study is the first of its kind to examine these developments using radiological scans and mathematic modelling.

Katie said: "I am delighted that the research I’ve been working on in the past four years has finally been published. It has required a lot of hard work, but I am extremely grateful for the fantastic team I worked with and for all the opportunities I have been given. I hope that my work can help improve patient outcomes in the future.”

Professor Clive Ballard, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, said: “This is a great paper which will contribute to better outcomes for people with colorectal cancer who need a colostomy. Fantastic to see research publications from our students – something we are very much building on at the moment. Congratulations Katie.”

The full paper, ‘Radiological progression of end colostomy trephine diameter and area’, can be read here.

Date: 8 February 2019

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