Clinical Training Research Programme
Many of the key developments in MSA research have been led by clinician scientists with a good understanding of the clinical problems that face people with this disabling condition. The MSA Trust firmly believe that supporting the development of the next generation of clinician scientists in this area is critical to the success of research in MSA.
Our research training fellowship offers the opportunity to undertake research training addressing an aspect of causes, prevention and treatment of MSA. Typically working alongside experienced clinical and research mentors with a track record of academic excellence in the field of MSA, the post allows the Fellow to develop their experience of both research and clinical aspects of MSA.
In 2021, MSA Trust is pleased to co-fund the Sir Roger Bannister Clinical Research Training Fellowship programme with the Association of British Neurologists (ABN). The Fellowship is named for Sir Roger Bannister CH CBE FRCP, a clinical neurologist and former Chair of the MSA Trust Research Committee and MSA Trust Patron. Sir Roger was dedicated over the course of his career in neurology to understanding autonomic failure, one of the key clinical features of MSA.
An introduction to our current Clinical Training Research Fellow. Dr Yee Yen Goh
I grew up in a small town with great food and beautiful beaches, called Kuantan on the east coast of Malaysia. I did my GCSEs and A levels on scholarship in Singapore, then came to London to study medicine, following the footsteps of both my parents, a GP and obstetrician & gynaecologist.
My first job was in Liverpool, doing general clinical work together with neurology research. After a couple of years, I returned to London to complete the rest of my general medical training and finish my post-graduate exams. I then spent a year as a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow to the President of the Royal College of Physicians, gaining experience in national health care policy.
For the last 4 and a half years, I have been a Neurology trainee in London, which has been a very useful learning experience. During this time, I completed a rotation in movement disorders at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and a 6 month movement disorder outpatient clinic, developing experience with Parkinsonian syndromes such as MSA.
My dad always used to say (and still does), listen to your patients, they are the only people who knows what’s wrong. Truer words were never said. All patients’ stories are unique, with different constellation of symptoms, priorities and challenges, more so in conditions affecting multiple body functions such as MSA. I find developing personalised treatment plans together with my patients immensely fulfilling. Frustratingly, however, there is still much we don’t know about MSA, which has prompted my involvement in research.
Since starting as the ABN/MSA Trust Clinical Research Fellow, I do an MSA outpatient clinic as well as recruiting and assessing MSA patients for the PROSPECT-M trial. I’ve been tidying the PROSPECT-M MSA database, formulating research plans with already collected data and planning future collection protocols. With COVID-19, I’ve been working on amending the PROSPECT-M ethics to include the ability for patient participation via remote online questionnaires, for their protection and convenience. I’m really looking forward to the next 3 years, and hope that some of the work I do will bring us closer to understanding and treating MSA.
Our previous Research Fellow, Dr Viorica Chelban, recruited in 2017, has worked alongside Professor Henry Houlden at UCL. She has been a key player in many research studies, including developing biomarkers in MSA and improving our understanding of genetic contributions to MSA. She is a leader on the PROSPECT-M-UK study. She is an investigator on the MSA Exenatide study. In addition, she has contributed to the clinical care of people with MSA in the UCL service and more widely.