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Rachel is a rheumatologist currently undertaking a PhD looking at glucocorticoid (steroid) use and adverse effects in rheumatoid arthritis. She is aiming to quantify the risk of developing cataract and glaucoma and answer clinically important questions such as: how is the risk associated with dose and duration of treatment and what happens to the risk if treatment is interrupted or stopped? Answering these questions will benefit both patients and clinicians when making real-life risk benefit decisions.


PhD commenced: 2012 (part-time)


Supervisors: Prof Catherine Hill, Les Cleland, W Houston (Manchester)


Thesis title: Eye toxicity of corticosteroids in rheumatic arthritis using the UK Clinical Research Practice Database


Scholarship: The University of Adelaide Research Training Program Stipend


Positions held in last 10 years


2014 – present: BHI Clinical Research Fellow (PhD student, The University of Adelaide)


2013: Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology Clinical Research Fellow (Remote PhD student, The University of Adelaide)


2010 – 2012: Rheumatology Advanced Trainee (2010, Royal Adelaide Hospital; 2011, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital; 2012, Repatriation General Hospital)


2007 – 2009: Basic Physician Trainee, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital


2005 – 2006: Intern/Resident, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital


 


Rachel’s research focus is epidemiology, using large datasets to answer clinically relevant questions that arise in her practice as a rheumatologist. She is interested in using datasets derived from anonymised electronic clinical records. This type of data provides real-life patient information suited to addressing long-term drug safety questions. However, because this type of information is primarily collected for clinical, rather than research purposes there are added complexities in preparing the data and selecting appropriate methodologies for analysis. Rachel is expanding her skills in this area as part of her PhD.

Read a story about Rachel’s PhD research on The Hospital Research Foundation’s website.