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Prize gives boost to hospital research

09 October 2012

Health Care

A research project by Southend University Hospital to improve treatment for patients with stiff and painful shoulder joints has beaten off tough competition to win a cash prize.

The £3,000 Constance Thornton Fellowship 2012, a research grant awarded by the Royal College of Radiologists, will boost Dr Matthew Tam's planned research into the inflammatory condition polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR) in conjunction with consultant rheumatologist Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta.

Dr Tam, consultant interventional radiologist at Southend, said: "It is a pilot study which will give us a greater understanding of the biology at a cellular level in this condition. That in turn will lead to better treatments and better outcomes for patients."

The project is looking at a new biopsy technique to identify specific characteristics of the disease.

The prize follows the publication this year of five peer-reviewed articles by Dr Tam in a number of major professional journals. He is currently preparing an educational book on interventional radiology which is due for publication in 2014.

Dr Tam said the Fellowship award would lead to more information being published and allow larger clinical studies into shoulder inflammation to be set up.

"We will be able to gather more information about what is happening in the tissues and it will form the foundation for future research."

 As a council member of the British Association of Clinical Anatomists, Dr Tam is also hosting delegates from medical schools all over the country at a one-day conference at Anglia Ruskin University's postgraduate medical institute in December.