Posted on: January 16, 2020

Fellows at Frontiers

Here are a few thoughts from our clinical research fellows on St Mark’s Frontiers in Colorectal Disease, 2019.

Dotun Ojo is one of our surgical research fellows being supervised by Mr Phil Tozer and Ms Asha Senapati.

“Attending St Marks Frontiers is slightly different from attending an average conference. There is an element of a personal touch to it. The use of Vevox to interact and engage with the audience was a fantastic tool to open debate to the floor to attendees to have their opinions heard. As a trainee I was also able to take advantage of speaking to guest speakers and how their expertise could influence my own field of research at St Marks.

What I enjoyed most was the equilibrium between surgical and gastroenterology topics. It was fascinating (as a surgical trainee) to see what was on the horizon of Gastroenterology research. It really does open your eyes to certain topics that you may not have considered before. I really enjoyed particularly the discussions of microbiota of the gut and how its manipulation can potentially induce GI and extra-GI changes. The live endoscopy was also a great experience to view the novel technology being developed in trying to improve further eliminating missed polyps. Management of gastroenterology pathology invariably requires an multidisciplinary approach, but often attending surgical conferences you do not get to see such talks; this was a great and infrequent opportunity.

This was my first Frontiers but hopefully will not be my last; it was good to see previous St Marks clinical and academic trainees both past and present (some of them my own past trainers!) at the conference and catch up with old friends!”

Angad Dhillon is one of our endoscopy research fellows being supervised by Professor Brian Saunders and Dr Ana Wilson.

“This was my third year at St Mark’s Frontiers annual international congress. As a gastroenterologist with a specialist interest in endoscopy, this conference is not to be missed.

This year we saw state of the art interactive lectures where delegates could directly ask international experts questions and they could in turn use polls to engage with the audience and display results in real-time. This was brought together fantastically in one of my favourite, “BBC Question Time” style sessions where a world leading panel discussed and debated controversies in colorectal surgery with probing questions from the audience.

We got to see live endoscopy from the Wolfson Unit for Endoscopy where experts demonstrated; polyp detection using new artificial intelligence systems, polyp assessment with the latest optical enhancing endoscopes and polyp resection with new ESD bipolar and microwave knife technology. Following live surgery and endoscopy, we had the privilege of hearing the visiting Professor Neil Shepherd give histopathological insight into colorectal cancer and its screening.

As always, St Mark’s champions the multidisciplinary approach to treating intestinal and colorectal disease. This year delegates got to participate in teams, alongside specialist nurses, nutritionists, physiotherapists, pharmacologists, surgeons and GI physicians during the breakfast MDT sessions.

Frontiers attracts a diverse group of international delegates and gives the opportunity to build new relationships with the potential for collaborative research, as well as catching up with old friends, colleagues and mentors which is great fun.”