Dr James Bluett reflects on the recent NIHR Musculoskeletal BRU training day

Author:Dr James Bluett

Author: Dr James Bluett

Research Training Fellow

Dr James Bluett is a rheumatology and general medicine trainee, conducting research supported by a North West England MRC Clinical Research Fellowship and NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (BRU).

Below, James blogs about the recent Combined Musculoskeletal BRU Trainee Day in Leeds.

Back in October myself and 15 other trainees and researchers from the BRU travelled across the Pennines to Leeds for the third BRU trainee day. These meetings are collaboratively organised by the three musculoskeletal BRUs to give trainees the opportunity to meet their peers and present their work.

Benefits of the training day

Having attended a previous event, I find these days are a great opportunity to share knowledge and explore the breadth of musculoskeletal research carried out across the BRUs. Our BRU has a strong focus on genetics, paediatrics and prevention compared to Oxford and Leeds whose speciality areas include orthopaedics and bio-engineering.

Presentations on the day

The agenda for the day included 14 presentations from the different BRUs, with myself, Michelle Barraclough, Madhura Castelino, Sunil Sumpath and Vikram Swaminathan representing the Manchester BRU.

I presented my current research, investigating treatment response and adverse events to methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which outlined the development and validation of a test based on blood or urine samples to monitor adherence to methotrexate. At conferences and meetings it can often be daunting presenting to a room of senior academics and clinicians and so having this opportunity to present to my peers from other organisations is always useful. By gaining practice in presenting style and technique, I have learnt to give better and more engaging talks. It also enables me to prepare for future questions and challenges about my research.

What does being part of NIHR mean to me?

Being part of a BRU and NIHR provides me with a sense of community and support. I can get together with other academics of a similar level and discuss how best to interpret results or present my findings. By attending events such as the BRU trainee day I receive valuable insight both on my work and other areas of research. This motivates me to think of research questions and collaborative work, which helps us move one step closer to the ultimate aim of treating arthritis: right first time.