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Date: Monday 04 April 2022

Time: 17:30 - 18:30

Timings for this event are in BST.

Professor Richard Pollok delivered his inaugural lecture "Parasites and Populations."

Professor Richard Pollok discussed two decades of his research, from his doctoral work examining the gut immune response to parasitic infection to population-based studies in the field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. His work has focused on several broad themes:

The study of health-related outcomes in IBD and GI infection: he leads the POP-IBD collaboration with researchers at Imperial, University and King’s College. Using national datasets, the group has examined how medications, mental health, and smoking impact long-term outcomes in a nationally representative IBD cohort followed longitudinally over 20 years. More recently, the group has examined the onset of pre-diagnostic symptoms, factors influencing time to diagnosis, and the impact of delay on clinical outcomes.

Non-invasive techniques in the diagnosis and assessment of IBDin collaboration with others in the Infection and immunity Institute, an early project explored of the role of proteomics technology in the diagnosis of TB IBD. In collaboration with the Radiology team, St George’s Hospital was among the first in the UK to explore the use of ultrasound techniques, for the diagnosis and assessment of Crohn’s disease.

Clinical observational and therapeutic studies: he and the St George’s Gastroenterology trials team have recruited to a wide range of studies. Examples include recruitment to the international IBD genetics consortium; HALT-IT an international NIHR-funded trial of a treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding and recently the CLARITY study examining the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination among immunocompromised IBD patients. 

This lecture was a hybrid event, taking place in The Curve lecture theatre Ground Floor, Hunter Wing (followed by refreshments in the Student Union Bar) at St George's, University of London, and online via MS Teams. 

Watch a recording of this lecture

About Professor Pollok

Richard Pollok is Professor of Practice in Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Infection at St George’s, University of London. He graduated from St Bartholomew’s Medical College in 1989. His research interests span a clinical career which began with an intercalated BSc in Infection and Immunity and later undertaking the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Liverpool. He trained in Gastroenterology and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship, working between London and Zambia, studying the gut immune response to parasite infection. He received a national prize from the Digestive Disease Foundation Charity his doctoral work. In 2002, he was appointed a Consultant and Honorary Senior lecturer at St George’s Hospital and St George’s University of London.

Since then he has developed a broad research portfolio aimed at improving the health of people with inflammatory bowel disease and GI infection. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed publicationsmany appearing in high-impact international journals such as The Lancet, JAMA, Gastroenterology, and Gut. The impact of his work has grown as evidenced by more than 3000 citations to his work in the literature and its translation into international clinical guidelines and policy document. He now leads the POP-IBD research collaboration, a pre-eminent UK research group focused on the epidemiology of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

He has many collaborations with NHS and academic partners including Imperial College London, Leeds University, London School of Tropical Medicine & HygieneChristian Medical College Vellore, India and the Global Burden of Disease group.

Locally and nationally, he leads the South London Gastroenterology Clinical Research Network and is a member of the national Gastroenterology CRN. In this role, he has driven recruitment to clinical studies in Gastroenterology, which has doubled regionally in the past 5 years. In his role on the British Society of Gastroenterology IBD committee roles included representation on: guideline development with the Royal College of pathologists; a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal and The Royal College of General Practitioner’s IBD ‘Spotlight’ project.

As a full-time consultant at St George’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since 2002, he has been Clinical Director of Specialist Medicine including a portfolio for education and research.

Outside work, he likes to sail, garden, drink wine and wishes he could have a dog.

About our Inaugural Lectures

St George's newly arrived or promoted professors are invited to give an inaugural lecture to mark this milestone in their academic careers. Professors use the opportunity to introduce themselves, update colleagues on current and future research plans, and share their research with wider audiences. It is also a chance to celebrate the support from friends and family, and from colleagues, mentors, and collaborators past and present.

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