Hello everyone! My name is Rachel Harris and I am the new Clinical Research Fellow in Paediatric Gastroenterology working between the Clinical Research Facility and the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow and am the 3rd Catherine McEwan fellow.

I am a junior doctor and after completing a placement within the paediatric gastroenterology department here at RHC in 2016 I loved my team so much I just had to come back! I currently split my time 50/50 between being a ward doctor looking after the gastroenterology inpatients and conducting various research activities from the Clinical Research Facility. We are so lucky to work within such a fantastic team of doctors, nurses, specialist nurses, dieticians, AHPs and ward staff – not to mention of course our amazing patients! I am really enjoying my new post and am incredibly grateful to the Catherine McEwan Foundation for the opportunity my role is giving me to develop my skills and interests in both research and paediatrics.


There are currently lots of exciting research projects going on within the IBD team here at the Royal Hospital for Children which we hope will make a positive impact on our patients present and future. Recently I have been working alongside Lisa the research nurses on a new European wide Inception Cohort and safety registry; this will collect information on a 1000 new IBD patients at diagnosis in Europe and follow how they do after diagnosis. This will assess the effectiveness of current treatment plans in patients with IBD and how this relates to their symptoms and outcome. Thanks to the support we have been able to recruit many of the recently diagnosed patients into this study making sure patients from RHC will be well represented in this large and important study. Our team are also hoping to commence a randomised control trial looking at the drugs we use for maintenance of remission in patients with newly diagnosed Crohn’s disease very soon.

Now I have found my feet I am also working on several other studies including a study analysing the factors which may predict and affect treatment outcomes for patients with severe IBD (infliximab levels in IBD patients), complications from treatment with IV iron treatment and how to prevent these in future, plus outcomes and complications for pouch surgery for Ulcerative Colitis. I am also assisting in studies looking at the impact of exercise in IBD and bone health in IBD patients assessed by MRI.

The research undertaken within the paediatric gastroenterology team at RHC will undoubtedly be invaluable in helping clinical teams understand IBD better and develop new treatment strategies for the future; and this work would not be possible without the Catherine McEwan foundation – so thank you once again for all of your support!

Dr Rachel Harris (3rd Catherine McEwan Fellow) July 2018